Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Policy ideas! As usual, unsolicited!

I would dearly love to be considered for joining the Seanead to contribute to policy as I have a huge insight into the agricultural workings and problems, for health, the environment, the economy and people and animals in supply chains. I also have a huge capacity for joined up thinking, solution finding and some skills in communicating and engagement.  Having said that, I don't think I was being invited!! Still, that never stopped me before! 

Public Contracts and Funding
My experience includes entering the public tender process and learning about how that system, criteria and national policy is failing the vulnerable groups the provisions are supposed to serve. For example, legitimate care, respite and rescue groups ruled out of the public funding stream, by companies that have merely managed large contracts before. For example, Horse Contractors and Dog Shelter directors, affiliated to a body parts factory in Latvia, receive €950 euro per horse they seize, no portion of that money goes towards the care, rehoming or rescue of those animals. There is an incentivizing of seizing and slaughtering stray and traveller animals. I have shared solutions on effective solutions to address responsible pet ownership and organic, high welfare care for farm animals. 
Farm Support in Pricing
Working in wellbeing (clearing personal and geopathic stress, using the old art of divining) I have supported many farmers and have a good relationship with the Farmers Support Group. Many of them are very isolated, depressed and have not been able to pay their feed bills from the last two winters. The reason for this is that the price they get for cattle has gone down from €4.50 per kg to €3.40 per kg in the last four years.  The last government sought an agreement with the meat industry, when the farmers were protesting, and managed to raise the price by just 5 cent per kg. Green Party intervention on farmers’ behalf to enforce the full euro per kg, recovery in price and value of irish cattle would be in line with their declaration to support smaller farmers. There will have to be something done about the price fixing but also the weight-fixing of Larry Goodman, Queallys, Kepak and Dawn and co too. They are refusing animals below a certain weight and above a certain weight, which is a narrow enough window but impossible when 90% of their weighing machines were found to be outside reasonable compliance. This must happen before carbon taxing, to get the rural communities committed to the party and financially able to make positive changes and or take risks in their farm practices; like reducing herd numbers and non-chemical land management. I have written a detailed support plan for the protesting farmers and sent it to media and councillors.
Legal Advocacy in Meat Industry Fraud Case
I have worked as a legal advocate for a Technical Manager in the meat industry who was responsible for 7 meat plants of the Queally Group. She made a protected disclosure to Simon Coveney and we went to the circuit court. I wrote the affidavit (as my father was a high court judge and wrote a lot of the unfair dismissal law in the UK). I have a lot of evidence of their food safety fraud and environmental non-compliance. This would be useful to revisit as that was in 2015 but their practices have not improved. Also the practice of Halal-approved slaughter (therefore animal is fully conscious) should also be stopped as illegal in our welfare law.  I am delighted that the Live Export is to be stopped, as a policy of the Green Party.

Advocate for farms adhering even to current agrichemical bans. And farms transitioning from animals to arable.
I have supported farmers who are transitioning from animal agriculture to crops. They alerted me to that fact that Ireland would need to ban 1) the import of vegetables grown with chemicals that are banned here, as it gives an unfair advantage. 2) That sales must be guaranteed for Irish produce, as currently supermarkets are refusing Irish harvests as they’ve already ordered in loads from abroad, where the climate is warmer and harvest time more predictable. 

Education is important here and I would like to be involved in the education legislation group discussion too. People need to understand the benefit of clean food and the accumulative dangers of chemical fertilizers, preservatives, cleaning practices as well as pesticides and herbicides.  In term of education, I have worked for 5 years with a senior mentor in the Steiner Pedagogy. I learnt the importance of safety, creativity, how we learn and the need to explore and share rather than learn by rote. I also see that we need to resist the government move to contract out early years education provision, for infants between 6 months and 3 years.  Instead, parents should be supported in extended maternal or paternal leave, to provide the one to one safety that very small children need, in order to socialize and function confidently when they do go out to school.

I have had two radio shows, Healing From Harmony Hall about how clearing inner pollution and negativity leads to peace, collaboration and a healthier outer environment and New Directions, a social change show. That has led me to working for the last decade with Highbank Organic Orchards; the only food producers to give awards in addition to receiving them. I have recorded and shared workshops there from Biochar – in purifying water and correcting digestive issues for livestock , to Fermenting to Natural Agriculture, which is a step beyond organic principles. I have been an educator, via my blog on issues for the environment, people and animals in supply chains, food and health, since 2007.

