Trying to keep it cool when talking about climate change

Plant Bowen in Georgian, USA, the coal-fired power plant, which burns in the region of 11 million tonnes of coal annually.
Plant Bowen in Georgian, USA, the coal-fired power plant, which burns in the region of 11 million tonnes of coal annually.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m neither a climate change sceptic nor a climate change zealot but I’ve notice over recent months that the debate is becoming increasingly fractious, even in the local hostelries, and especially so if one has the temerity to suggest that the heavy shower of rain that has just descended upon us, is not the result of climate change.

Last week’s elections have seen a resurgence of interest in environmental and that’s probably no bad thing. It really is only now that the Green Party in Ireland is recovering from a pretty catastrophic journey into Government with Fianna Fáil during the height of our economic crash.

There is something of a scientific consensus – and it’s not a conspiracy – that our world is warming up due to the emission of greenhouse gases, and there are serious efforts being made to co-ordinate a global campaign to try and cut back on our usage of fossil fuels and to reduce our methane emissions.

But it’s not going to happen overnight and if anyone thinks that we can start shutting down power plants, or in one fell swoop, take cars, buses and articulated trucks off our transport networks, well to use a phrase from a Ronnie Drew ballad: “Be Jaysus, they’re mistaken.”

In one way the zealotry and intolerance shown by some extremes in the climate change lobby takes me back to the time of what we used to call ‘compulsory Irish’ in our schools back in the 1960s and early 1970s.

It was something, in my opinion, that did more to put off ordinary students from learning a beautiful language, than any opponent of Irish could ever have imagined.

To use another comparison, many seasoned observers of the recent history of Northern Ireland, maintain that Maggie Thatcher was the greatest recruiting officer that the IRA ever had. In Ireland especially, if you want people to reject something, just try and force it on them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.