If you missed our recent climate change talk given by John Cleary, you can catch it at Loughrea library on Thursday 22nd March at 7pm:
The presentation looks at the carbon cycle in relation to resource use, bringing examples of how society has shifted to using fossil fuel as its primary energy source over the past centuries. This has led to the current build up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We look briefly at some of the scientific history of climate change, from John Tyndall to the Keeling curve, and take in carbon isotopes, climate models, and the question of attribution along the way. Climate change is considered in the context of the broader ecological crisis currently facing the planet, and the competing demands of economic growth and ecological limits. Finally, it takes a look at the idea of a carbon budget and assesses the state of play 2 years after the historic Paris Agreement.
Discussion and participation welcome.
Admission is free but places are limited. Starts 7 sharp.
Image from: permacultureprinciples.com – Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 AU
Saturday 25th November 10am – 4pm
with Istvan Marguly, Permaculture Teacher and Practitioner
This one-day course will give an overview of the basic principles and patterns of Permaculture. It will show how to ecologically manage a piece of land of any scale – farm/ garden of personal, community or commercial use. Permaculture design sees how all the elements and features of the piece of land come together to create productive systems that function in harmony with natural patterns and forces. It shows how we can tune into nature and make the most of the natural resources of water, soil and trees.
How should we think in an age of Climate Change? How can we speak differently about its challenges?
On November 18, we will be hosting a day on how our stories from and about nature might help us navigate the current ecological and climate changes. In a creative and participative way, we will explore the roots of our relationship with the natural world and begin to express that relationship in ways that might help us to live in a time of radical ecological change.
Paul is a writer and thinker based in Co Galway. His work focuses on the interaction of humans and nature and he has a particular interest in spiritual ecology. John has studied climate change in the context of food security and recently worked with affected communities in Vietnam.
Cost for the day is €15 (includes lunch and snacks)
To book a place, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 087 2845443
Our next day on Nurturing Nature is on September 23rd from 10am to 4pm.
Writer Paul Kingsnorth and consultant ecologist Janice Fuller will facilitate the day. It will be a day of exploration of nature in our everyday lives. How can we reconnect with the wonders of the natural world in our own lives and communities? What can we do to communicate its importance to others?
It will be a nourishing day on many levels. We will be both indoor and outdoor.
The event is grant-aided. The cost is 20e for lunch and refreshments.
I do not often succumb to the urge to write! However an event yesterday is niggling me to do so. I attended the launch of the bird-hide in Portumna Forest Park on Saturday – a project conceived by Kieran Fallon of Coillte and Helen Carty of National Parks and Wildlife Service. The hide was built with the purpose of being able to view the White-tailed Sea Eagles on Church Island.
For me the launch was a special and moving occasion. The convenience of 4 telescopes allowed us to get close up to the now almost fully fledged chicks and it was a marvel. I also got a short view of some of Richard Foyle’s magnificent photos.
But there is another memory of the afternoon that is staying with me- maybe somewhat haunting me but in a very awesome way. This experience did not happen at the hide but on the walk to the hide. On the way I caught up with Anne Rabbitte and as we were chatting she told me that recently when she was out on the callows, one of the adult eagles landed close by. As she was describing the experience she conveyed a great sense of being overwhelmed, that she was trespassing and that she needed to get out of the place. I may be mistaken but I think this was not just a sense of fear but a sense of awe, a sense of the eagle’s strong presence and majesty, and of being overwhelmed with a deep sense of ‘place’.
I like to stay with that feeling and believe that it is not only size that evokes such an experience and that the insect, tree, worm, mouse and all nonhuman species evoke a similar sense of awesomeness, intimacy and place. I am reminded of one of John Feehan’s mantras – ‘size is no measure of complexity’. Indeed John also describes a similar experience which he had on encountering a herd of elephants in the night in Malawi some years ago. He writes ‘ How can anybody who experiences this presence be so presumptuous as to deny this creature its God-given place on the earth? How can anybody who has come face to face with the elephant butcher it frivolously – so that some of us may use its teeth to decorate ourselves or its feet as umbrella stands in fashionable hallways – or banish it from the home for which it is made, so that we can grow tobacco?’
There has been a lot of attention focused on the role of climate change and increasing occurrences of severe weather events being contributing factors in human migration and conflict over the last decade and more. Sea-level rise, extended droughts, and severe flooding events are just some of the symptoms that humans seek to move away from in attempts to safeguard families, cultures, and livelihoods.
Plants that have adapted to specific conditions in various regions are also finding themselves less able to thrive in changed climatic patterns but are without the locomotive capabilities of humans. ‘Assisted migration’ is an interesting response, but obviously comes with risks attached and is somewhat counter-intuitive given the strong rationale for planting natives that has informed much tree-planting in recent years. Perhaps it’s time to move past a strict line on this and increase the diversity of our tree species with an eye to the future?