Guest blog by Dr. Cara Augustenborg, Co-host of Down To Earth on Newstalk FM and former Chair of Friends of the Earth Ireland
While our planet gets a brief rest from human activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our former Chairperson explores whether anything can be learned from this experience to support future environmental protection. This week, she chatted with her Down to Earth co-host, Ivan Yates, on Newstalk about what lessons we can learn so far and writes about these lessons in our guest blog.
When we are all pulling together to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our are society being protected how do we talk about how climate and biodiversity breakdown remains the context for all our collective challenges?
Speakers include Oisín Coghlan, director of Friends of the Earth and coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos, Dr. Sandra Green from Irish Doctors for the Environment, Cliona Sharkey, head of policy at Trócaire and Sadhbh O'Neil, policy officer at Stop Climate Chaos. The discussion is facilitated by Áine O'Gorman, Activism Support for Stop Climate Chaos.
As someone who has pushed for the climate crisis to be treated like an emergency for 10 years it is weird to sit at home watching what it’s like when our elected leaders actually do take an existential threat seriously. And thank God they do. The coronavirus is like nothing any of us under 100 years of age have seen in our lifetimes.
Thank you to our panelists and participants for tuning into our webinar 'Energy Democracy & Community Power' yesterday evening.
Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency and John Fogarty of Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier joined us for a lively discussion on the question;
How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?
If you missed it, you can watch it back here in the video below.
Guest blog, by Friends of the Earth Chairperson, Marion Briggs.
Notes on the Global Response: Coronavirus versus Climate Change
Like many in the climate change movement, I have been struck by the speed, urgency and depth of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, and wondered why we haven’t been able to translate the climate crisis into the same type of global action. I’m still in the slightly baffled stage, although I am fairly sure that outrage will follow at some point.
Our Spring Sunrise Swim is cancelled, but hope is not lost.
Weeks ago, the thought of having to cancel our next sea swim crossed our minds. But our concerns then were because of the storms. Nothing could have prepared us for what we are now living. The world seems like a very different place.
Yes, things are very different. Many of us have turned our kitchen tables into our office. We're no longer meeting in rooms together, but through online video calls. We're fortunate we can do this. Many people cannot continue working, and have little way of connecting.
Do you want to explore how climate change connects to other issues of injustice? Do you have a sense there are root causes resulting in these injustices? And do you want to learn skills for getting others involved in change-making for real impact?
This course aims to offer a space to explore the environmental issues of our time, how they intersect, what some of the root causes are, and some tools and strategies for taking action. We will collectively explore the issues over the course of the 6 sessions, with reading materials provided for each week.
COVID-19 seems to be taking over everything; the news, email inboxes, social media, and conversations around the dinner table. It's overwhelming.
I'm sure you have multiple emails coming at you with precautionary information on how to take care and avoid risks. This is a post on how to take care, but not purely because of COVID-19. Because taking care should be considered important all of the time.
The reality is, life is always uncertain. We never know what tomorrow will bring, and we cannot control that. But what we can do is take care of ourselves and look out for each other.
Here's some suggestions on how to stay healthy and strong, during times of increased uncertainty.