Does the Hat Matter?

I wasn’t happy when I read this article in the Clare Champion on February 28th 2020:


So I decided to write to the Editor that day:

I’m just responding to this weeks edition. 

I’m a little concerned that people in the council were discussing whether Emeritus Professor John Sweeney should wear his National University Maynooth hat or his An Taisce hat while addressing the council about Climate Change on March 9th. Was that an attempt to downplay his expertise or lessen the impact of the information? I would hate for people to dismiss the enormity of the honour of having Professor Sweeney address the council. I understand and appreciate that the council also has internal expertise but never forget that some council expert thought it a good idea to grant planning permission on the flood plains pictured throughout this week’s edition. Professor Sweeney has been involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and advised the Popes Encyclical letter LAUDATO SI’ on care for our common home – basically the environment. Nobody knows everything and our council resources are limited so I hope they will make the most of Professor Sweeneys knowledge while he’s here and instead of questioning which hat he’s wearing they might do some homework in order to have their climate related questions ready when he is here.

John and I are co-founders of An Taisces Climate Committee established in 2014. To ensure a range of knowledge at the table we have experts in many topics. I represent rural communities and strive to ensure that the need for comprehensive public participation is paramount in national policies including energy and climate policy. John is one of the leading global climate scientists and he brings that expertise to the table. We also have experts in other areas including agriculture, transport, fossil fuels, energy security, research, European and international policy. We have nothing to do with planning permission. 

Needless to say it wasn’t published.

John will also be speaking about Climate Change at an Agriculture and Farming event exploring Challenges and Solutions at 7pm on Monday March 9th in the Old Ground Hotel. 

Invitation to Climate Change and Farming in Clare: Challenges and Solutions. 

Monday March 9th

7pm  to 9.30pm

Old Ground Hotel, Ennis

Climate Scientist Prof John Sweeny of NUI Maynooth and BASE Ireland farmer Michael Costello (Biology, Agriculture, Soil and Environment) will speak about Climate Change and the implications for Irish agriculture in Ennis on Monday March 9th. This will be followed by small group discussions led by local regenerative farmers and others on topics including: Agroforestry, organic beef and dairy farming, free-range pig farming, direct sales, farmer co-ops, buffer zones & wetlands, Community Supported Agriculture and organic herbal farming. This is an opportunity to talk to farmers who are involved in these different activities and explore agricultural solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

Everyone is welcome

This workshop is fully funded by the Garden Of Eden Projects and is free to you

Theresa O’Donohoe

March 8th 2020

Agriculture & CC.jpg

Published by Theresa OD

Change maker and mother of 5 living in the west of Ireland

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