The holy alliance of the Pope and the Pentagon says that climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world. The Pentagon also says climate change is on a par with the threat of terrorism.
We witnessed the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris in November. Between 1970 and 2010 half the mammals, birds and reptiles on the planet have disappeared. That is serious. It is very difficult to highlight to the public the enormity of this issue. It is bigger than the threat of nuclear warfare. While humanity had to prevent the latter from happening, it must also prevent what is happening in terms of climate change.
Life expectancy in China has dropped by five years because of air pollution. According to an article in today’s Irish Independent, if this is not checked, an extra 25,000 will die because of climate change. Some articles about the Paris conference made the point that it will decide who lives and who dies. It is not a question of being optimistic or pessimistic but determined. The National Geographic Society has joined the Pope and the Pentagon in saying this is what needs to be done.
On the RTÉ Radio 1’s Late Debate: “Climate change is on par with the threat of terrorism.”
There are things Ireland can do, particularly in respect of farming. In a presentation to this committee, Mr. Eamonn Ryan said 80% of fossil fuels that we know of today must stay in the ground. Given that people make billions of dollars out of the oil industry, it will take a serious effort to keep that in the ground. That analysis must be done. This committee should reflect and in January learn what happened in Paris. Copenhagen was not good enough and we have to ensure this is top of this committee’s agenda because it affects us all.
The Committee of Foreign Affairs meeting 18/11/15: “It is not a question of being optimistic or pessimistic but determined. The National Geographic Society has joined the Pope and the Pentagon in saying this is what needs to be done.”
Agriculture creates a huge emissions problem for Ireland but we are not turning it into something positive. In other countries the emissions are used to generate electricity and energy. That is where we should put our money, instead of wasting it on carbon credits and wind farms – a matter on which we could have another debate – and make the emissions an income generator.