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

An economic analysis that just doesn’t add up

I was pleased to spot economist Prof John Fitzgerald among the audience at the recent EPA lecture in the Mansion House, Dublin, presented by Prof Myles Allen. As it transpires, Fitzgerald was doing some field work for an opinion article … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sceptics | 12 Comments

Come back, Liz McManus – your country needs you!

In case you haven’t heard, our current Minister for the Environment is a Labour party TD called Alan Kelly. He is the man who brought us the no-lobbyist-left-behind Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015, a piece of draft … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Breaching our planetary boundaries, one by one

Below, my article, as it will appear in the latest Village magazine: BACK IN 2009, some months before the ill-fated UN climate conference in Copenhagen, an Earth system framework was proposed by an international collaboration of environmental scientists. Their aim … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Milking the (climate) system, Irish-style

Below, article as it appears in the current edition of ‘Village’ magazine. (I co-authored this piece with Paul Price). “IT IS DIFFICULT to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. Novelist Upton … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | 37 Comments

The Dream (A Fantasy at Christmas)

It was still dark when Enda Kenny fell awake from a fitful sleep. He rose unsteadily, exhausted, almost stumbling as he made his way to the bathroom. With the light on, he noticed his pyjamas were almost completely soaked in … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Psychology | 2 Comments

What next for the apes who went to space?

I have no idea where I was on the night of July 20-21, 1969, being far too young to grasp the historic events that were unfolding, as Apollo 11 became the first spacecraft to land humans on a world other … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Another Fine (Gael) mess on climate change

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has in the last week or so taken political recklessness and cynicism to new lows. History may judge that he did more than any other politician of his generation to destroy the future of Irish agriculture. In … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media | 18 Comments

Which to choose: bare-knuckle capitalism – or a habitable world?

I finished reading Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything just as a major study by the WWF confirmed that, in a mere four decades, more than half of the wild animals on Earth had been wiped out. From the time I … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Clowns to left, jokers to the Right, stuck in middle with George

This may not be a news flash to most people, but science is hard. Really, really hard. Just how tough was brought home when I recently attended an international congress on multiple sclerosis (MS). The event brought together some 8,000 … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Irish Focus, Media | 3 Comments

‘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

Posted in Arctic, Global Warming, Media, Psychology, Sceptics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment