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Tag Archives: Clare environment

Small changes can have big cumulative effects on environment

In the second instalment of her series on climate change actions, Keir McNamara, acupuncturist, sports injury specialist and former agricultural scientist tells Bridget Ginnity that taking a small bit of personal responsibility can have a big effect cumulatively in the quest for sustainable living THE past president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, made an impression on me. He donated 90% of his salary to charity, lived on a bit of a farm outside the city instead of the presidential mansion, drove an old Volkswagen Beetle and said “I can live well with what I have.” Travelling over the years, I saw how people in third world countries make do with modest amounts, which showed me that there is no need to have as much as we do. I also witnessed at first-hand how human intervention has caused environmental disasters. I spent time in Australia in the mid-nineties and saw how removing natural vegetation for agricultural land indirectly caused high levels of …

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Work required for Green change will be ‘beyond compare’ – Ryan

MINISTER for Transport Eamon Ryan faced questions on a range of issues when he met Clare county councillors on last week’s visit. Topics like the future of farming, limits on development in Clare and the impact of increased carbon levies were all on the agenda. While the Green Party have some support in Clare there is no doubt there is also a large degree of animosity towards them, and that was reflected in much of what was said by the councillors. However there was also a large degree of respect towards Ryan for coming to Clare to engage with them, and for the fact that he stood by his views even though many of those he was addressing disagreed with him. Mr Ryan told the meeting that the scale and speed of the change required to deal with climate change is “beyond compare”. He also said that he believes a consensus must be built, if it is to be effective. …

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WATCH: TD’s ‘ticking time bomb’ claim about Estuary facility

TWO large Bauxite Residue Disposal Areas (BRDA) totalling an estimated 450 acres are akin to a “ticking time bomb” on the site of the largest European alumina facility located near the Shannon Estuary, a Dáil deputy has claimed. In a hard-hitting statement issued in the Dáil this week, Deputy Paul Murphy of People Before Profit claimed “there is a toxic time bomb ticking at Rusal Aughinish Alumina Limited (AAL) near Askeaton”. . “I remember visiting it when it was Aughinish Alumina, almost ten years ago, and meeting local campaigner Pat Geoghegan, who I believe the Taoiseach met when he was Minister for Health. I saw a massive, red mud storage area, which is now so big it can be seen from space. “It comprises 50 million tonnes of toxic waste. Uranium, lead, mercury and hazardous salt cake are contained within it. “It seeps into the estuary, it kills wildlife and it threatens public health. It is a result of bauxite …

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Opposition grows to Clare mineral prospecting plan

OPPOSITION to mineral prospecting in East Clare has stepped up a gear, now that extra time for public consultation has been secured, writes Fiona McGarry. Concerns have been voiced by landowners, politicians and environmentalists after the Department of the Environment announced its intention to grant a licence to a Meath-based company for prospecting in parts of Tulla and Bunratty Upper. Following an intervention by Green Party Senator, Róisín Garvey, the consultation phase has now been extended from January 8 to 23. Political concern over plans by Minco Ireland to prospect for silver and gold ore has been intense; the matter was the subject of a motion at a meeting of Clare County Council. Sinn Féin’s Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, meanwhile, was sharply critical of the Environment Minister, accusing him of hypocrisy on mineral exploration. People Before Profit has also objected. To date, more than 1,500 people have signed an online petition and a new group, ‘Keep Tulla Untouched’ has been …

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Local action crucial in climate change battle says Clare activist

BUYING local produce is a great way of cutting emissions, supporting local producers and growing the rural economy, according to a North Clare climate change activist. In an interview with The Clare Champion before she attends a global environment conference in Glasgow this Thursday, Theresa O’Donohue stressed community action is the best approach in the transition away from fossil fuels. However, the Lisdoonvarna environmental campaigner said people also need to become politicised and challenge the system to demand the change that is necessary, as collaboration and participatory democracy are essential tools in the transition process. She cites the example of Moy community farm in North Clare, which cuts down on food miles, provides livelihoods and keeps money in the local area. Market towns and villages, supplied locally, would contribute to a thriving county while cutting emissions. She believes people should set up a Sustainable Energy Community with an SEAI mentor who will help create an energy master plan for your …

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Make A Difference: Flying to a better climate

In Ireland, aviation accounts for 20% of the carbon emissions from transport. Bridget Ginnity highlights some changes we can make as individuals to reduce our impact on the climate. There’s something about the fading autumn days that turns our thoughts to holidays abroad. Maybe it’s the allure of a seaside holiday without fleeces, an outdoor meal without the patter of raindrops or prices that don’t break the bank. And there’s definitely the desire to see family – many of us have loved ones living abroad that we haven’t seen and hugged in so long, it almost hurts. After travel restrictions were lifted, heading abroad became a possibility again. After two summers of staycations and few if any visits with family abroad, some of us were like a greyhound from a trap at the prospect of foreign holidays. But the news is filled with disasters linked with climate change and can make us feel guilty, defensive or anxious about flying abroad. …

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Make A Difference: Get down to Electric Avenue

In Make A Difference, given cars will remain in our lives for some time yet, Bridget Ginnity explores the options ELECTRIC cars are hailed as the new kid on the block but in fact they aren’t that new. Back when the environmental challenge was getting rid of horse dung from the streets, the main contenders to replace horse-drawn carriages were electric and internal combustion (petrol) cars. Henry Ford of Model T car fame and the inventor Nikola Tesla put a lot of effort into developing electric cars with a longer range but to no avail and the internal combustion car took over. It wasn’t until Elon Musk took over the mantle that batteries really improved. His Tesla range includes the Model 3, named in honour of the Model T. Musk shared his battery technology with the major car manufacturers to get them moving and all the major automotive companies now offer electric cars. As part of the climate action plan, …

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Make A Difference: Keep the heat in and cold out

Our environmental column with Bridget Ginnity explores ways you can heat your home more sustainably THE nights are drawing in, and it won’t be long before we are switching on the heating and sitting by a blazing fire. As Ireland is a temperate climate, you’d imagine that we would have lower carbon emissions from heating than most of Europe. In fact, it’s about 60% above the EU average. It’s because we use more energy than average and use mainly fossil fuels – oil, gas, coal and turf. Any step we can take to eliminate or reduce the use of fossil fuels in home heating is a step in the right direction to reduce the damage we are doing to the earth. And it gives a warmer home and lower bills so it’s win-win-win, warmer-cheaper-greener. If your house was built prior to 2010, it probably has a Building Energy Rating (BER) of C or worse. Definitely a “could do better” grade. …

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