I am also qualified in Horticulture myself and have done Stop Food Waste’s Master Composters, through the Carlow Council, which also has a teaching component. I am a BHS qualified horse riding and care instructor. In addition, I have HACCP approval to run a food business, teach cookery and how to go plant-based in terms of nutrition and shopping etc, here at Harmony Hall Bioarchitecture Retreat and Think Tank. I also teach piano, guitar and voice.     

 As a farmer myself, I can report how prohibitively hard farm shops make it to get organic feed. For example, Redmills supplies organic horse nuts, layers pellets and pig nuts (from a company called Morans, in undyed/unprinted, paper sacks which is brilliant) but Redmills still have not put those products on their computer system (I have been buying them for twenty years) and that means you wait for at least half an hour every time you collect feed and they only keep 2 or 3 bags in stock, but it is still not on the stock or price list, so they have to go and look again for what they have and how much to charge you. It would be a hard sell to farmers to take that step, until we refuse the feeds laced with pesticide and probably GMOs too.  I have bought one item made by Redmills themselves in a paper sack rather than plastic, so it could be insisted that all their products be sold in paper, so at least bags could be shredded for bedding or used to light the stove after work.

Equally, it has been speculated that pet food constitutes 40% of the problem with animal agriculture emissions, probably as there are so many entrails to process from meat factories. I have been buying vegetarian and vegan organic dog and cat food for 10 years and it is getting harder rather than easier to source. Redmills ‘used to produce a vegan recipe’ but they stopped, as there was not much call for it. They could be encouraged to start production again, especially if the meat-based ones were being phased out and vegetarian ones supported.

I had my County Vet inspection for a herd number last summer and they had not even heard that Ireland and more recently, specifically Kilkenny Council had declared a climate change and biodiversity loss emergency. They had made no adjustments whatsoever to their inspection criteria. They laughed when I mentioned the five freedoms and even said they would prefer concrete to bedding, as it was easier to clean. 

Also council workers were still using Round Up on rural roadsides and strimming in nesting season. They said they had received no memo of a change in practice either. I see a simple solution, that all the departments are sent a report, outlining relevant and manageable changes to their practice; obviously council workers should cease spraying and farms should be asked to half or quarter the numbers of animals in intensive housing conditions, because of their consequent reliance on antibiotics to keep them alive. Also, if we only allowed sucklers rather than instant removal of the calf, it would mean calves get their colostrum and develop their own immunity. 

Talking of building immunity, I would like to be considered for the Health group too. We need to support the health food shops as the only source we have of most of our nutritional needs, now that our food is mainly devoid of them. I refer to minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and microbial profiles that either were never present, when fruit are artificially ripened or grown in inert soil, or are lost during cooking and other processing. The new tax, even at 13% has already taken its toll. 

I have a surprising ability to uncover corruption and information that can be used to push for social change and clean food. For example, I discovered that Teagasc was developing GMO potatoes, in Carlow. So that it would not become common knowledge, they recruited Plant Pathologists from abroad. One of these came to stay here for a month before her interview to practice her English. Staying in touch, I gathered a lot about their experiments and non compliance and let the council know, who took the matter to Europe. 

Talking of responsible technology, I have also brought my understanding to bear on the threat of 5G. Although energetic medicine is still considered alternative, it has been proven for 100 years that energy is the smallest possible common denominator and so being able to work with and understand energetic frequencies are a must. 5G is considered by some to be a weapons-grade level of disruptor and destroyers/disorientators to wildlife. All wifi signals and EMFs are proven to weaken the human body. Therefore, if the Green Party does intend to get good internet to rural areas, make sure it is wired not wifi. The idea that high speed technology leads to a higher quality of life is actually a myth we need to dispel. Again, it is about education to spread the word that a good remote connection doesn’t replace personal connection. More importantly, it could irreversibly interfere with Nature’s own recovery and make rural places uninhabitable for people or wildlife.

In the counties like Clare and Kerry where they have already put in the 5G, often cutting down trees to do so, there are a lot of questions over ‘who is rolling it out’.  No particular company is taking responsibility and it is being agreed even in the face of total opposition from elected councillors and peer reviewed reports. It is the same with chem’ trailing and geo engineering. The three warm days last week, the skies over Kilkenny were streaked with trails. In Donegal, extensive soil testing has been done on the poisons being dropped, on a very regular basis and they have monitored the planes and have those reports that need to be considered. 

There is also nano technology being distributed in ordinary agricultural sprays, which I found out from a agri-chemical salesman. This miniscule technology does not just collect data, about the condition of the soil but also is able to transmit data. We must remember that those crops end up in the food chain and therefore consumed by us. 

Pharmaceutical companies are considering including micro-chips in pills (coated already in casein, a by-product of the dairy industry) to check compliance. While we have the valid argument of environmental damage for scaling down production, in every industry, we must stop this shift towards a nanny state with pharmaceutical companies sponsoring consultants and hospitals and given State support in making new vaccinations compulsory and spreading ‘health messages’ on national media. It is not obvious to everyone that they have too great a vested interest in our ill health to be allowed to advise on our health.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Music and Politics is a great combination

Fast forward about 20 minutes in to this radio show and Malcolm Noonan, our Carlow Kilkenny Green candidate, comes on with his guitar and does a cracking version of Woody Guthrie's song This Land Is Your Land. 

His pictures, including this one, which he had a laugh about saying 'Every time I pass the market slip on Kieran Street, it reminds me of the iconic cover of Bob Dylan's 'Street Legal'.
was taken by Monika Piec Halicka. 
I could mention all the important, critically endangered, innovative and cultural initiatives he's involved with and the committees he's already on, ready to leverage fairness and sustainability. 
I could mention how the young wanted to march for action on climate change today on the eve of the election and weren't allowed by Dublin police!? Those too young to vote want to make sure the election is a climate change-motivated election.
I could tell you what was said to me when I went canvassing in Paulstown and Castlecomer and the farms up here in the Slieve Margies which join Kilkenny to Carlow. The situation is good, everyone knows Malcolm already and trusts him. 
In the end, I thought I'd settle for sharing this enjoyable aspect that he is a cultivated musician and a total dude. To play an instrument, you have to work on it for years, you have to listen to others in the band and you have to be prepared to improvise and keep your head, even when all about you are talking nonsense...as they always are in pubs after a certain point in the evening! Let's get a green government, we really need it now, no more putting it off. Malcolm Noonan deserves that No.1. And that's not in a Top Of The Charts way!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Want a future at all? Vote Green

The climate march I went to in Leeds, UK

We are the only country in the whole of Europe getting enough rainfall - possibly the world. All eyes are on us, hoping that we're stupid enough to not vote for a Green government. 

This paper from a couple of weeks ago, only 7% of grown ups (loosely use the term) and therefore voters were thinking about the climate. 

So we'll sell off our water and allow the continued degradation and contamination of the land and sea, to the tax free corporate interests. Your children won't have a future, simple as.

One of the apple trees I planted

It doesn't matter right now whether they're going to build houses, give you a bed in hospital or spend it on their own or our pensions. The planet's atmosphere isi breaking down because of massive exploitation and pollution of its resources and doing something about it has to be the priority. 

Shell site in Mayo before they got the fires under control some days later

Isn't that what the youth marches were about? Closing schools to get politicians to listen? There is no planet B and all that?

How dare we not take responsibility for what we have done and what has been done and we have overlooked, in our generation? Even the children know we're condemning them to an uncertain future because we're too docile and blaming to work with real solidarity to protect the land. We should all be going to local farms a few hours every week to help weeding and carefully checking for pests, so they can leave off the chemical poisons. You probably won't find any pests or even beneficial insects. All the smaller insects and animals are dead already and approvals being given left, right and centre for the culling of badgers, deer and seals, the hunting of foxes and the capture and torture of our revered national emblem the hare. 

Climate protests took place across 4,500 locations in 150 countries... roughly 6 or 7 million people participated in the events. A million in Italy, 300,000 in the UK (and they were stupid enough to vote in Boris Johnson) and 300,000 in Australia, (who have a greedy government that they can do nothing about and a climate catastrophe on their hands) We have a general election, that's technically a democracy and means we can still elect only leaders and decision-makers who are actually addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. Yes we need biodiversity - 40% of our oxygen comes from algae in the sea. 4 years we would survive without bees pollinating plants. Yes we need to vote Green. 

They'll end intensive farming, raise welfare, stop live export and encourage the shift to a plant-based diet and support farms changing to crops from animal agriculture

177 fairy trees planted - as I promised to plant a tree for every donation to the brilliant Malcolm Noonan in his Green campaign to  Take Back Carlow Kilkenny or rather give back to Carlow and Kilkenny by being serious representation in the Dail on our behalf. That planting day I had serious help!! We'd have to be away with the fairies not to stay focussed on the environment...Look out the window at this, the 3rd unusually warm early February, day. 

On election day give your Green candidate your number one.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Saying Goodbye With Gratitude, Mark

Saying Goodbye With Gratitude

Mark was one of the first people to ask me to come and clear the geo-pathic stress and history of his church. When I got there, I noticed a big sign saying ‘ATITUDE’ on the wall over his yoga mat. He seemed able to take a joke so I said I liked his reminder but had he noticed his spelling mistake? Without the curtain though, it actually read ‘GRATITUDE’  It was the first of many funny moments.

He was a yoga teacher who did not wait for me to build my upper body strength and insisted I get into a triangular support position with the door and do a handstand right there and then..if a handstand is what I wanted to do! The relaxed way he took my ankle so I didn’t do myself any serious damage, made me feel as light as a feather and maybe able to do it on my own…both of which feelings were misleading!

 At the subtle body yoga retreat!

Physical safety was a theme of our friendship though. When we went to Barbados, to visit the brilliant Liz Cunningham, another maker of dreams come true, I know for definite that I wouldn’t have jumped on those minibuses, randomly explored, drank and swam, let alone made it back to the apartment, or on to the meeting place for the sunset – that’s what you do in Barbados, you meet with friends every day, to watch the sunset – if I hadn’t had Mark as navigator and body guard. The latter is how he introduced himself when curious locals asked what we were doing there!

But he really wanted me to be free too and braver; even buying me a ticket to Poland and a hostel so I would go on a new adventure – off the Kilkenny, Kerry, Oxford triangle, which I had been on for a long time. He remained in text support right until I got there in one piece and made some friends in Krakow. I got to go to the Resistance museum. Everyone knows ‘resistance is futile’ but it occurred to me that Mark was the only person I knew who would have survived that resistance against the nazis. No one was allowed to tell anyone else that they were in it – not like now where we can express our views openly and support each other.

Such a generous friend, he was always piling unwanted shrubs and young trees into his van and bringing them down for my place. Sometimes, he’d even travel with a full barrow of wet cement slopping around after work, to carry on his project here.

At the dog shelter vigil on the parade

And I was not a crap friend to him either! He lived here on an exchange basis, so he could save money to pay up for and do up the church. He worked on whatever he felt like doing and thank God he had great vision, taste and energy because I usually like to decide what happens here. That was instead of paying rent, even though I was broke. 

An amazing 200 metre path, steps and amphitheatre Mark created through the woods

Then he moved in again, a few months or year later as he was arguing with everyone as usual and suddenly had nowhere to go, with beloved Dakota and she chased cats, so it was a big ask! I stuck up for him too, always maintaining that everyone needs at least one friend who doesn’t have to listen to both sides of the story. I was a faithful friend. 

And this came in handy when the wonderful Yulia came into his life, as she was worried about whether Mark was the real deal. She couldn’t know for certain as she hadn’t come to Ireland yet. He had stuck his heels in and was angry, announced to me that ‘if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile’ – that makes me smile even now. Anyway, he meant that if you reassure a woman even once, she will never stop asking! That was the only time I ever succeeded in persuading him of anything. I said it’s perfectly reasonable to put the person you love’s mind at rest. So she knows where she stands with you.  That is what I’m most grateful of, I think, that he found her and they got married and all.

Beautiful steps he made, long before the cabin was there

We were, collectively, good friends to other people too. Like a mutual friend was locked up for being delusional. I told Mark after about a week that when I dowsed and applied all my intuition and discernment, I got a ‘yes’ to everything the friend said as being true and everything had happened exactly as he described it – no delusion at all. Mark replied, “I think so too. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you”. That has been my favourite saying ever since! Between us all, we got the guy out of dodge.

"Evening Drinks With Mark": The one painting of him, he let me do as I was just using his Facebook profile picture - when it was that gorgeous black lamb - to work from!!

