Category Archives: Biodiversity

Approaching the Precipice

My review of ‘The Precipice’ by moral philosopher, Toby Ord appeared in The Irish Times on May 1st. It’s an intriguing exercise, with Ord estimating humanity at having a one-in-six chance of becoming extinct by the end of this century. … Continue reading

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Earth Day – 50 years later, and deeper in ecological debt

This is piece ran on Cassandra Voices on April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Earth Day in 1970: FIFTY years ago today, more than twenty million people took to the streets in towns and cities across the U.S. … Continue reading

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Shattering the illusion of control

Below, my piece for Greennews.ie, published on March 26th, just as the grim reality of the Coronavirus pandemic was finally hitting home in Ireland: ========== Right now, millions of people around the world are waking each day with a sensation … Continue reading

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Rout of global biodiversity comes with a heavy price tag

Below, my article as it appeared in the summer edition of ‘Irish Wildlife’, the magazine of the  Irish Wildlife Trust, an organisation well worth supporting. I gave a one-hour presentation followed by a Q&A at an IWT ‘Green Drinks’ event … Continue reading

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Window on ecological annihilation closing fast

Below, my article that appeared in the Irish Times at the beginning of this month, inspired by the publication in October of the WWF’s ‘Living Planet Report‘. Even when generally inured to the drumbeat of ecological bad news, the Living … Continue reading

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Day of reckoning on global extinction crisis draws near

Below, my article as it was published in the Irish Times last month, with some referencing added back in. To borrow one of my own lines, “A solitary species has, in a heartbeat of geological time, overturned and routed half … Continue reading

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Too big to fail? Great Barrier Reef nears final collapse

Below, my article on the plight of reef systems worldwide, with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef, as it appeared in the Irish Times earlier this month… AUSTRALIA’S Great Barrier Reef is best described in superlatives. Covering an area … Continue reading

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Nature is the silent victim of Nimbyism

Last November Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth 2 attracted 9.4 million viewers for one episode- two million more than watched the X-Factor that night. It was the most watched nature show in the UK for 15 years. No doubt, like … Continue reading

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Nine years later, and deeper in debt

It’s nine years to the week since my first posting on ThinkorSwim went live – on the last day of November 2007. It was, in many ways, a different world. The mood was radically different too. For starters, the Greens … Continue reading

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One man’s meat is another’s global ecological calamity

The article below is a referenced version of my piece that appeared in the Weekend Edition of the Irish Times on Saturday last. Writers don’t get to choose the headlines  –’Meat is madness’ – my preference would have been to emphasise the stark … Continue reading

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We’re in a war with the Earth where no one wins

Below, my article, as it appears in the September edition of Forum, journal of the Irish College of General Practitioners BY ALMOST any measure, climate change poses the greatest threat to human health and well being in the 21st century. An … Continue reading

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We mourn for Cecil while ignoring destruction of natural world

Below, my article, as it appears in this weekend’s Irish Times. WITH modern technology and firepower, it takes little courage and even less skill to kill wild animals. This week US dentist and recreational ‘big game hunter’ Walter James Palmer found … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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