Home » Environment (page 2)

Environment

World Wetlands Day event to be held in Shannon on Thursday

WORLD Wetlands Day will be celebrated in Shannon this Thursday, February 2, at a lunchtime event to explore their importance to the environment. Wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies, and more. Yet, nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s, and we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them. World Wetlands Day is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these important ecosystems and two community events are taking place for Clare. The Shannon Town Community Wetlands Project in conjunction with the Local Authority Waters Programme will host a very special lunchtime event to explore how wetland restoration work has occurred on this important site. The event, led by LAWPRO’s Community Water Officer, Ruairí Ó Conchúir, …

Read More »

Group sounds warning on impact of proposed Clare windfarm

THE proposed development of a new wind farm near Bridgetown will result in an average of one truck passing the village every 90 seconds during an eight-hour day, a local lobby group has claimed. RWE Renewables Ireland has submitted a planning application to construct eight wind turbines with a blade tip height range from 169 metres to 176 metres, a hub height range from 102 to 110 metres and a rotor diameter of 138 meters, the length of a GAA pitch. It will also involve the construction of a large compound in Roadstone, Ballymena, alterations on the road layout of regional road R466 between O’Briensbridge Cross and Ballymena and excavation of 11 kilometres of road from Ballymena to facilitate the laying of power cables to Ardnacrusha Power Station. Plans have been submitted for a ten-year construction phase for eight turbines with a 35-year operational life once commissioned with a total output of 38 megawatts. The Fahybeg Information Group has warned …

Read More »

Funds continue to roll in for Gort’s Biogas challenge

MORE than €80,000 has been raised as part of efforts to launch a judicial challenge to the granting of planning permission for a biogas plant in Gort.  Opposition group, Gort Biogas Concern, confirmed earlier this month that legal representation has been secured to initiate the court challenge. The group said it is determined to overturn An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow the controversial project, in the wake of its rejection by Galway County Council. The Concern Group has also revived its awareness-raising walking campaign which invites people to walk the town’s scenic ‘Golden Mile’ every Sunday to learn more about the project and the strength of local opposition.  A statement from the Concern Group confirmed this week that €82,000 has been raised to-date “in order to protect Gort and South Galway from a catastrophic biogas development”. “From far and near people have donated €82,000 in less than two weeks after the public meeting on January 4,” the statement said. “Contributions …

Read More »

Forestry partnership plan with UK fund branded ‘bizarre’ 

PROPOSALS to sell Coillte lands to an overseas investment fund in order to meet climate targets through afforestation have been described by Deputy Michael McNamara as “a bizarre construct”.  Under the planned deal, thousands of acres are to be planted through the Irish Strategic Forestry Fund (ISFF) launched by Coillte and Gresham House. This aim is attract investors to plant as well as acquire forests across the country to meet Ireland’s climate targets. The Scariff-based TD launched a scathing attack on the deal. “It is a bizarre construct whatever way you look at it,” he said. “To give State funds earmarked for environmental measures to foreign investment companies to fund forestry practices that are not environmentally appropriate is just baffling.” He noted that once the crop is harvested, those profits will go back to funds based outside of Ireland.  Deputy McNamara accepted that forestry does have the potential to store carbon and to have environmental benefits, but he was adamant …

Read More »

The big question: Should we keep the home fires burning?

Given the twin issues of respiratory health and climate change the much-loved tradition of lighting the fire in our houses has come under the spotlight. Bridget Ginnity asks if we should keep the home fires burning IN these cold dark evenings, sitting around a fire brings a glow of comfort. There’s something almost hypnotic and primitive in looking at flames. A fire is also practical in these days of high electricity costs. Over 60% of homes have domestic fires and it can be a cost effective way of heating the house, especially with a back boiler. But is our grá for the home fire damaging the environment? It is estimated that about 1,400 people in Ireland die prematurely each year due to air pollution, mainly fine particulates, and blame for some of that pollution is placed on domestic fires. In addition to pollutants, carbon dioxide is generated from home fires. Carbon dioxide causes global temperature increases and the climate disasters …

Read More »

Framing a passion: ‘When I pick up a rock, it tells me a story’

GEOLOGIST and photographer, Robert Fairfield feels like a detective when he examines a rock. – “When I pick up a rock, it tells me a story. Like a detective, I look at it and see how did this rock get here.” Thanks to his geology training, Mr Fairfield can categorise most rocks into a particular era, but uses a more detailed analysis with specific tools to confirm their precise origin and date. “If I pick up a piece of volcanic rock, I know it came from a volcano. If I pick up a piece of limestone, I know it came from the sea. If there are fossils in it, I know it came from a coral reef,” he said. Recently, combining his two passions – geology and photography – helped him to scoop the runners-up prize in the Irish Geological Survey’s 2022 Du Noyer Photographic Competition. Each year, Geological Survey Ireland holds a photo competition in honour of George Victor …

Read More »

Environment-friendly resolutions for 2023

Would you like to do something to help the climate problem in 2023? Bridget Ginnity has some suggestions, both for individual and system change actions. Pick a couple that suit your budget and lifestyle. What’s more, you might even save money too! Transport and travel • Drive slower and smoother • Lift share • Walk and cycle more • Change to an electric car • Think twice before you fly Things   • Buy less, buy wiser, buy local • Share big items like tools/sports gear • Reuse, repair, recycle and upcycle • Gift experiences, not things Home energy • Change from open fire to stove • Cut down or cut out use of coal, peat, oil and gas • Reduce times and temperatures of hot water and room heating • Improve air tightness and insulation • Install solar panels Food • Eat less meat and fish • Reduce processed foods • Eat sustainably produced and local food • Plan …

Read More »

Met Éireann’s annual report highlights notable Shannon records

MET Éireann’s annual report for 2022 showed Shannon’s mean temperature was 0.5 degrees above the long term average, reflecting global warming trends. According to its findings Shannon had 3% less rainfall than its long term average, while enjoying 1501 hours of sunshine, 15% above average. There were some especially notable temperatures recorded Shannon this year, including its highest July temperature on record, when 30.8 degrees was recorded. The highest August temperature on record at Shannon was also recorded (30.0 degrees) and the highest minimum temperature ever seen in Ireland during November was recorded at Shannon as the temperature never dipped below 14.9 degrees on Friday, November 14. The report stated that Ireland’s warming trend continued in 2022, and we are warming in line with the global average. It noted that other countries are warming at a greater rate than Ireland and the summer of 2022 saw multiple heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures across Europe and around the world. The spring and …

Read More »