Mark was nearly always bristling with reflections on his past or the state of the world today, for people, animals and the environment. It was hard not to take him personally. Today, I realized it’s a miracle we were got on as long as we did! But I’m so grateful to have known someone so emotional yet stoic, so reactive and yet so deep.  He always said his brother Ross was the first of the family to wake up and led the way on all progressive ideas and values. 

I only saw him a handful of times in the last few years. Thankfully, that was mostly because he was living in Ukraine, on the wings of love. But I am grateful to have been spared seeing him in pain this last year. 

Planting the water garden with lovely plants donated by his Mum

Not seeing him came about as part of the biggest and hardest lesson he taught me, which was to mind my own business! This wasn’t a subtle lesson where I sensed that they’d rather do things their own way. It was literally me being me - I have always been around and helped people who are sick and sometimes dying. I honestly used to think the energy work I do was my job on the planet. I also happen to believe every heart beat is important so I had a multitude of what seemed essential and healing things to do to get well...and?  Mark eventually telling me to feck off! Rightly so, probably and I think he’ll be glad to observe, from the other side, that I’ve reined in my energy, in many friendships actually, and am saving it to fight the good fight.

I have confirmed with him telepathically today that I am determined to live until every animal is freed and there is no trace of carcinogenic farm sprays poisoning the food, air and water. It is the least we can do in his honour because it is so unfair he got poisoned on the quiet when he lived so mindfully and actively. Oh I know there are lots of reasons he got ill but he himself wanted the spraying and killing stopped, so let’s do that.

And then the biggest thank you of all must be for his providing the great sound track to so many evenings. Probably Kiss Off by The Violent Femmes was my first request and then always followed by a suggestion from him, Want to sing Karma Police. Everyone loves to sing Karma Police don’t they?  ‘For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself’ I think he has paid his karmic debt in full this time and/or transmuted it, with so many beautiful creations like my meditation garden. I heard today, too late that he wanted people to share some pictures of his work and his legacy. Still, I’ll put them here. Still, after enjoying eternal life for a bit, he can come back on his own terms. I can’t wait, I’m sure we’ll all be there in some shape or form. Goodness knows, we must all be from the one soul group.

Rest in peace Fx

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Innovation For Rescuing Ill-fated Horses

Solution letter I sent to Kilkenny council's Environment Deprtment today. Better again, we have found a home for the lot and I wrote to tell them that too. I hope to God they let them be re-homed now and avoid slaughter.

There have been several senior and central people trying to contact your department about the horses you are seizing and are concerned for their welfare and future. 

I have come up with a solution for your consideration. My idea is to try a pilot project that gets the animals out of the middle of the situation between the travellers and the ACS - animal and carcass collection service. The ACS are presently the only heavy enough, violent enough and anonymous enough group to seize traveller horses as everyone else is too afraid. Instead, we can treat the travellers with respect and propose that the horses are going to be seized anyway, as they are neglected in terms of acceptable standards of care but they will be paid a nominal figure for them. 

At the moment the ACS are being paid the 950 per horse and that is incentivising the seizure of horses and their disposal as the policy is not to impound them but get rid of them. The travellers know this and it has led to extreme violence and it is not unjustified when they know the horses are just going to be shot. The travellers don't need to be told the exact amount the council pays per horse. 

A new approach would be where the owner gets €200 for their horse (God knows, every other animal abusing operation gets compensated when they have to shut down through non compliance) and the rest goes to the people who are rehoming, be they charity or individual, to help with their feed and care. 

This payment would be made only on condition that the travellers agree (and sign an agreement) that they are passing ownership and will not seek out any contact or intimidation or snatching of horses. If there is even a fear of this down the line, all the horses will be seized again and put down at once and criminal proceedings be brought against the original traveller community - the owners will be held responsible and this will motivate them to manage each other's behaviour. 

It is a revolutionary pilot scheme (although I say so myself) that takes the ACS out of the seat of power and the incentive to kill stray and traveller horses and includes the travellers in making a positive change, where their horse trade is recognised. If it works, the change can be attached to a training, feeding and care education which travellers will have to, in future, have participated in, to keep animals. It is like how we have to have a new license to tow horses safely in a trailer, even to a riding club event.  We can stipulate that it is a new policy to protect both the community, their business, the animals and improve road safety as so many are getting hit out on the ring road.  

