Author Archives: John Gibbons

About John Gibbons

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

More power to our fledgling solar industry

The missing piece of the puzzle from Ireland’s transition to clean and renewable energy has long been solar power. While wind energy has grown in just a couple of decades from almost nothing to providing more than two fifths of … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Global Warming, Irish Focus | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The heat is on: climate emergency deepens

After the savage heatwaves that swept the northern hemisphere in June and continuing into July, I was asked by TheJournal.ie to contribute a piece putting these ominous events into context. Here’s what I wrote: “WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE this historic event”. That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Dangerous myth of infinite economic growth exposed

Regular ThinkOrSwim readers will know that your correspondent is not a noted fan of mainstream economics, or most of its practitioners, for that matter. They have, in my view, done untold damage in impeding societal and political understanding of and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam: our fragile world

Has there ever been a better science communicator that the late Carl Sagan? If you’ve watched the original version of the series ‘Cosmos’, you’ll have a good sense of his mastery of the medium. The BBC’s Brian Cox recalls watching, … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming | 3 Comments

Billionaires to the rescue? No thanks

With our billionaire overlords queueing up to be the first into space or to colonise some real estate on Mars, I thought it was an opportune moment to file a piece in the Business Post taking a cold look at … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Media | Leave a comment

A safer future for all means a better future for most

This article appeared in the Irish Times in early May, based around an intriguing paper published in the journal ‘Global Environmental Change’, titled “Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario”. As the abstract begins: “It is increasingly clear … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Global Warming, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Do we care enough about nature to bother saving it?

This piece ran in the Business Post in early May, inspired at least in part by the devastating fires that swept many of Ireland’s uplands yet again this Spring, an annual ritual, it seems, that comes around with depressing regularity, … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Biodiversity, Global Warming, Irish Focus | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hard cheese for environment as Big Ag juggernaut steamrolls NGOs

This piece ran on Desmog.com in mid-April. This site has, since 2006, sought “to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science and solutions to climate change”. And in Ireland, nowhere is this pollution more pervasive than the smog … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Global Warming, Irish Focus | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Beyond denial and grief and towards solidarity on climate

This piece ran in the Business Post in late March as my take on the revised – and considerably improved – Climate Bill. Since it was written, it has become clear that the absolute maximum ambition the agri sector is … Continue reading

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

Climate hoofprint of ruminant agriculture under spotlight

The Farming Independent sought two contrasting views on the merits or otherwise of continued expansion of Ireland’s dairy herd, so I contributed the below, wearing my hat as a volunteer member of An Taisce’s climate committee. This article was published … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Irish Focus, Pollution | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Investors running for cover as allure of fossil fuels fades

The below piece was published in the Business Post in late February. By my usual standards, this probably ranks as quite optimistic, in pitching the argument that fossil fuel, the world’s most dangerous industry, is in the process of losing … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Energy, Global Warming, Pollution | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking the fight to the climate inactivists

One of the most enjoyable books on my 2021 reading list to date has been climatologist, Prof Michael Mann’s latest volume, ‘The New Climate War – The Fight To Take Back Our Planet’. I’ve long been a fan of his … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

From Climate Week to ‘climate weak’, RTÉ coverage falters

Here we go again, slagging off the national broadcaster. What about the independent broadcasters, why not go after them? Well, in short, we expect more, much more, from RTÉ as our public service broadcaster, heavily subsidised by the licence fee … Continue reading

Posted in Irish Focus, Media | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Global food system hurts people, crushes nature

It’s hard to keep being shocked or even surprised at the litany of reports on the dire condition of our biosphere, but the recent Chatham House study on biodiversity is still an eye-opener. Politicians often claim their job is to … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Biodiversity, Global Warming, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Could global warming trigger deadly new ozone crisis?

It’s an extraordinary privilege to inhabit the only known oasis of abundant complex life in the galaxy. We know from paleoclimatology that life on Earth has ebbed and flowed over the ages, including surviving five epic global mass extinction events. … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment