Wednesday 20 September 2017

Professor John Sweeney: We ignore global warming at our peril, and at huge cost to economy

Shingle banks in Clew Bay, Co Mayo, host rare flowers, but are under increasing pressure through the removal of gravel, the building of sea defences, recreational pursuits and rising sea levels. NEIL LOCKHART
Shingle banks in Clew Bay, Co Mayo, host rare flowers, but are under increasing pressure through the removal of gravel, the building of sea defences, recreational pursuits and rising sea levels. NEIL LOCKHART

Professor John Sweeney

In Ireland, we have an unfortunate tendency to downplay the risks associated with climate change. As a small nation with a temperate climate, we feel we won't be directly affected.

We don't have deserts or rain forests; we don't get tidal waves or typhoons; and the concepts of famine and drought are considered relics from a distant past. But to think Ireland is immune to climate change is dangerous.

Unless we take immediate steps, it won't just be the environment that suffers – there will be disastrous implications for our economy and quality of life.

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