'Armbands on the Titanic' - Listeners react to 'shorter shower' proposals to save money

A further package of measures to address the cost of living are expected to be considered next week
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.16 4 Apr 2022

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'Armbands on the Titanic' - Li...

'Armbands on the Titanic' - Listeners react to 'shorter shower' proposals to save money

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.16 4 Apr 2022

Share this article

There has been mixed reaction to new proposals to try and help people deal with cost of living increases.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has suggested people should take shorter showers and cut out one car journey a week to bring down costs.

A further package of measures aimed at addressing the high cost of living are expected to be considered by Government next week.


Restaurateur Paul Treyvaud told Lunchtime Live he believes such an approach is 'nonsense'.

"I can't believe what I'm listening to.

"I'll give you a few more Eamon Ryan great ideas: instead of taking shorter showers, only wash your left leg.

"Today is Monday so it's a perfect day, so tomorrow don't wash your underpants, turn them inside out.

"The next day wear them back to front; your socks: put your left foot on your right foot, we can get four days out of our socks and our underpants.

"We are talking absolute nonsense here.

"Do you know what you should do - move into your neighbours, everyone go live with neighbours tonight and turn off your heat.

"This is just absolute nonsense, and we're allowing these guys to come out with this stuff and people are actually trying to defend Eamon Ryan".

'Irish people asked to make sacrifices'

Another caller, Ray, says there needs to be more of a global approach to all this.

"We're almost putting armbands on the Titanic really, aren't we?

"I've just come back from Malaysia - they don't seem to care over there about climate change.

"They drive big cars, they drive motorbikes that spew out black smoke, they have rivers full of plastic waste.

"I was in Saudi Arabia before Christmas, they're driving six litre engine cars.

"There's a lot of people on this planet that don't seem to care about global warming.

"And it's great that the Irish have a green attitude... but we really are just armbands on the Titanic.

"We need to really take a more global view on this and try and push for something to happen globally.

"And asking the people of Ireland to shower together isn't exactly going to make a huge difference when it comes to global warming on a global scale."

He adds: "All the Eamon Ryan's of the world have to make this decision, not just one Eamon Ryan in Ireland.

"It needs to be that all politicians globally need to buy into this, and unfortunately they're not.

"The Irish people and our farmers, and people using the cars and need to get to work, etc are being asked to make the sacrifices.

"Yet around the world, sacrifices aren't being made.

"You travel the world and there's so many people dependent on fossil fuels just to cook and heat themselves... they're not going to change anytime soon.

"And this is the problem: we're asked to do all of the sacrificing, yet globally people need to fossil fuels to live and get by".

'We have to hit the emergency break'

Sadhbh O'Neill is a lecturer in climate policy and environmental politics at DCU.

She says she agrees with Minister Ryan.

"Energy conservation is a must - and it's a must for a number of reasons.

"Even if the war wasn't happening in Ukraine, and even if energy costs weren't spiraling, we are incredibly dependent on fossil fuels for all our energy needs in Ireland.

"And we have to basically hit the emergency break on that.

"We have to essentially get a shift from fossil fuels, very rapidly, over the next decade.

"So essentially we need to go into emergency mode, and that's going to require changes.

"And some of these changes will be beneficial - people can react very cynically and negatively to measures that would essentially reduce their energy bills, and I don't understand why that is the case.

"I don't think it's fair or right to point such vitriol at politicians who are actually trying to do what's right in respect of solidarity with Ukraine, and in also helping people reduce their energy bills.

"A lot of these small, practical measures could make a big difference to people's bills - which will otherwise increase, as we know, by a serious chunk over the next few months".

Main image: An egg timer attached to an electric shower to reduce water and power usage. Picture by: Gary Perkin / Alamy Stock Photo

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