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Seasoned Irish climate campaigners ‘spurred on’ by climate strikes

Ireland, Climate Change and the Power of Small States

This article first appeared on The Green News, 15 March 2019, with the title “Seasoned Irish climate campaigners ‘spurred on’ by climate strikes”

Today, over 1,750 climate strikes will take place in some 110-odd countries – Ireland included – inspired by actions of one 16-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg.

This is the same Greta Thunberg who was recently vetoed by European political parties, EPP and ALDE, from giving a speech at the European Parliament. Fine Gael is a member of the EPP, and Fianna Fail a member of ALDE.

Given Fine Gael’s Euro-party position, it is curious that the Taoiseach is “inspired and enthused” about this week’s climate strike. Is he inspired and enthused enough to show real political commitment to dealing with climate change?

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Waves breaking on rocks, Mizen Head, Cork, Ireland

Fish and Ships: What’s On Your Plate?

Back in early 2017, I wrote a blog, 2016 in review: What I Got Up To and What Happens Next, about what I’d been working on, and who I had been working with. It was a way of thanking everyone I had collaborated with during the year, to take stock and to get me thinking about  the future.

I also wanted to explore how people really use social media tools like LinkedIn. Despite time spent – or wasted – making connections on digital social networks, we often have no idea what our friends, and colleagues – and even family are working on. I wanted to see who was engaged, and what ideas could be fired up.

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2016 in review: What I Got Up To and What Happens Next

2016 went by in a flash, between moving countries, working hard for Antarctic and Arctic protection, and joining the quest to halt international trade deals.

When I set out to write this, I realise that had not posted to since early in the year. For someone who professes to make a living from writing and communications, it’s lamentable. In my defence, I’ve been busy, and this is no bad thing, as it has culminated in a very successful and exciting year, with opportunities to work with great people on important projects.

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Pan European Networks Science & Technology Magazine

Saving Antarctica’s Ocean

In an article for Pan European Networks Science & Technology Magazine, I ask if its possible for members of CCAMLR reach agreement on protecting two vast areas the Antarctic Ocean?

Belgium France Border

Blather: Opening a Can of Worms on Europe’s Frontiers

Belgium France Border

Telling stories is an important part of what I do, yet it’s easy to leave it aside to “work on it later”. Last week I had the chance to come up with to formulate a story during a long journey, and committed it to text later that night. It came to me while I was stuck in a traffic jam on the Belgium-France border, ostensibly because of increased frontier checks. As every delayed driver that day discovered, the only thing the “border check” successfully accomplished was creating the traffic jam.

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Iceberg, Antarctica, (c) Dave Walsh

Antarctica’s Glaciers are Collapsing – Are We Ready To Pay Attention?

Iceberg, Antarctica, (c) Dave Walsh
Iceberg, Antarctica, (c) Dave Walsh

I posted this blog on – it’s an exploration of the meaning of recent news on the West Antarctic ice shelf collapse.

The “irreversible collapse” of glaciers in Antarctica is dominating headlines around the world this week. News outlets are breathlessly reporting that the dramatic rise in sea levels that’s now on the cards. So what does it mean? Should we panic? Do we need to grab the family, and head for the hills?

Well, no, we shouldn’t panic. Not yet. If we’re going to freak out, we should perhaps be more constructive – and get real about our carbon emissions, energy efficiency, adaption and supporting the people who needs the most help. Let’s be clear – it’s not as if a giant ice cube has been dropped into the Southern Ocean, generating a monster tsunami. We don’t need to start filling a large wooden boat with two of every living creature and one Russell Crowe, either.
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Scientists hiking across Humboldt Glacier

Greenland’s Glaciers: Waking the Sleeping Giants

Crunch, crunch, crunch, leap crevasse… “oomph”. Crunch, crunch, crunch, run, “hup!”, jump, CRUNCH, “oooof”.

It’s one o’clock on a windless morning. I’m walking on Humboldt Glacier in the high Arctic of northwest Greenland, my ears filled with the clumping of my own boots on the ice. The sky above is bright blue, and the sun is low, flirting with the horizon. It will be another few weeks before it sets.

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Greenpeace investigates Petermann glacier

Video: Greenland investigates Petermann Glacier

“The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise has reached the Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland as part of a 3-month expedition examining the effects of climate change on the Arctic. The onboard team of scientists are coming up with unprecedented and worrying findings.”