This first 40 horses will count as a sort of amnesty and there's no commitment on the part of the council to pay for other or future neglected animals of course. What do you think?! 

If the travellers agree to relinquishing ownership of their horses, then we have several people and charities who can take a few each and would make far better use of the remainder of that payment, (€750) in rehoming and rehabilitating them. As your only other option at the moment is killing them, please do consider the suggestion. 

It could also have a longer beneficial impact as I have outlined, defusing the violence and fear between gardai, ACS, travellers and proper re-homers and rescue routes. Fairness could win out and even some integration and education.

Many thanks, I would be happy to help facilitate. Please let me know the timeline for meeting the travellers, the moving of the horses and what you would like me to do if anything.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Ballina Fine Gael councillors want Seal Cull and Deep Sea Port? Neither sound ecologically sound or Manifesto Material

Do you really want to go bludgeoning seals and seal cubs to death like they do in Canada – a blood bath? Unnecessary, cruel and not one person outside your Ballina councillors and whatever incentives they've been offered, who would say yes, go ahead. 

Do you really want to authorize a cull of seals as they have been identified as responsible for the shortage of salmon in the River Moy?! Without checking water quality and pollution from the CPAC, the whiskey distillery and the multitude of other polluters causing problems for wild life up and down the river and run off from agricultural chemicals and slurry?  I hope to God, you have poured over water reports for the whole area in question - that is the whole journey salmon cover - not just where they're not showing up for fishermen anymore? 

Do you really want to kill seals without looking at the marathon journey salmon make and the other obstacles they may have faced before even making their way back up the river? Especially, how far from the estuary were the European factory trawlers allowed to fish? They have been up and down the Irish shores catching 15,000 tonnes but only allowed to land 12,000 so  throwing back the smaller fish, already dead. The young salmon and all the other young fish are missing, presumed dead. There are dead zones with no fish all around our coast.

And what about Shell and the other sonic blasting to map the ocean floor for fossil fuels, that disorientates the sea life? Maybe the salmon can’t even find their old route back up the river any more.

We’ve nearly lost the Irish hare and now you want to wipe out the seals, when they’re tied in to our selki heritage. Go home tonight to your families and watch The Song of The Sea, a highly acclaimed Kilkenny film. Then ask your kids if they want you to authorize a killing of seals. 

What sort of people in this day and age of biodiversity loss and horrendous climate challenges, exploitation of land, sea, soil and animals at everyone’s expense really believe that the seals are to blame for the disappearance of fish in the river?  

If you don’t really believe it, I’m telling you, you don’t want that violence on your conscience. 

Would you begrudge the seals a few fish? Are the remaining fish ours rather than theirs? It is a question worth asking yourselves where you stand. Personally, I haven't eaten a fish in twenty years as I see how they suffer in their suffocation, out of water. 

Have you ever seen a seal cull? 

Even five years ago, a Kerry scallop festival had to import scallop from Donegal. This is not a natural predators problem. People, as usual, are destroying their habitat. 

Consider who does want them killed and why? 

And who do the council members think are going to do the shooting and get rid of the bodies? The ACS? The animal collection service?  The ACS aren’t even registered in Ireland, they are registered in Latvia where the biggest animal body parts factory is. So you give them the contract to kill (the slowest moving probably of all the coastal visitors) and then dispose of the bodies. And what will they do? Sell them back to us in fertilizer and other feed stuffs.

This is a grotesque proposition, completely against the public narrative and wishes which are for more protections for wildlife and nature rather than less. 

Have you not heard there’s an election coming up? Who are you thinking of inviting to the deep sea port? Chemical tankers? Those factory ships? We don't want industrial scale infrastructure in the sea, think conservation and nothing else. This is serious. It can only be serving a very select few voters who want the salmon themselves or someone wants to clear the bay before the seals themselves start dying and everyone realises you've let yet another stretch of coast go to the highest bidder/exploiter. I thought that catching salmon in rivers was illegal anyway. 

So, don’t do it! Think about the bigger picture for a minute. If there’s no salmon, there’s a situation unfolding that you as councillors need to look into. We are facing a global and national emergency and I ask you, on behalf of all the normal, sane, kind, human beings which is everyone apart from you and your advisors, to leave the poor God forsaken seals alone. 

