Cross-border shopping trips emit tonnes of carbon

Retail Ireland, the group that represents the Irish retail sector, says that shopping in North is destroying the planet.

Retail Ireland director Torlach Denihan said: “On the first day of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit it is sobering that cross-border shopping trips in 2009 will result in the emission of 100,000 tonnes of carbon.”

You wouldn’t just be desperate, would you now Torlach?

Full report at

Remember folks, moving is evil. Stay at home, turn down the heating, switch of the lights and knit yourself another jumper.

In related news, Jason Walsh Ireland, the group that represents Jason Walsh, says not giving me all of your money is hastening the end of the world…

  • Mack

    A spokesperson for agreed..

  • Jason Walsh

    As did representatives for Royal Mail and An Post at a rare joint press conference.

  • Rory Carr

    If a similar number of people from Newry and Armagh travel to do their shopping in Dundalk and Monaghan this will surely balance out the carbon emissions evenly and thus help save the planet. Won’t it?

  • Jason Walsh

    Yes. The problem isn’t carbon emissions so much as the religion of the internal combustion engines that emit them. Protestant emissions hang around near the ground until judgement day whereas Catholic ones go straight up into the upper atmosphere (despite what Pope John XXII claimed).

  • Doctor Who

    It would be better if we lived above convenience stores and had our groceries delivered by a dumb waiter. This would ensure zero carbon emissions from vehicles while ensuring people would never miss out on X Factor, Big Borther and Im a Celeb.. updates.

  • Jason Walsh

    Doctor Who, you are a genius! And the dumb waiters can be operated by the female children of the hoi polloi (the male ones will all be on exercise bicycles generating our electricity).

  • wild turkey

    On the first day of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit it is sobering that Retail Ireland director Torlach Denihan opens his mouth and emits of 100,000 tonnes of bullshit.

  • Dave

    Why are Northern Ireland’s so-called socialists supporting the transfer of jobs from a higher paid region into a region where the wages are instantly deflated by 60%?

    Workers earn £4.96 per hour in Tesco in Northern Ireland compared to 12.50 Euros per hour in Tesco in Ireland.

    11,000 retail jobs experienced wage deflation by this means in 2009.

    Could it be that they have been indoctrinated with propaganda that encourages them to promote boost the receipts of Her Majesty’s Exchequer, and that this brainwashing is even more powerful that the socialist indoctrination?

    I suppose if Her Majesty makes them into free market thinkers, promoting corporate profits at the expense of low-paid workers then we shouldn’t complain. 😉

  • Dave

    Just to add that they should of course be promoting the transfer of jobs into a region where the workers are higher paid, not lower paid, thereby boosting the pay of the worker.

    However, that consistency with their ‘principles’ would result in a loss to Her Majesty’s Exchequer and a gain for the Irish economy, so those who control their ‘thinking’ have deleted that option from the agenda.

  • 6countyprod

    Simon Cowell’s ‘green’ stunt backfired on Saturday night. If Torlach Denihan is genuinely concerned about the planet, maybe he should arrange for more trains and buses to come north. That should help to cut down a little of the pollution Southerners are causing. Not that it will make any difference!

  • Jason Walsh

    “Her Majesty’s Exchequer” has nothing to do with anything. Freedom of movement, freedom of association and the right to privacy trump any politicised demands shop in this place or that.

    I have no idea what ” Northern Ireland’s so-called socialists” are saying about anything but I can tell you this: traditionally socialists are uninterested in consumption because identity and politics are forged at the point of production, not consumption. Read your Marx.

  • Jason Walsh

    Who are these socialists, anyway?

  • John East Belfast


    The fact that just about everyone on the ROI pay themselves too much is your greatest problem in an economy that cant devalue its currency.

    Getting the Salary levels down in the 26 counties should be paramount and wage competition via the Retail sector in NI will actually hasten the process.

    This cross border shopping debacle is actually the only safety valve the ROI has – both in terms of helping the household budgets go further as well as hastening wage deflation.

    Otherwise you would face death by slow strangulation.

    In years to come ROI Economists will actually speak of the merits of having a non Euro lower wage land border in bringing about much needed correction

  • Greenflag

    The average American emits 20 tons of carbon per annum whereas the average Indian emits 50 kgs . If and when the average Indian emits the same amount of carbon as today’s average American then nobody on slugger at the time will need to worry about their grandchildren and posterity . They won’t have any!

  • Mack

    Jason –

    traditionally socialists are uninterested in consumption because identity and politics are forged at the point of production, not consumption.

    Production without consumption has a name. Slavery!

  • Mack
  • 6countyprod

    China is the greatest emitter of carbon and Australia is the greatest per capita. What’s the fixation with Americans?

    i just can’t get over the blatant hypocrisy of it all!

  • heck

    Dave don’t you get the unionist position

    nasty people from S armagh buying desiel from dundalk–bad evil criminals -smuggling is the greatest crime on earth

    southern shoppers in the north—those fenians are paid too much but smuggling goods south —thats good

  • Jason Walsh

    Production without consumption has a name. Slavery!

    Huh? I didn’t say consumption was bad, I said it wasn’t political (from a particular POV) and that, therefore, people should be able to spend the pound/euro/zlotty in their pocker wherever, whenever and on whatever they like.

  • Mack

    Jason –

    Huh? I didn’t say consumption was bad, I said it wasn’t political (from a particular POV) and that, therefore, people should be able to spend the pound/euro/zlotty in their pocker wherever, whenever and on whatever they like.

    You sound like a free marketeer and not socialist half the time. A social democrat perhaps?

  • Jason Walsh


    Nope. I ain’t the one who changed. Most Irish “socialists” sound like liberals to me. Only being slightly facetious, but Marx wrote a big, three-volume book on industry. He didn’t write one about shopping. There’s a long tradition of libertarian socialists: Grossman, Mattick, Svlyia Pankhurst (though she drifted into crapness later). Lenin even wrote a book slagging them off, called ‘Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder.’

