A real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all: Irish Examiner, 16 March 2016

Disturbing data released by Nasa, earlier this week, showed that, last month, global temperatures smashed records. The figures brought a new urgency to warnings of a climate emergency, but whether they provoke the change needed to slow this escalation remains to be seen.

One response was outlined in a report launched yesterday, which suggested that by using the island’s biomass potential to generate energy, we could reduce carbon emissions and “save the landscape from a blight of wind turbines and pylons”.

That report, launched by racing’s Annemarie O’Brien, argues that if the coal-fired, Moneypoint power station was converted to biomass, Ireland could meet its renewable energy 2020 targets in one fell swoop — and at around a tenth of the cost of Eirgrid’s €3.5bn GRID25 programme.

Like nearly every proposal in this area, it will be challenged by those of a different view, but it is a real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all.

Our efforts have been piecemeal and are in no way equal to the challenge science has predicted — a challenge that will become very real in our children’s lifetime.

Those unmoved by these warnings argue that a small country like Ireland cannot turn the tide on climate change, and they are correct.

But what we can do is begin realistic preparations, which will protect this country’s citizens from a new and far less comfortable world. We hardly have a day to waste.