Enviro – 3rd April 2017

In the first half of the program, we talked about the exciting time of the year just now environmentally and played birdsong and songs about birds and also referred to the landslide in Columbia which killed many people and how the media failed to identify the reason why such landslides occur, i.e. as a result of the felling of trees which would have kept the soil together. Reference was made to the fact that listeners should if they get a chance experience the dawn chorus whereby before dawn at this time of year the birds one by one begin singing until they all sing like a great orchestra. The CD’s used are listed below.


In the second half of the program, John outlined the following news items and a discussion centered around certain aspects of what is needed to solve the serious deterioration in the state of the world’s environment. Joe Dunne outlined his view on the matter while John listed the problems in terms of important news items in the media in the previous week as follows and special emphasis was placed on the content of an article which appeared in the Guardian Newspaper last week in which the main problems which need to be addressed were itemized:

1. “Trump set to tear up Obama regulations on climate change” ref Jill Colvin (Washington) article carried in the Irish Independent Wednesday 28th March 2017 p. 20.

2. The EU dilly dallies over approval of the use of glyphosate (the main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup) MEPs, including Nessa Childers of Ireland are up in arms over reports of the EU’s chemicals agency which advocates renewal of permit for glyphosate which was polstponed for a year and is due for decision at the end of this year and question the impartiality of the studies. (REF Farming Independent Tuesday 28 March 2017).

3. Solar 21 CEO Michael Bradley has stated that “Ireland is currently languishing inn last place according to the most recent Eurostat figures, when it comes to progress on renewable energy and emissions, and is one of two countries that face massive EU fines for missing the 2020 targets” He criticised the government for not providing incentives to households to develop solar energy. In contrast to Ireland 50% of solar energy in Germany is created by private households. Climate change has cost us €2.9 bn with increased risk of damage. (The European Environmment Agency)

4. Environmental organisations are opposing the proposed mergers whereby the six largest chemical giants would merge and would be reduced to three. The companies involved include DOW, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta, Monsanto – (ref Irish Independent Tuesday 28th March 2017 Irish Indpendent 28/3/17)

5. Guardian Newspaper article-last week: Fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast. But that won’t save us from climate change because the burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining 30% comes from deforestation industrial agriculture, which degrades the soils to the point where they leach CO2. industrial livestock farming which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. Industrial production of cement, steel, and plastic forms another major source of greenhouse gases, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total.

Scientists project that our tropical forests will be completely destroyed by 2050, releasing a 200bn tonne carbon bomb into the air. The world’s topsoils could be depletedwithin just 60 years, releasing more still. Emissions from the cement industry are growing at more than 9% per year. And our landfills are multiplying at an eye-watering pace: by 2100 we will be producing 11m tonnes of solid waste per day, three times more than we do now. Switching to clean energy will do nothing to slow this down. The root problem is the fact that our economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption. Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can. Current projections show that by 2040 we will more than double the world’s shipping miles, air miles, and trucking miles. We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress. Source Jason Hickel Guardian Newspaper.

MUSIC USED IN THE PROGRAM: ‘Irish Birdsong’ by Seamus Byrne; ‘Free as a Bird’ by The Beatles; ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles: ‘Voices of Nature- Sittelle/WildSounds CD Sampler 1995’; ‘Wilderness Symphony-Nature Quest’(NSCD 24222); ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ a cover version of a Beatles song sung by Jim Reid from the Mojo covers of the Revolver album ‘Revolver Reloaded’ July 2006

Presenter: John Haughton

Panellist: Joe Dunne