    Bottom line: I’ll talk to you, argue with you and try to persuade you of X, Y and Z but I’m not in the business of telling you what to do.

  • Greenflag

    ‘What’s the fixation with Americans?’
    ‘Australia is the greatest per capita. ‘

    There’s no fixation -it’s the numbers . There are 20 million Aussies ? but 310 million Americans -1.3 billion Chinese and 1.3 billion Indians

    It would not matter so much if the above three largest populated countries lived on separate planets but they get to share just the one . The ozone layer keeps you from being pizza fried and the the carbon cycle while not completely understood is known to ‘feed on itself once it gets beyond a a critical figure . International agreements are needed to face this life and death issue not for the USA or UK or China but for the only planet which we know is capable of sustaining our kind of life .

    It’s good news that President Obama is at least going to Copenhagen.

  • Mack

    Jason –

    How can you square consumer freedom – where production is driven by consumer choice and access to scarce resources mediated by the price mechanism, with the kind of centrally planing that socialism requires?

  • Jason Walsh

    Abundance and post-scarcity? Well, how we get there from here is a more difficult question to answer. The question of resource use aside, we in the West virtually-live in a post-scarcity world – or at least have the productive capacity to do so if not the means of distribution. But this is all pie-in-the-sky stuff, very far removed from today’s politico-economic reality.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greenfag is right

  • Greenflag

    Ulsters my Bog,

    No need to scrape and grovel in abject deference old chap 😉 Shure I’m always right even when I’m not as you know only too well :). You can scrape and bow all ye want to herself over there in London you know the one with the corgis and the dysfunctional family !

  • Rory Carr

    Dave seems somewhat confused on this business of transferring workers’ jobs to regions where their wages are higher and I have no idea where he is coming from or where he is going to with such a suggestion. It is certainly not a concept current in socialist thinking as far as I (or indeed anyone else) is aware and we would be promoting fair wages and therefore higher wages particularly in the absymally lowpaid supermarket sector whatever the region.

    Dave however is a paragon of understanding compared to Mack who appears to have lost the run of himself entirely and I can only imagine it is because he is one of those new breed of economists who didn’t bother to study Marx because there was no profit in it in the new market economy of thought. “Production without consumption” is not “slavery” it is simply idiotic sine what would be the point of producing that which was not useful? Except in the sphere of art and leisure where effort is simply enjoyed, but since even these expressions of man’s spiritual nature have long been commodified and their true value transformed into monetary vulgarity their very enjoyment becomes a form of consumption in itself, yet another example of the extreme degradation of the human condition in capitalist society.

  • Brian MacAodh

    1200 limos and 140 private planes converge on Copenhagen. But hey, they can pollute all they want right?

  • slug

    What a pointless blog item.

  • Mack

    Rory –

    In practice, only some form of market economy can deliver to consumers the ability to purchase what they want, when they want it, where they want it.

    Central planning, in it’s relatively benign Eastern European form – delivers huge queues for bread on Thursdays and riots when the meat or cigerettes don’t get restocked.

    Chinese style it delivers around 40 million dead from starvation..

  • Dave

    Well, Rory, I stole that line of argument from a poster called BK. I think it has legs, and I’ll make it dance a little more yet.

    If, as the Shinners claim, the border should be ignored when it comes to an all-Ireland economy, then their supporters will have to reconcile their socialist sentiments with their party’s practice of promoting the transfer of 11,000 working class jobs from one part of the economy into another part of it where those worker’s wages are instantly deflated by 60%. Why are they promoting massive wage deflation for ordinary workers?

    Those 11,000 retail workers who saw their jobs transfer to the other part of the mythical all-Ireland economy now cost the Irish state circa 200 million euros a year in welfare payments, while Her Majesty’s Exchequer makes a large gain. Clearly the Shinners are neither socialists nor nationalists but British patriots.

  • Jason Walsh


    That’s the Shinners’ problem and I won’t second guess how they’d respond, but I would argue that such an argument is ‘Free Statery’ and the that the chances of developing a proper, secular, modern, insert whatever you’d like here, society on that basis are slim to non-existent. It’s not up to unionists to fix the South but it’s unlikely to happen without them – and I’m not talking about the recent economic woes, I mean socially and culturally.

  • Greenflag

    jason walsh ,

    ‘I would argue that such an argument is ‘Free Statery’ and that the chances of developing a proper, secular, modern, insert whatever you’d like here,chances of developing are slim to non existent ‘

    I would argue that chances are a lot better without ‘unionisms’ input. Look at the evidence over the past two decades . The RC Church’s hold on the people has diminished dramatically and among those under 50 it’s influence is about on a par with that of the COE in the UK . It’s future outlook in the Republic is bleak and it’s unlikely ever to regain it’s former status . What has yet to happen is the dismantling of the Church’s remaining control in schools and the full separation of Church and state . As ‘unionists ‘ are attached to the Church & State ‘union’ in the format of the Monarch as both Head of Church and State I fail to see how any ‘unionist ‘ input would be of any benefit . Other than traditional rabid anti catholic bigotry which would be counter productive to secularisation trends what else would ‘unionists ‘ have to contribute ? Not a lot I’d say.

    ‘It’s not up to unionists to fix the South’

    Correct. It’s also not up to Irish nationalists in the rest of Ireland to ‘fix’ the North’s continuing political meanderings into the cul de sac of lost causes . Post the Assembly collapse Irish nationalists should be looking at a fair ‘repartition ‘ of NI as the political solution which will get both ‘unionists ‘ and ‘republicans’ in NI off their respective politico historical hooks !