Category Archives: Agriculture

Coming up short on fanciful sectoral emissions goals

As the controversial sectoral budgets for Ireland were published, the Irish Examiner asked for my take on how they measured up, particularly the ultra-low 25% target assigned to Ireland’s largest polluting industry. This piece ran at the start of August. … Continue reading

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Doffing the ministerial cap to the lobbyists

I contributed the below piece to The Journal in late July by way of a commentary on the ongoing battle by Ireland’s agri-industrial lobby to dodge having to play its fair share in meeting Ireland’s emissions reductions standards. What’s most … Continue reading

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Feeding the planet without destroying the Earth

My review of ‘Regenesis’ by George Monbiot appeared in The Irish Times in mid-June. The author has, since its publication, been on the receiving end of what looks like a co-ordinated campaign to smear and discredit both him and and … Continue reading

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Can we reimagine a better, safer world?

It sometimes feels like our collective inability to respond to the global climate and ecological emergency is first and foremost a failure of imagination. We are conditioned to see the world the way it is, and can easily assume there … Continue reading

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Food and energy insecurity mean double trouble

The long-banished spectre of food insecurity has returned to Europe for the first time since the 1940s. I wrote the below piece for the Business Post in late March which looked at the intersection of energy and food security in … Continue reading

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EU decries attacks on Irish environmental defenders

The well-worn narrative emanating primarily from the Irish agri sector and amplified by a cohort of vocal rural TDs is that, despite being the true custodians of the natural environment, they are being constantly “demonised” by over-zealous environmentalists, animal welfare … Continue reading

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Which part of ‘Code Red’ don’t we understand?

The publication of the first working group report (physical sciences) of the IPCC’s keenly awaited AR6 report in mid-August came against the backdrop months of genuinely alarming extreme weather events across multiple continents, from killer floods in Europe and China … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Agri emissions plan a roadmap to nowhere

In the absence of action, the next best thing is to look busy, and Ireland’s agri-industrial sector and its many boosters in politics and the civil and public service have elevated this frenzy of inaction to something of a performance … Continue reading

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Can the farmer and the environmentalist really be friends?

The piece below ran in the Farming Independent in early September. It started out life as a rebuttal of a recent piece by a Findo columnist and dairy farmer, which did a lot of indignant huffing and puffing about an An … Continue reading

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Ambitious climate programme agreed by Irish political parties

My analysis piece for DeSmog UK was published on June 17th, as the parties concluded negotiations on a new Programme for Government. Ironically, while receiving much positive coverage internationally in terms of the degree to which the PFG is seen … Continue reading

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Climate change making a tough situation worse in sub-Saharan Africa

Though it genuinely feels like a couple of years, it is in fact only a number of weeks since I returned from a working trip to Zambia towards the end of February. The main purpose of the visit was to … Continue reading

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Climate Change is (Sort of) Affecting Ireland’s Election

My pre-election analysis of where the parties stood on the climate issue was published on Desmog.uk. LAST MAY, Ireland was among the first countries in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. In September, over 20,000 students took … Continue reading

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