2017 – The Environmental Year

I thought I would have a brief look at some environmental topics that were hitting the headlines both here in Ireland and wider afield in 2017.

  • Wild native Irish honey bees are still here.  A good news story for a change.
  • Melting ice, read more about the melting of the Larsen C iceshelf here.
  • Fracking. Thankfully onshore fracking was banned in Ireland earlier in the year, though it is still possible to do off-shore fracking. Still a huge step in the right direction.
  • Wildfires – California saw it’s largest ever wildfires in 2017. Over 40 people were killed in wildfires in Portugal and Spain. Canada, Greenland, Chile and southern Europe all experienced devastating wildfires during 2017. It has been one of the worst years for wildfires globally and many link the fires to climate change.
  • Hurricanes – both national and international hit the headlines. Hurricanes Irma, was the most powerful recorded Atlantic hurricane in written history. Hurricane Ophelia had been down-graded to a storm by the time she made landfall in Ireland. However, she was the most easterly Atlantic major hurricane on record. 2017 is classed as the fifth most active on record, with 17 named storms.
  • Other weather events – there was torrential rainfall the the NW of Ireland in August causing substantial flooding and property damage particularly in County Donegal.
  • Neonicotinoids are know to be harmful to bees and other insects including aquatic insects and there is increasing evidence that they affect other animals (e.g. songbirds) too. Research from England has found that 88% of tested rivers showed contamination by neonics. Of these eight rivers exceeded recommended chronic pollution limits, and two were found to be acutely polluted.
  • The Great Barrier Reef appears to be dying at a much a faster rate than scientists thought. Again climate change is a factor, as the reef suffers sever bleaching due to rising water temperatures.
  • Plastic in our oceans. This has been a growing problem for many years but this year it seems to have hot the headlines more. We produce over 270 million tonnes of plastic every year, half of which is simple use. over 7 million tonnes end up in our oceans. To learned more click here.
  • USA leaving Paris Climate Accord Agreement. This can only be bad news. Climate change is a global issue and we need to work together.

Let us hope that in 2018 the world will start to take note. Climate change and pollution are some of the greatest threats we face as a human race. We cannot keep abusing this place we call home, because if we do there will be no home left for us.

 

 

17 thoughts on “2017 – The Environmental Year

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Yes, I would feel angry too. They can frack in Northern Ireland too, which is a worry particularly for those living in the border counties. Water systems do not observe abstract boundaries!

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  1. dust4yj

    Very sobering indeed. It shouldn’t take David Attenborough’s message on Blue Planet to move Michael Gove but apparently it has & he now has the national reduction of plastic production & waste in his sights. Thank goodness for your bumblebees.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Actually I was impressed with the steps Michael Gove was to take – let’s us hope it is a sign that he is to take the environment seriously.

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  2. cherielanglois

    Thank you for this post, and your call to action. I’m beyond discouraged, angry, and so ashamed of our current U.S. administration’s attacks on the environment and their denial of climate change…

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      DOn’t worry it is not just the US administration. While our government may not be as blatant in their denial, they do little to make things better.

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  3. Wild Daffodil

    A wonderfully put together post. Sobering stuff.
    I’ve been doing my best to care for the environment for over 45 years – I was literally considered mad by my family for some time, and strange by many of my friends – but I keep going!
    “if the fool would persist in their folly, they would become wise”

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      We can all do our bit. That is a lovey William Blake quote (I looked it up as I thought it might have been Shakespeare) – you are definitely not a fool for wanting to take care of this lovely planet of ours.

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