Saturday 24 June 2017

We're the new Noah's ark

Eilis O'Hanlon

AS if we haven't got enough problems, now a leading climate change scientist says that Ireland in the near future could be inundated with millions of desperate refugees fleeing from rising sea levels elsewhere on the planet as global temperatures rise. Well, as long as they're not French...

Come to think of it, it might not be such a bad thing if we did become the world's new Noah's Ark. (Obviously the "as long as they're not French" bit still stands.) At least there'd be some people to fill all those abandoned ghost estates. The construction industry would bounce back in no time. We're always complaining that we don't get enough visitors either. A worldwide ecological tragedy could be just the boost our tourist industry needs.

Charging the GDP of a small Latin American economy for the price of a cup of tea and a sandwich might make visitors understandably reluctant to pop in now, but if they haven't got homes to go to in the future then they'll have to cough up.

There's more good news. In his speech in Maynooth, Professor Brendan Gleeson also predicted Australia and South Africa could be among the first countries to become uninhabitable. That's two fewer Test-playing nations to conspire to keep us out of the next Cricket World Cup. Any chance of arranging it so that England could go under too?

Of course, it could be that none of this apocalyptic stuff happens at all, but here's hoping it does. The scaremongers will be so disappointed if they're proved wrong.

Eilis O'Hanlon

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