First up, the film Atlantic was RTE One last night. So it's now available to watch on RTE Player. It's great film from the director of The Pipe about three small fishing communities, in Ireland, Norway and Canada, as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting economic and ecological challenges. Also, the last episode of David Attenborough's breathtaking Planet Earth II is on BBC One Sunday at 8pm.
Carbon dioxide is the perfect killer. Invisible and odourless, it exerts its mal-effects insidiously and so surreptitiously that they have managed to avoid registering on most peoples’ daily list of concerns. Indeed this has allowed its continued production to be regarded by many as essential to maintaining the quality of life that most of us currently enjoy.
10 days ago we asked for your help to get a Bill to ban fracking over its first big hurdle in the Dáil. You responded like never before, raising money for a legal opinion on the Bill in less than 24 hours. Then 2,500 of you wrote to your local TDs urging them to #BackTheBill.
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.
On his re-election as Taoiseach, Enda Kenny announced he was restructuring Ministerial Departments to better reflect the new Government's priorities. With that, he promptly abolished the Department of the Environment and scattered its functions across three Departments.
We have very little time to get this decision reversed. If this goes ahead, the words ‘environment’ and ‘heritage’ would be dropped from the titles of any Minister or Department, and Ireland would become the only EU member state without a Minister for the Environment.
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.