Oh yes, and then you discover that Michelle Mulherin is a Fine Gael Senator, also from the Ballina constituency. These things must all be linked; party in power but hopefully not for long, new big money investment of 10 million for Killala Bay but first let's kill all the seals in Killala Bay. So bloody disturbing this politics and is no-one thinking about the future? About preserving life? Any of those old nice things that were once important?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Realizing The Power of Green Politics

I just realized the Green Party has been waiting for this moment; a world-wide party of environmentalists planning a strategy, people who will know what to do when climate change becomes widely realized. In some counties and countries, even, the Green Party has been no bigger than a pressure group. But in Carlow and Kilkenny, what an amazing pressure group it has been. Malcolm Noonan who is our representative again and Mary White, who was Carlow Kilkenny's first elected female TD have been fighting battles for our environment and for inclusion for two decades, taking issues to Europe to make sure that Ireland wasn't overlooked and exploited too much for its clean food and clean water. 
I was at a talk nearly 10 years ago with Mary, Malcolm and Grace O'Sullivan - now MEP! all that needs to happen - like address transport (which Malcolm has now done, launching a brilliant local bus service last year) and all needs to not happen: Like, about how we needed to protect the farmers from the government's economic plans to double the national herd for export, by 2020, as it would doubtless conflict with carbon emission goals. It is now 2020 and the herd has doubled, milk and meat prices have sunk to an unsustainable low and small farmers and those who tried to expand are in debt and have no money to make even basic changes to better practice, using less chemicals. 
But now the farmers are protesting. The very same men who towed a main party's line all these years. They realize they've been shafted. Brilliantly as well, the extinction rebellion movement started, calling out politicians all over Europe for ignoring the glaring threat of the changing climate and loss of biodiversity. 
These are the hardcore, non political arm and it's just what is needed. In the past we were not at all hardcore. We retreated to the countryside and occasionally lodged complaints about this and that; blasting the ocean floor by Shell, resisting GMO seeds made by Monsanto, spraying chemical poisons on our food, building power stations and incinerators. We started to grow our own food and some only ate meat and eggs that came from their own small holding. Some of us bowed out of eating any animal ingredients at all. It ticked all the boxes for me; depriving the big industries of me as a customer (justice), sparing the animals (equality of all life) organic local food (saving the bees) peace of mind (better mental and physical health).
But suddenly here is the movement; the supporters and members we need. Here's the rebellion and the Young Greens relaying their message on, with equal determination. Parents are respecting their children, realizing the dreadful legacy of being wasteful and money-orientated. As government has allowed itself to be bought-off, we have too. For any bit of job or benefit - however unethical.
I've hung back for years, teaching empathy to anybody who comes my way. Radical responsibility combined with empathy for others and empathy for yourself are the only way to move forward, with friendship and kinship in your heart rather than that desperation that you might not have enough yourself - which is what we've been conditioned to think, to stop us sharing. To divide and conquer. We are a hospitable country, by nature and climate still. If you want that integrity and unity portrayed in government, its about voting Green no.1 Thank goodness we have the best of the best for the Carlow/Kilkenny area. There's hope for us yet! 

Every climate march, Malcolm Noonan's been there. Remember all those vigils to stop the dog shelter falling into the wrong hands? He was at every one. The demonstrations against sending greyhounds to China after their racing days in Ireland were done, he was there. Crack of dawn through to late at night, he stood up for the River Nore, drinking water and habitat to many for generations, and Medieval heritage when the council pushed for the central access scheme (CAS) bridge to go ahead. He always supported Vegetarian Kilkenny and was an attendee of the 'No meat and greet' evenings. Dammit, I miss those pot luck dinners!! 

He loves Nature and conservation but he also is deeply interested in day to day town-life. He's consistently been determined to bring back the heart to towns, with pedestrian areas and local bus services; supporting small interesting, creative, sustainable shops and bringing a wide knowledge and open mind to all the music and artists, playing at pubs and venues. Then there's the wilful destruction of the trees along rivers and pylons across mountains. He's brought awareness to all the things being done behind the scenes. To preserve all that is good about our climate, public services and our individual ability to sustain ourselves financially, creatively and with the central focus on working with the environment rather than ignoring the situation, we do need the Greens in government. None of the others are talking about it...or maybe they're talking about it but their decisions and votes on every matter demonstrate they don't care about Irish people, let alone foreign nationals, let alone farmers, let alone animals, let alone wildlife and let alone the climate.