Advertisement

'The house is on fire... we have to do whatever it takes' - John Gibbons on urgent need for climate action

John Gibbons believes much of the conversation about climate change in Ireland is 'hijacked' by vested interests.
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.57 26 Oct 2021


Share this article


'The house is on fire... we have to do whatever it takes' - John Gibbons on urgent need for climate action


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.57 26 Oct 2021


Share this article


The conversation about climate action in Ireland has been "hijacked" by vested interests trying to protect their own sectors, according to environmental journalist and commentator John Gibbons.

He says urgent, collective action is needed - as "the house is on fire, and we have to do whatever it takes".

John was speaking after the publication yesterday of proposed carbon budgets, aimed at reducing emissions by 51% by 2030.

Advertisement

The Climate Change Advisory Council says 'significant changes' to Irish life are now needed to achieve the climate targets.

John Gibbons told Newstalk Breakfast the ambitious targets are needed after a decade of "really making no progress at all" towards climate action.

He suggested some parts of the economy are "not moving remotely quickly enough" to achieve system-wide decarbonisation.

'The house is on fire... we have to do whatever it takes' - John Gibbons on urgent need for climate action

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

He observed: “The problem is we’re kind of in this situation where physics doesn’t really care what we want or don’t want. Collectively, our back is completely against the wall.

“Basically, we’re hurtling towards a global climate disaster.

"We have a collective action problem: the house is on fire, and we have to do whatever it takes.

“Do people get that? Unfortunately, they don’t.”

He says any conversation about climate change - even over the past 24 hours - is "hijacked" by vested interests "lining up" to protect their own sectors.

He observed: “No sector in Ireland is more vulnerable to climate impacts than the agricultural sector, [due to the risk of] extreme weather - flooding and drought in particular.

“If you look on the agricultural organisations' websites to find out what they’re telling their members about the climate emergency and science… the answer is absolutely nothing.

"They’re so busy lobbying for inaction that they’ve forgotten to actually engage with the science."

John also argued it's ‘simply wrong’ for politicians to suggest everything that's needed can be achieved without changes in sectors such as agriculture.

He said: “I know it’s not palatable for some politicians to tell us the truth about this, but we really need to do better.

“If we don’t put this fire out, then all the other things we care about… they’re all basically gone.”

Main image: File photo. Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Carbon Budget Climate Change John Gibbons

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

13:00-19:00

Share

Up next

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK G...

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK GEOGHEGAN

19:00-20:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

20:00-21:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on