Irish Examiner view: Grim climate warnings demand action

An 80m rise in sea levels, as one analysis warns, would be unsustainable and epoch ending.
Irish Examiner view: Grim climate warnings demand action

Ireland will be one of the countries worst-hit by coastal flooding brought about by rising seas.

The news around climate collapse or pollution is so relentlessly grim that it requires considerable resilience to continue to engage. 

Nevertheless, opting out is hardly possible especially as report after report outlines the challenges we face. We must respond and reform or succumb.

Another chiding EPA report shows that Dublin’s air pollution reached levels not seen since before the ban on smoky coal 30 years ago. The EPA confirmed air pollution was 15 times higher than EU or WHO guidelines last Saturday. 

This is not solely a Dublin problem as UCC scientists said limits were regularly surpassed last week in Cork City, Ennis, Tralee, Macroom, and Enniscorthy. That those figures were gathered during a Covid-19 commuting lull is significant.

As if that was not enough for one day, we publish a warning that Ireland will be — not might be — one of the countries worst-hit by coastal flooding brought about by rising seas. One analysis warns that in a lifetime or two the Earth’s poles will be ice-free, and sea levels will have risen by 80m. 

Those predictions are almost overwhelming and will become so unless we bring an altogether new energy and commitment to mending our carbon-dependent lifestyles in the immediate future. Anyone who still doubts that should for a moment consider what our estuary towns and cities might look like after an 8m rise. 

That would be disastrous but an 80m rise would be unsustainable and epoch ending.

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