Tag Archives: environment

Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers: A crosscutting international instrument for advancing sustainability

The current global ecological situation is perilous to humankind. Accumulated releases of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are causing climate change and eco-toxic releases are significantly impacting the environment and human health. Global eco-systems and resources are in decline. There is a … Continue reading

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John Tyndall – Ireland’s Greatest Climate Scientist

Science in 1861 was very different to now, and entire fields of study and concepts that are now taken for granted – quantum physics, the theory of relativity, continental drift, the big bang, DNA, the uncertainty principle, black holes, an … Continue reading

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Transforming the system: Is eco-innovation enough?

The challenge of the 21st century is to align our political, economic, social and technological systems with the science of sustainability and the reality of resource limits, while maintaining wellbeing for citizens. In 2011, we are facing the decade of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The economics of climate change: discounting the future, ignoring the poor?

Economists looking at climate change face a difficult task, with uncertain climate models, chaotic climate systems and possible catastrophic threshold effects. Often, when looking at the impacts of climate change different mitigation/adaptation options and emission scenarios will be looked at, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Sceptics | Tagged , , , , | 61 Comments

15 Reasons to be (Mildly) Optimistic about COP15

As the Copenhagen conference progresses, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a brief look what’s the various different countries have offered, and reasons why there is some room for optimism about a decent deal being done… 1. The … Continue reading

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There (still) is no plan B

One of my earliest posts on this blog, on December 12, 2007, was headed ‘There is no Plan B‘. The headline was taken from a quote from the then new Australian PM, Kevin Rudd to delegates at the UN climate … Continue reading

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Comhar’s Green New Deal makes sense

At 11am today in the Irish Academy in Dublin’s Dawson Street, Comhar, the sustainable development council formally launches its Green New Deal for Ireland. It’s a genuinely impressive document, as I’ve outlined in the Irish Times today, with much to … Continue reading

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It has to be Yes to Lisbon

On June 11th, 2008, the day before what we now call Lisbon 1, my Irish Times piece was headed: “If you care about climate change, vote Yes to Lisbon”. There are those who’d say I got my answer. I’m not … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Nuclear, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Which part of ‘conserve’ don’t conservatives get?

Let’s hear it for Connie Hedegaard. Connie who? She’s the Danish minister for climate and energy and, crucially, will host the UN-sponsored global climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen this December. That puts her in the hottest of hot seats in … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Energy, Global Warming, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to the New Emergency

They call it the ‘Greenhouse Gamble’. I’d call it the Wheel of Death. Either way, it’s a gizmo that looks like a cheesy prop from the National Lottery show, but in fact it has been developed by scientists from the … Continue reading

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A grandfather’s appeal to Obama

Politicians worry about the next election; business people worry about the next quarter. Who does that leave to worry about the longer term future? One top scientific expert believes the people who really do think ahead are parents, more specifically … Continue reading

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Half-baked Alaskan science bears closer scutiny

They say the first casualty in war is the truth. The same surely applies to elections, and none more so than the crucial US election on November 4th next. Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has shown a startling contempt for … Continue reading

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Weaning ourselves off the fetish of growth

A cynic, according to Oscar Wilde, is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. He could have easily been talking about economists. It’s hard to open a newspaper or turn on the radio these … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Energy, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Time to put a lid on bottled water

‘Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former’. That’s the view of no less an observer than Albert Einstein. Though his judgement may seem a little harsh, the strange story of … Continue reading

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A greener Apple

Computers, monitors and associated gizmos are no friends of the environment. Frequent manufacturer upgrades lead to constant pressure on users to trade up the the ‘latest and greatest’ model. In some cases, you actually have little choice but to upgrade, … Continue reading

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