IRL (Irish Rural Link) Climate change

The excellent organisation held a well attended conference on Rural Ireland and what it can do about climate change in Athlone on May 27, 2019. This is a subject close to our heart.

A great review of lots of projects underway, lots of understanding of the extent of the problem. a nice presentation by Mr. Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner about what might be available in terms of financial supports down the road.

A very diverse group of attendees and all on the days when the ‘green swing’ in the EU parliament elections were being noticed and new MEP’s were being elected.

One small critique, no great call to action , from the speakers. The organisation itself is calling for a climate summit of all parties in Ireland to try to get behind some common goals. From there plans can be made.

Some key takeaways for us.. Electricity decarbonisation is not in the hands of the ?Irish Government but is being managed by EU.

Our main (our being Irish Government and citizens) action zones are in transport and agriculture. That is where the changes must occur.

Ireland is the worst in Europe at decarbonising its economy. We produce more tonnes of CO2 per head than most of our European colleagues.

Some disturbing thoughts. But we are an inventive people and will find a way to get in front of the pack and lead!

Smart farmers #smartrural

We are looking at the continuous challenge presented by people with opposing points of view regarding farming, especially of animals.

We do not see much counter arguements or at lease there are but they are not always positive. Pity.

We think that perhaps there might be a plan?

Water- farmers have the resources to target water storage and ground water protection. How many farmers can say that 100% of their home water and farm washing water is rainwater?

Energy- This is really a subset of the Carbon and climate change issue. Again with solar , wind and geo therm solutions- how many farmers say they are 100% renewable? If the big corpos like Apple etc want to say it for their data centres then surely it is a positive for farmers to be able to say it too?

Transport/Vehicles- again here we have sities making huge efforts regarding public transport, biking, e-scooters and the like.  We have a hydrogen train in Germany and hydrogen ships being built. Are our friends in the farming community getting ready for hydrogen tractors , combines and the like?  Is there information from advisory bodies on this? Is it possible that farmers can generate their own hydrogen from amonia in animal waste?

Packaging- single plastics are the big culprit here, but are there alternatives to the plastics used on farm? Similarily with waste. Could farmers take back any waste they sell? Most sell without any packaging, so this is an easy step.

How about working to develop farms that are carbon and energy neutral, that release as much water to groundwater as they use, that use machinery that has zero emissions, that recylce all the packaging they use.

The problem of methane production and livestock production will be solved by bio chemists or at least reduced considerably. Or indeed new technologies may assist in finding solutions, in the meantime we hope and wish to work to assist in the drive to make #smartrural .

It would be great to read more about these initiatives. Any readers with information we would love to hear from you. @jsmartrural

NASA report

So here is a link that makes the case for what is increasing the amount of methane in the air. We have been reading here in #smartrural about cows and other ruminants creating all these greenhouse gasses.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-led-study-solves-a-methane-puzzle

This research indicates that rice paddies and increased hydrocarbon burning have exactly added the amount of increase that was measured. It is nice when sums add up.

Love other opinions or ideas on this but as a top down view (get it, Nasa, satellites etc) it looks pretty robust!

So maybe rural communities can continue to play a role in food production/ #smartrural

 

SEAI RDS Dublin

Great visit to the SEAI in dublin in mid April 2018.   It is so nice to meet Irish business people seeking overseas opportunities for their business development. We expect to add in a couple of these companies to our Central America visit this Autumn. They love the business model and getting a scout on the ground in such a market is well worth the small financial investment! We know that there will be plenty of opportunities and look forward to bringing back new business to Ireland