On this edition of Enviro:
Ireland is experiencing increasing numbers of severe storms and extreme weather conditions. At the same time Ireland fails to meet its own targets to reduce C02 emissions resulting in huge fines down the line. At the same time universally forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate and the habitats of species destroyed, many becoming extinct each year. The move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy is not happening fast enough to stabilise the situation. The result is rising temperatures warming seas and more severe weather conditions.
- Whole sections of the world’s oceans are now suffocating as the numbers of dead zones have risen from 50 to 500 since 1950 in coastal areas. The causes are ocean warming as well as fertiliser manure and sewage pollution. Low oxygen levels result in nitrous oxide levels a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- In this our first program of 2018 we wish to remind listeners that Enviro is an anti-war and anti-violence program.
- To we are celebrating the lives of a number of people who achieved a lot in that regard. Firstly Dr. Martin Luther King Day takes place on the third Monday of January each year and we played extracts from two of his speeches.
- Not very many people are familiar with the great human rights liberator and the mission of Irish man Howe Peter Browne Second Marques of Sligo, 1788-1845 who successfully fought to abolish slavery in plantations in Jamaica where he is honoured as the ‘champion of the Slaves’ and the town of Slilgoville the first free slave village in the world bears his name. (See biography by Anne Chambers also article by Barry O’Brien, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Ireland Irish Independent 17/12/17)
- Ireland can boast of many heroes for peace and human rights. In its obituary to Maurice Hayes Born 8 July 1927 died December 23 2017 under the title ‘Giant who strode many stages with integrity’ his great achievements in promoting peace in Ireland are listed. (Irish Times 30/12/17)
- We read the letter of Roger Cole Chairman Peace and Neutrality Alliance with the title ‘Building Structures for Peace’ carried in the Irish Times recently. This is more important than ever in an age unprecedented in the number of wars taking place and genocides. Yemen for example: “Saudi Arabia is clearly waging a war but it is almost tantamount to a genocide campaign against the people of Yemen,” Edward Corrigan told Press TV Saudi Arabia’s crippling blockade of Yemen is an “illegal collective punishment” of the Yemeni nation, some seven million of whom are on the brink of an appalling famine.
- There are some positive signs of awareness of what is happening in environmental terms whether it will translate into action is another matter. Sir David Attenborough’ Blue Planet topped the Radio Times poll as the best TV show of 2017 attracting up to 17 million viewers. In the final program he said that some of the ocean’s wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef will be dead by 2100 as carbon dioxide makes the seas more acidic.
- One of the highlights of the year 2017 was Judi Dench’s ‘My Passion for Trees which was shown on BBC one on Wednesday December 20 2017 which revealed aspects of trees new to the viewer and demonstrated how vital trees are to us humans.
- There are encouraging signs also coming from actions like Michael Gove’s initiative to subsidise farmers for turning fields into wildflower meadows (The Guardian Thursday 4 January 2018). Also the British Government and Woodland Trust of Great Britain’s initiatives to create a great new forest.
- We pointed out that there are very many non Governmental organisations who are striving to influence the creation of a better environment and the pursuit of human rights. We plan to refer our listeners to some of these in 2017. For example the Natural resources Defence Council www.nrdc.org/naturesvoice