Yesterday's High Court ruling against planning permission for a badly needed €500m Irish Water wastewater treatment plant at Clonshaugh in Dublin is symptomatic of the many problems we face in trying to protect our environment.
The pace of change, the pace of delivery of essential projects to try to slow if not reverse the ravages of environmental destruction is far, far too slow. All too often it seems that for every step forward there are two if not three backward steps in this do-or-die battle we must win if we are to avert catastrophic change.
Yesterday's report from the Environmental Protection Agency once again underlined our continuing head-in-the-sand delusion. The watchdog agency, more a conscience caller really, pointed out that the overall quality of our environment is not what it should be.
It also warned that the prospects of reversing or, dare it to be said, ending this destruction are not reassuring if we do not accelerate the delivery of solutions in every aspect of how we live and do business. Linking environmental health to human health, the agency, once again, pointed out that environmental indicators are going in the wrong direction across many areas.
This sobering rebuke, one in a litany, suggests that we are deaf to the well-defined threats of not mending our ways, of not balancing ambition with consequence. That these warnings are so frequent and still so necessary provokes that most challenging question: Are we stupid or what?