Category Archives: Biodiversity

Mental blocks contribute to our inaction on climate change

My article, as it appeared in yesterday’s Irish Times. There’s a busy comments section attached, with the usual handful of hard chaws piling in to an otherwise productive discussion… IT’S REASSURING to imagine we are, by and large, rational beings … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Psychology | 7 Comments

It’s a race to the bottom – we’re winning as the oceans die

To me, nothing says summer down-time quite like finding a shady spot on a warm day and settling in for a great read. This year, I had the good fortune of picking two exceptional books – ‘The Ocean of Life’ … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Doom with a view? Trap tightens on our diminishing prospects

In the current issue of ‘Village’ magazine, editor Michael Smith has explored at length and in some depth the array of formidable challenges that humanity (and all other species on Earth) face in the years and decades ahead. It’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Energy, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

To save lives, we must first abandon hope

Below, my article, as it appears in the latest edition of ‘Village’ magazine: Is it a biscuit? Or is it a bar? Does the convergence of a range of environmental, energy and resource crises compound a problem – or a … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming | Tagged | 5 Comments

A warning from history

It’s almost 20 years since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. This led to the ‘Rio Declaration’ and its 27 Principles, signed up to by the nations of the world amid much pomp and posturing. Later that year, a group comprising … Continue reading

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Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will

Any lingering sense, however slight, that humanity could shake itself from its collective somnambulation in time to arrest the coming twin ecological and resource catastrophes was finally snuffed out this month in Durban. Here, the nations of the world in … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Economics, Energy, Global Warming, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Survival of the fairest?

Greed, in the immortal words of Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street, is good. Or, as we were told over and over again in this country during the heady days of the Bubble, we just needed to free our … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Economics, Global Warming, Psychology, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The decline and fall of the Human Empire

Below is my article, as it appears over four pages in the current edition of ‘Village’ magazine: Doomsday cults are as old as human civilisation. The Bible is a rich sourcebook for ‘End Times’ enthusiasts, who pore over Iron Age … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Economics, Energy, Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Tipping the Scales towards Sustainability

The Stockholm Memorandum – 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium* on Global Sustainability, Stockholm, Sweden, 16-19 May 2011 I. Mind-shift for a Great Transformation The Earth system is complex. There are many aspects that we do not yet understand. However, we are … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Sustainability | 5 Comments

2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future”, the famous Danish physicist Niels Bohr once quipped, only half in jest. Scientists, as we know, are a dry lot, preferring to leave the purple prose to the scribes while they pore … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Sceptics, Sustainability | 21 Comments

Crutzen’s tough medicine for a sick planet

Arguably one of the most significant figures of the last two centuries was in Dublin last night, where he presented a lecture in TCD, organised by the Royal Irish Academy. The man in question is Prof Paul Crutzen, the brilliant … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Ming shows our bogs no mercy

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. So wrote novelist Upton Sinclair, and boy, did he have a clear understanding of human nature. Last Thursday’ PrimeTime on RTE … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus, Sustainability | 8 Comments

Can industrial civilisation and the biosphere both be saved?

Even when you don’t agree with him, Monbiot remains essential reading. Whether you regard the Dark Mountain Project as a bunch of  dystopian doomers, or simply realists probably depends on how you feel about peak oil (in the shorter term) … Continue reading

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Ireland’s looming bird crisis

Back in 2002, the parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity set a target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010. It is now 2010, the declared UN Year of Biodiversity, and although some endangered species have been saved, notably … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Where have all the fish gone? (we ate them)

The world’s oceans are in deep, deep trouble. Industrialised fishing, in full swing since around 1950, has in essence waged a war against the marine ecosystem. And the bad news is: we’re winning. Species extinctions, population crashes and vast disruption … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment