Posted by Fear glas on August 28, 2002 at 10:31:28:
In Reply to: Views on the Earth Summit? posted by Anyone? on August 27, 2002 at 22:38:14:
It was always goin to be easy to round on Dubya in this regard and it does indeed seem quite ironic and even eeriely fitting that he is intent on talking up a land war in Iraq in total defiance to the international community and consensus even as this conference goes on in Jo-burg. However, as one ETG WOULD readily proclaim, it is all too easy to target the US for it's vulgar consumption and excess BUT anymore we in Ireland are definitely in no position to point the finger with our own record on the environment since the Rio summitt. The so called Celtic tiger with all it's excess and new cars and more motor ways have helped to place us in the top four countries on the planet in Co2 emmissions increase per capita and all those wonderful treaties that Albert Renoylds signed up to in Rio have been trampled all over with our emmisions, far from stabilising and then going into decline as agreed at Rio, have instead rocketed up.
Our record on recycling is pathetic - The admirable but mislocated facility near Newport has only come on stream this year and is unfortunately staffed by a dictatorial imbicele whose sole purpose there seems to be to discourage and intimidate people and restrict the amount they are permitted to recycle rather than encourage the practice.
The governments only real proposal for an alternative to land fill seems to be inceneration. Earlier this year they allowed the only glass recycling facility in the republic to close down without a whimper. Both the government and the local authorities have procrastinated on the introduction of a pay per production form of waste limitation/restriction and Mayo CC are now tentatively talking about introducing a weighing system for domestic rubbish "probabaly next year".
Our main infrastructural investment during the Celtic tiger has been for road building around the main population areas and this is reflected by the increase in cars on the roads. The reinstatement of the western rail corridoor at an estimated cost not in excess of €150m has been pretty well dismissed by the government as non commercially viable (How therefore is a €1.2b investment in Dublin's transport infrastructure held to be viable?). Meanwhile the investment in Broadband to facilitate decentralisation and home working has never been taken seriously by the goverment as indicated by their recently curtailment of investment in an already pathetically fledgling network.
Of course the squandering and selling out of our mineral resources from the Corrib gas field is something that has yet to become evident in what a disaster it is and what a waste of an opportunity.
Our afforestation policy and bias towards speedy cash crop coniferization has only slightly swayed towards native hardwoods in the past few years.
The only two glimmers of hope on the horizon seems to be the inspired plastic bag tax and the new found enthuasism for wind generated electricty, particularly the Arklow sand bank project but I am compelled to wonder why stop there - Surely the planning issues and objections could be circumvented or at least lessened by siting of wind farms on the uninhabited islands of the Atlantic seaboard such as Iniskea and Inishark off of the Mullet peninsula.
How's that to keep ya goin on the Earth summit - Mind ya I dunno why it takes so many thousands of delegates at a talking shop (quite rightly pointed out, only a few miles from a poverty ridden slum) making idealistic decisions and resolutions that more liklely than not will never be implemented, to sort our our poor planet. The amount of hot air they generate will probabaly contribute hugely to global warming this year!!!