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Irish politicians only work on problems they can’t solve

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says that Ireland should be a “leader” in fighting climate change, reminding us once again that Irish politicians are only worried about problems they can’t possibly solve.

As reported in the Irish Examiner:

“Ireland can lead the battle against climate change from the front as it is “one of the better countries” when it comes to food technology and emissions.

That is what Taoiseach Micheál Martin will tell his fellow world leaders as they gather at Cop26, the Glasgow-based United Nations climate change event.

“The key message for us at Cop26 is that every country has to play its part. Sometimes you’ll get the kind of a lazy analysis where people say let China do it or the bigger states do it. It is only when everybody does their bit that one makes the difference. That is certainly true of climate change. Every single state has to play its role.”

So apparently it’s “lazy analysis” to say that big countries like China, India and the US are the ones who have to worry about their carbon emissions, because they are by far the biggest contributors to emissions by a country mile. To say that their contribution is more than Ireland’s doesn’t even begin to do the situation justice. It’s so much starker than most people realise.

For a sense of scale here, China contributes more to global CO2 annually than every other developed nation on earth combined.

China is such an unimaginably large carbon emitter, that there are individual Chinese companies which produce more CO2 than major developed nations.

For example, Chinese oil company Sinopec produces more CO2 than the entire nation of Canada, with a population of 38 million people. Chinese steel company China Baowu produces more CO2 than Belgium and Austria combined, which between them have a total population of 20.4 million.

China has a bigger contribution to CO2 than the next 4 countries on the list – the US, India, Russia and Japan – all put together. And its emission levels are still rising even higher every single year.

After being given a stern talking to down at the station by various Western politicians about their carbon naughtiness, China has boldly committed to reducing its emissions.

When exactly will they get around to this? Well, maybe in the year 2060 – that is, 38 years from now – if they feel like it and they’ve got nothing better to do at the time.

Credit where credit is due in all fairness; Xi certainly knows how to humour these people’s naivete.

“Hey China, will you please stop emitting so much carbon?”, our leaders say.

“Sure, anything you want,” China replies.

And then right after they proceed to open so many coal power stations that the total number of stations in the world actually goes up despite the West shutting them all over Europe and America. That is to say, China is literally opening coal plants faster than the combined Western world can close them.

We’re desperately shutting down our main power supply and risking rolling blackouts for years to come – not just here in Ireland, but in America, Germany and all over the West – and while we’re doing this the net amount of coal plants in the world is actually increasing because China is opening so many.

And meanwhile, what is Ireland’s contribution to global carbon emissions?

According to the EU: 0.1%.

Not 1%, mind you – zero-point-one percent. One tenth of one percent.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you were in a sinking boat, and you bailed out 0.1% of the water, would you expect that to save you? Or, if you took on 0.1% more, would you expect to sink? It’s a meaningless amount – you’d likely not even notice if it came or went. It’s so infinitesimally small that it’s actually irrelevant.

China produces as much carbon in 2 days as Ireland does in an entire year.

And in fact, it’s worse than that again, because we’re not talking about lowering global emissions by 0.1%. They’re talking about getting our contribution down to half. So it’s 50% of 0.1%. That, at the end of the day, is what we’re killing ourselves over.

But apparently, according to Micheál Martin, pointing this out is an example of, quote, “lazy analysis.”

He’d prefer if we destroyed our economy with radical climate policies like carbon tax hikes that force you out of your car, and that sends your home heating bill exploding through the roof.

He’d prefer if you put up with rolling annual blackouts for the foreseeable future, and unable to go on cheap holidays because the government has pumped up the price of plane tickets – all without ever stopping to think about whether or not it would actually help anyone or be functionally useful to the earth.

Martin says “It’s only when everybody does their bit that one makes the difference.”

But he’s not asking for us to do “a bit.” We’re not being asked to chip in a fiver and do our part like it’s a bake sale at work. He’s asking for, in Eamon Ryan’s words, “fundamental changes” to the way we live. And none of those changes involve making your life easier – only harder, and for no gain to anyone. Not to humanity, not to the planet, and certainly not to you.

The government likes to focus on climate change, for the same reason it likes to focus on Covid: because they know they possibly can’t fix either. Ireland could double or halve its carbon emissions overnight, and the world would not even notice. Our contributions are a fart in the wind, and the government knows that perfectly well.

The same goes for Covid. They’ve already admitted that the virus is endemic, which we’ve known for over a year now. And yet they’re dedicating virtually 100% of their time to combating a virus they’ve already conceded is inevitably going to spread no matter what they do.


But by focusing on these issues, and making them the centre of attention, they can divert attention away from areas which they can affect but are failing in – like, for example, healthcare, housing, law and order, etcetera. Basically you name it – if it’s important, they’ve probably made a balls of it.

The beauty of these unwinnable, unfixable, nebulous problems, is that like all bureaucrats, they get to shuffle papers around and faff about at the taxpayers’ expense looking busy for hours on end, while achieving absolutely nothing of value – which is just the way they like it.

Even think about things like their approach to housing: they commit to building more and more houses to deal with the housing crisis, while at the same time letting in tens of thousands of net arrivals through open borders immigration. And while they’re at it, they grant tens of thousands of illegal immigrants the right to stay in the country, and offer free own-door accommodation to anyone who claims asylum in Ireland, legitimate or not.

Now, think about it: does that make it more or less likely that people will want to come here? And if and when people do come here in their droves, what will the government do next? Build more houses? And what happens when people arrive after that? Build more houses again? It’s a never ending cycle.

Or take the blasphemy referendum – no person has even been charged with blasphemy in Ireland in living memory, let alone convicted under it. Yet we had an entire referendum to remove this totally impotent, prehistoric piece of legislation, just so the government could say “Look how much things are changing, we’re doing loads.”

But they’re not, really, are they? While people worry about bread and butter issues like where they’re going to live and how they’re going to get a life-saving operation in a timely manner, our politicians are spoofing trying to limit cow farts and stop a virus they’ve already admitted is unstoppable.

The only challenge they’ll accept is an impossible one, and maybe that’s why nothing productive ever gets done in this country.

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