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The Guardian Newspaper – The New Carbon Hypocrites…?

Today I got a message noting the guardians coverage of a nice story

World’s coral reefs could disintegrate by 2100

Researchers at Carnegie Institution say corals are being overwhelmed by rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

This is the original post for The Guardian by Ian Sample, science correspondent, in San Diego…. It even has some lovely photos 😉

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I read the piece. And a fine written article it is if I may say so. I was impressed. That was until I saw their ads for their online shopping parked right beside it…..

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Yes that’s right…. you can read about the CO2 destruction of the coral reefs whilst drinking your coffee from a mug that has been posted and delivered to you from the UK…. ? Aparently….

It reveals the worlds most severe carbon footprint offenders

Erm…………? What’s the word I’m looking for……?

I live in Ballyboughal. So it’s plane to Dublin Airport. Then to the sorting office…somewhere…. then to Balbriggan and then to my house…… ?

I’ve spoke about green ethics here before… but this one simply stinks of anything that’ll make a few bob being very honest…. that is unless the guardian are going to have an organic corn fed carrier pidgeon deliver this mug right to my door….. ?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Guardian Eco section simply had a sign there saying buy local as possible…. ?

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Scientists measure tree cleansing powers in city carbon emission tests

dr rowan fealy

dr rowan fealy

Instruments capable of measuring the ability of surrounding trees and vegetation to consume carbon dioxide emissions have been located at sites across Dublin as part of a joint research initiative led by scientists from NUI Maynooth and University College Dublin. The idea is to understand how different types of urban landscapes cope with carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions, and how planners might create ‘carbon neutral’ or more sustainable city developments in the battle against carbon emissions.

The instruments, which also measure wind, temperature, humidity andsunshine, record the CO2 concentration of the air as it passes by. They have been fixed on masts above Marrowbone Lane (an urban site with little or no surrounding trees or vegetation), and above St. Pius X Girl’s National School in Terenure (a suburban site with plenty of surrounding trees and vegetation). A third instrument has been fixed to a mobile mast that can be located at different locations around the city. This will allow the scientists to measure the impact of heavy traffic and other key factors involved in the local carbon cycle. The instruments will be in place for 3-5 years.

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Globally, cities contribute about 80% of CO2 emissions attributed to human activities, but the nature of these emissions is rarely studied. Through this research the scientists hope to better understand the urban processes that give rise to these emissions and to determine the ability of particular urban spaces to capture CO2 after its generation. According to Dr Rowan Fealy, Department of Geography & ICARUS at NUI Maynooth, until recently, these types of studies were not made in urban areas as they were regarded as far too complex. “As a result, scientists have tended to estimate the CO2 emissions based how much fossil fuel is used. However, measuring the flux allows us to see the link between urban landscapes and their role in generating or consuming CO2,” he says.

“While industry, traffic and other fossil fuel burning activities act as sources of CO2 emissions, trees, through the process of photosynthesis, remove carbon from the atmosphere,” says Dr Gerald Mills, UCD. “In many urban areas, the absence of trees means that CO2 that might otherwise be captured in the city, drifts into the wider atmosphere and contributes to global climate change.”

*unfortunately when this press release was sent there were no contact details and no images attached…. normally I’d bin it that being the case – but it is a nice story. I did contact two of the people mentioned but… I got one answering machine and one simply rang out.

UPDATE: jan 21st 2010

I have just received an email from Dr Rowan Fealy who very kindly emailed the images now used above. The first image is of Dr Rowan with the devices at Marrowbone Lane in Dublin. The second is the instruments at Templeogue in Dublin.

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Trim, Co. Meath To Go Carbon Neutral….?

I got a note on Monday from a good mate Darragh Doyle. He’d suggested that another [nice] guy [and genius photographer] Danny O Brien talk to me. He put me in touch with Martin Tighe who then put me in touch with another photo genius Enda Casey.

So why am I noting all of these people… well imagine this conversation

P: Hiya Danny, Peter Donegan here, Darragh asked me to give you a call…
D: Great stuff Peter yeah… we’ve a rock festival gig on in Trim… with some great bands like The Magic Numbers
P: But… eh…. Danny…
D: Yeah and its in the Trim GAA hall…
P: What the f… eh… Danny…
D: …..And yeah basically David Mc Williams will be there
P: Hey! Danny…..!
D: yeah…?
P: What are you doing on the phone to me…?
D: Oh well…. you know the Copenhagen 2020 climate change conference….
P: what on….
D: well we want Trim to go carbon neutral by 2025
P: Holy fock [silence] is this some sort of focking wind up….
D: [silence…..] no mate, very serious…. it’s on this Friday… can you drop down… in fact i’ll get Martin to call you…. cheers.
P: who….?
D: [silence] ………………laters

5 minutes later my phone rings…. it’s Martin

M: hiya Peter, yeah got your details from Danny so we’ll see you Friday…?
P: yeah… listen Martin… is this a focking prank call…
M: no. its serious stuff. We’ve got Ham Sandwich and The Magic Numbers and David…
P: …..no Martin… the carbon neutral thing is it serious…
M: Jesus yeah. Sure why not… we’ve got great support locally and…..
P: …..so you’re a concert promoter with a GAA hall and….
M: no…. I’m a chemist by trade and I work in trinity college…
P: what the faaaaaaaaaaaaaawk……… Martin? Martin?
M: listen my phones gonna go dead i’ll get Enda to give you a call…..
P: who the what……………….. [line is cut……………]

But turns out Martin and his possé are serious. He explains that this is a not for profit gig. Although he is responsible personally if it loses money. He tells me the GAA hall will take several hundred people and they’ve literally gone all out…. He’s starting to remind me of the dreams I had that almost lost me literally everything. I’ve called him a mentalist twice already and this is my third time…. And it was at this point that I now understood why so many people had signed themselves up to help this guy out…. 

As I said over on Culch.ie

Ever heard of the the Mahons Carbon-Neutral Stage…? Mahons [as a btw] are the local waste recycling business who are the main sponsors of the event. Blah, blah, blah sponsors etc you say….? When a young man decides to put on a rock gig…. Goes knocking on doors and is [in my experience anyway – with all the odd ball stuff I’ve done I would know] told to get stuffed supported by the local business…. they deserve a standing ovation. Fact. And if the organiser[s] is gonna make a loss…. then once again, that would be my experience, I would know, especially with all the odd ball stuff that I have done…. ;) Then fair plays to The Mahon family and The Priory Inn [a great music venue and decent pint by the way] and also emission Zero.

Want to know more….. I certainly do. Wouldn’t it be simpler if they could just forward me on the press release. I’d write a blog post. Job done. But then….. whats the fun in that. Like the Irish Conker Championships…. I’m in. See you there…..

So what else is there on – apart from transport Minister Noel Dempsey….. ? Noel Forking Dempsey…..? In saying that, I’d much rather Noel than the green party….? Who I guess aren’t going. They could do with the PR. In which case fair play Noel for turning up.   

  • Opening Ceremonies: Trim GAA Club, Friday Dec 4th at 3.30pm. Admission Free.
  • David McWilliams: Trim GAA Club, Friday Dec 4th at 5.00pm. Admission Free.
  • Launch Concert: (The Magic Numbers, Ham Sandwich) Trim GAA Club, Friday Dec 4th – Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets €20 Euro from www.tickets.ie
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