Thunberg vs Bolt: Thunberg Wins

Two days ago I’d never heard of Andrew Bolt, but now I know he’s an Australian journalist, and a grade A fool.

He came under fire for mocking Greta Thunberg (climate change activist and all-round incredibly, impressive human being) and more specifically for the fact that she has autism. Bolt called Greta “freakishly influential” and wrote, “I have never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru.” Yeah, really, he said that.

Bolt is not short of critics. He has justifiably been lambasted for his cruel and offensive remarks towards a young girl, and his “ignorance” about autism.

What I found most worryingly familiar about Bolt’s comments is his deadpan denial of the climate crisis, and his self-satisfied conviction of that denial. He’s one of those people, who lives in the same world as the rest of us but is blind to the facts, the endless studies, and many lauded scientists who have been trying very hard, for a very long time, to warn us of impending catastrophe and destruction.

Whatever about being too weak-willed to create change and make sacrifices for the good of yourself, your loved ones, future generations, the planet and all it’s living organisms, it’s another to write an article with contempt for a 16 year old girl who is braver than most adults, two, three, four and five times her age, doing things we as adults should be doing for young people like Greta.

Bolt writes with derision of Thunberg’s decision to travel to the US by yacht; “Of course, she’s going by racing yacht, because she refuses to fly and heat the planet with an aeroplane’s global warming gasses.” I read this in total seriousness, but Bolt writes this with ridicule. I see dedication and passion, Bolt sees a fundamentalist, someone “deeply disturbed” and “strange”.

I was recently at a meeting where a young man raised his hand and challenged the Irish Green Party’s leader, Eamon Ryan, if he would close down the airports, if he became Taoiseach. Ryan gave a solid reply about having to coax and nudge people in the right direction, because we all know no one will vote Green if they can’t take their holiday abroad. And I think Ryan is right in his evaluation of the voting electorate, but it still doesn’t make it the right choice for the planet. And Greta is one of those people who knows that too and is not standing by while “our house is on fire”.

Bolt is like a bystander at an accident with his smartphone out. Telling a relative not to bother trying to resuscitate their loved one, while simultaneously filming it all on his smartphone. At the very least he can stand back and let them get on with it.

Palm Oil “Fatbergs” Washing Up on Irish Shores

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

Local County Councils in Ireland have been issuing warnings for, Palm Oil Fatbergs, that have been washing up on Irish Shores. Some of the Fatbergs are oversized chunks and others are large, boulder sized fatty deposits lining our beautiful seashores.

Fingal County Council wrote; “A number were found on Sunday at Hoare’s Rock, Skerries, and results from laboratory tests have showed that the substance was Palm Oil. It is believed that the Palm Oil was part of a consignment which came off a ship in the English Channel about 18 months ago and was washed ashore by the weekend storm. The congealed substance has been turning up sporadically on beaches and coasts in England but this is the first time it has been recorded in Fingal.”

Most worryingly, these Fatbergs are toxic to dogs, who can be attracted to their diesel like smell.

A Fatberg is not just a term for Palm Oil though, it refers to any large mass of solid waste and is often a term used when describing London’s sewage problems, where congealed fats, oils and sanitary products have become congealed together to form solid masses.

The best way to help this problem is to make a concerted effort to cut down on single use waste, and opt for reusable items for cleaning your face, make-up removal, nappies, kitchen cleaning, etc.

Household oil is a trickier product to recycle, but pouring it down the sink can cause these blockages, and can build up, causing oxygen levels in the water to shrink and wildlife to suffocate. Instead, you should let the oil cool first, transfer it to a sealable container and take it to your local recycling centre (if they accept oil, which not all will). Where they are accepted, these oils are cleaned and recycled in animal feed and fuel adapted for cars.

Otherwise, you can compost oil in small amounts, but large amounts of oil slows down the composting process.

For large quantities of oil, Enva offer a pick up and recycling service.

For more information on what you can recycle in Irish recycling centres, click here.