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Make A Difference

Make A Difference: Four Clare people and their activism stories

We speak to four Clare people about their environmental activism Mélina Sharp Futureproof Clare and Extinction Rebellion I became environmentally active after attending an Extinction Rebellion (XR) information session in Kilrush about three years ago. It was a wake-up call, I felt shock and horror at the threat to humanity from climate breakdown. I feel that everything is connected and has an impact on communities and ecosystems but my main focus now is on stopping fracking. So-called “natural” gas was hailed as a clean transition fuel but the emissions from production and shipping are being overlooked. Taking everything into account, importing fracked gas is almost 50% worse than coal from a climate perspective. Methane is about 87 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Levels in the US alone have risen by a third in the last 10 years due to fracking. I work with international groups and hear first-hand stories of the …

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Make A Difference: time for change is now

The EU plans to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. Bridget Ginnity explains the importance of this plan and highlights simple steps we can all make to play our part in achieving this goal. THE recent launch by the EU of the “Fit for 55” package sounds like an attempt to get us off the couch and touch our toes by the time we’re all 55. Instead, it’s is a plan to reduce EU carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 – and for Ireland that’s a massive 60% reduction on current emissions. The need for reductions has been shown in stark terms this year with the deaths from extreme flooding, heatwaves and forest fires around the globe. This EU plan gives grounds for hope because if governments take control of actions now, we can reap the potential benefits of these actions. Action now avoids unleashing the chaos that is likely to crash down on us if …

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Make A Difference: how green is your garden?

Bridget Ginnity on steps you can take to have a gorgeous garden without the chemical input It’s well into summer now, and gardens and laneways are in full bloom, with butterflies and bees hopping from flower to flower. Most Clare households have gardens and they’re often a source of great pleasure. When walking about, we also have the benefit of other people’s gardens but without the work, which is perhaps even better. A few generations ago, gardens were either the manicured estates of the big houses or cottage gardens. In cottage gardens, every corner of the garden was planted and what thrived survived, what struggled was taken over. As society became better off and urbanised, the trend began for manicured gardens but nature is a bit like a teenager’s bedroom – it descends to chaos very quickly. Chemical pesticides came along and helped us have the order of a big house garden without the manpower. The term “pesticide” covers chemical …

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Make A Difference: Are there plenty more fish in the sea?

Fish stocks in Irish seas are reducing. Bridget Ginnity highlights changes we can all make to reverse the situation CLARE man Ken O’Sullivan brought the wonders of our seas to our living rooms with his film Ireland’s Deep Atlantic (see trailer below), as did David Attenborough with Blue Planet. Despite the plentiful sea life off west Clare, those who have fished for decades don’t need statistics to know there are a lot fewer fish in the sea nowadays. Locals talk about salmon leaping up the rivers when they were young, but these stories are becoming a distant memory and wild salmon for dinner is a novelty. Is there anything we can do to help matters, to have our seas and rivers filled with fish again? There are a lot of reasons for the decline including pollution and climate change, but most fingers point to industrial scale overfishing. Are there plenty more fish the sea? A complex system of quotas governs …

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