Hmmm there goes Deirdre… She was no fainting Violet, but now Senator de Burca is gone (from the Seanad as well as from the party whip) the Greens in the Republic’s government must be wondering what’s next? Veronica has a great review over at Irish Election on how it all went so badly wrong for the Greens and for their leader, John Gormley. Nothing describes it so succinctly as the problem of the Poolbeg incinerator. But the real killer has been the way the economic downturn has cashiered what little interesting the Irish people had been able to muster on environmental safety:
Even before the ill-fated Copenhagen Conference, public support for climate change measures had taken a dive in Holland. In the US, support has also dipped and the US Presidents climate policy agenda looks likely to be pushed aside, at least until after the mid-term elections. Closer to home, in a recent BBC News sponsored opinion poll only 26% agreed that climate change is happening and is a result of human activity, down from 41% in a similar poll in November of last year.
The Irish public mood is also in flux. In a recent Euro barometer poll, Irish respondents downgraded their concerns about global warming with only 38% citing climate change as an important issue for the EU, a much sharper decline than experienced in other EU countries. More than 60% of Irish people answered Yes when asked whether Economic growth must be a priority for Ireland, even if it affects the environment, according to the EU Commission office, compared with 44% in Spring 2008.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty