Author: Ciara Murphy

Ecological conversion – how do we need to change?

The urgency in Francis’ communication to us makes it clear that ecological action cannot wait until it feels comfortable – we do not have time to allow his message to transition slowly from head to heart to hands but we must consider how the action of our hands can help us understand the crisis both intellectually and emotionally

Climate Crisis – Thank God it’s Them Instead of You?

We are not yet feeling the worst impacts of climate change. However, this summer’s wetter than normal weather has already played havoc with the agricultural industry, reducing growth and impacting harvesting. Imagine the impact of more widespread flooding, or the compounding impact of several years of climate induced poor yields. Our reliance on a very narrow range of environmental conditions and our failure to build up our environmental resilience is incredibly risky.

A city fit for a child

It is a terrible indictment of a city’s infrastructure that I consider myself lucky to be hit by a car in the specific way I was. My incident was not recorded, and neither are many such cases (many of which have much more severe outcomes), which masks the level of danger inherent in cycling or walking through the city.  The stats that are recorded highlight the problems we have on our roads. So far this year in Ireland 22 pedestrians and one cyclist have been killed. These figures are an outrage.

Nature Restoration, Now

In the right circumstances biodiversity and the natural environment has an incredible capacity to restore itself. In many cases we know what we need to do…

We need to thread carefully

Instead of levelling the playing field, fast fashion is actually increasing inequality.

Cycling for Change During Bike Week

Changing the pace at which you move through a city, and removing the metal barrier which separates you from your surroundings, makes you a more engaged resident and citizen. You come to intimately know your surroundings, such as the parts of your commute that are more dangerous, where the best views are, and which areas have more green space. You spot the areas where the infrastructure is good enough to allow kids to walk and cycle to school. You also see where new homes are being built and others are boarded up. The life of an area becomes is more connected to you, than it is from when observed from behind the wheel of a car.

Undervalued Biodiversity

Beyond agriculture we see this undervaluation of biodiversity every day. Developments fail to take care to protect existing habitats; trees are routinely cleared in the name of road safety, when they are deemed dangerous or to satisfy the demand for fuel. We value what we understand.

Public land for public good

If this example of using public land for the ‘common good’ was followed by everyone – from individuals to businesses to the State – it would significantly improve our lives, as well as help with the multiple social and environmental crisis we are living with.

European slow and active travel

Travelling to Rome in October 2019 was my first experience of slow travel across continental Europe. It was without a doubt more stressful to organise than booking a flight, but I can honestly say that it was one of my nicest travelling experiences.

Slow travel gathers pace

More flights means that more emissions will be produced. On the other hand, people travel for a myriad of different reasons and defining what is frivolous and what is necessary is an extremely tricky balance to find, but one that we all must grapple with.