Eamon Ryan is expecting a ‘Green Wave’ in the upcoming General Election, but the headline from his interview with the Irish Independent is sure to do him no favours as voters consider forgiving and endorsing a party so heavily involved in the last economic crash.
Ryan admits that not only did he fly to December’s climate summit in Madrid, but he remains at the steering wheel of his 2.5 litre van, loves his meat and dairy diet, and has no plans to change.
All this might be fine in another person’s life, but when it comes from the same man who wants to reduce rural Ireland to only a few village-owned cars and bring in a carbon tax, then it is bound to leave a sour taste in the mouths of some voters.
Ryan however is well-able to rationalise his lifestyle, claiming that the real solutions to climate change lie in changing systems and not people. It seems he has an ambitious plan to retro-fit houses with solar panels and other technologies that he hopes will make them almost passive, all at a cost of zero to home-owners.
This might be a winsome approach when it comes to electoral politics, as voters rarely consider the enormous national debt we must payback, but the truth of the matter in terms of what will really solve our supposed climate change crisis remains debatable.
Would it not benefit Deputy Ryan’s environmentalist causes if he and others took the noble step of scrapping the car, avoiding the plane, and changing their methane-rich eating habits?
In truth, if Ryan was truly concerned about an imminent climate collapse, these are the emergency steps he and other political leaders would unapologetically campaign for.
The Green Party leader however has clearly prioritized electoral success and home comforts over the radical environmental measures his green theories demand.