Author Archives: John Gibbons

About John Gibbons

ThinkOrSwim is a blog focusing on the inter-related crises involving climate change, sustainability, resource depletion, energy and biodiversity loss

If we tolerate this, then our children will be next

I’ve spent more than a decade first researching and then writing almost exclusively on  a range of ‘environmental’ topics, with a special focus on climate change. I joined Twitter in 2010 using the @think_or_swim moniker, determined to use it as … Continue reading

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‘We asked for signs. The signs were sent’

We are the children of the Enlightenment. Our ancestors lived for countless centuries with only the vaguest idea of the world around or beyond them. Education and literacy was the preserve of tiny elites, usually in the service of religious … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Media, Psychology, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

A monkey trap of our own construction

In parts of Asia, indigenous populations have developed an extremely simple yet ingenious way of catching the otherwise elusive wild monkeys. The trap involves a hollow object such as a gourd, which is securely staked to the ground, with a … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Psychology | 5 Comments

The meteorologist and the scourge of climate ‘over-alarmism’

Back in March, there was quite a kerfuffle when RTE PrimeTime tried to set up a ‘debate’ about the reality of climate change by initially loading a panel 3:1 in favour of the 3% ‘skeptical’ position that rejects or downplays … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

When will accuracy trump ‘balance’ in media climate coverage?

Is the media now the largest remaining impediment rather than aid to an effective public and political response to climate change? If so, how exactly did this come about, and is there anything that can be done to reverse this? … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | 41 Comments

Mann on a mission – Hockey Stick scientist interviewed

Michael Mann is one of the world’s leading climate scientists. He is director of the Earth Systems Science Centre in Penn State University and has been a lead IPCC author since 2001. His ‘Hockey Stick graph’ became the defining symbol … Continue reading

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A Prime lesson in how not to cover climate change

On Tuesday of last week, PrimeTime did something extremely unusual – at least for RTÉ. It had a programme on climate change. Well, ok, that’s not strictly true; the one-hour show actually carried three items, so climate change was wedged … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

It’s not fair! I can prove I’m better than BOD…

In a recent newspaper article, I wondered aloud if maybe, just maybe, the tide was finally beginning to turn regarding Ireland getting real about climate change. As if to answer the question, the producer of Today FM’s The Last Word … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sceptics | 48 Comments

Gravity of climate crisis has yet to sink in nationally

Below, my article more or less as it appeared in the Irish Times last Friday. The day it appeared, rain bucketed down across the country, and maybe this is why the article struck a chord – it was the ‘Most … Continue reading

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A welcome Eye on the climate crisis

Last Tuesday evening, Duncan Stewart’s excellent Eco Eye series turned its focus on climate change, and specifically, the impacts already manifesting themselves on Ireland’s weather. You can watch the full show below: Among the experts directly interviewed for the show … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | 2 Comments

Climate change fuelling our weather extremes

Below, my article as it appeared in the Irish Times this week: IN THE FIRST week of January last year, I placed an 80 euro bet that 2013 would be among the top ten hottest years since global instrumental records … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | 3 Comments

Time to sign up for the climate change war

Below, my article, as it appears in today’s Irish Times. There has been a pretty strong reaction thus far on Twitter (not that much uptake on Facebook) and quite a useful online discussion accompanying the piece on the Irish Times … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Economics, Global Warming, Psychology, Sceptics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Billionaire baddies bringing us to the brink

Below is my article, as it appears in the current edition of Village magazine. I’ve long been fascinated by denial and our seemingly limitless power to delude ourselves about unpleasant or unpalatable realities. This was brought home to me yet again … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Sceptics | 1 Comment

The oceans: cradle and graveyard of life on Earth

My first newspaper environmental column appeared in mid-March 2008, headlined: ‘Out of our depth in tackling overfishing disaster’. In researching the piece, I was staggered to read a quote from a senior UNEP official to the effect that even if … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Sustainability | 3 Comments

IPCC AR5 set to reiterate bleakest of messages

Below, my article as it appeared in yesterday’s Irish Times. I had a bit of a swipe at Fine Gael’s former Environment spokesman, Simon Coveney, having sat down recently to re-watch a clip I recorded for Climatechange.ie back in January … Continue reading

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