On October 11, 2016, Rowan Jacobson of Outside Magazine wrote a startling obituary: “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.”
Jacobson goes on to describe the legacy of the Great Barrier Reef, from the impressive array of more than 6,000 species it harboured to the food and mineral resources it provided for the humans who lived next to it for 60,000 years.
There is a Bill to ban fracking in Ireland scheduled for debate in the Dáil next week (Thurs 27th Oct, 3:30 - 5:30). If we can mobilize enough support it will take a crucial step towards becoming law. But we need your TDs to agree to it.
Most political parties have either a stated policy or declared in their election manifesto's that they are opposed to fracking. Have a look at this infographic of what the different parties have said about fracking.
The Taoiseach was addressing the Seanad today and a couple of Senators were interested in raising climate change with him. Here's what I would have said. --
Your government has adopted a National Policy Position on Climate Action, underpinned by the Climate Act, that defines Ireland's transition objective for 2050 as an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between energy, housing and transport, and carbon neutrality for agriculture and land use, in line with the lower end of the EU's emissions goal for 2050. And your Government's White Paper on Energy has a target of reducing energy emissions by 80-95% by 2050, in line with the higher end of the EU's goal, and proclaims a vision of a "carbon-free" future for Ireland.
Did you see Saturday's Irish Independent? We were impressed to see their 5-page special on climate change and their acknowledgement that we need to act now, not sometime in the future! They are running a week-long Climate Change and You campaign to inform and engage their readers. We think that's a great idea so we have made it really easy for you to get involved, here's how:
A group of young activists aged 12-18 from fracking affected communities in the north-west of Ireland have highlighting the dangers of fracking through artworks created during the month long Eco/Art/Action summer programme.
Taking place over the course of two day workshops and a weekend residential, it aimed to explore fracking in its local and global context and create a space for young people to make their voices heard in debates around the issue.
You may have heard already that our Director, Oisín Coghlan, is standing in the Seanad elections for the Trinity College panel.
Oisin is standing as an independent candidate, independent of any political party and indeed independent of Friends of the Earth. But we're delighted that voters on the TCD panel now have the choice of voting for someone who would put climate action at the top their agenda.
Oisin himself says of his run:
"I've been badgering politicians from the sidelines for years and I thought it was time to put my money were my mouth is. I'm running to push climate action, social justice and global solidarity up the political agenda."
We had real success last year in getting the Government to recognize the role of communities in the transition to a zero-carbon energy system. The new national energy policy, the White Paper, launched in December is very strong on a commitment to energy citizens and communities.
The election is in the closing stretch. The final leaders' debate is tonight. Will they discuss climate change? Probably not, but even if they do it'll be short and superficial at best. The reality, however, is that whoever forms the next Government will find climate change high on the policy agenda because of the Paris Agreement, looming EU targets and competing interest groups at home.
So how much thought have the parties actually given it? Below you can see and read for yourself.