What does the Government think of the recent, deeply disturbing findings of the WWF that human activity is responsible for a staggering 60% global decrease in the numbers of wild animals in the last 44 years?
We do not know, for they have not given the slightest indication that the news has registered with them. Nor does any element of the Opposition appear to have reacted. Official Ireland has played deaf, dumb, and blind.
Life as we know it is on the cusp of changing radically, forever. At this rate, we will soon no longer be able to claim we live in an ecosystem. It is bad enough that through greed, short-sightedness, and stupidity we have walked over the edge of the cliff: It is diabolical that we are bringing most other life forms with us.
We must urgently take nationally co-ordinated action to halt and reverse this catastrophe. And we must join with our European colleagues in an effort to have a global impact. There are so many steps we must take and we must begin at once.
We must look for inspiration elsewhere — think of New Zealand’s plan to plant a billion trees — and aim to be an inspiration for others.
The first step is our political system showing it has heard and understood this message. That means an end to the shenanigans of Minister Kevin Moran announcing dredging of the Shannon. It means Richard Bruton moving on restrictions on the use of plastic. It requires Josepha Madigan actively protecting hares, hen harriers, and hedgerows instead of facilitating their destruction with weasel words.
It means Pascal Donohoe introducing progressive taxation measures and so on. And Leo Varadkar appointing environmentally aware ministers in all ministries. In the name of all that is wonderful about this planet, wake up and act!