Spouting hot air about climate change
ANYONE with a smartphone, and that’s most people these days, can download a free app giving instant access to almost every radio station in Ireland. That can only be a good thing, because Irish audiences are incredibly well served by the quality of programmes on offer round the country, and it would be a shame to restrict the audience by geography alone.
The only difference between national and local broadcasters is often that the former got a few lucky breaks at the right time and ended up as household names.
The other day I was “moving the dial”, as it were, and happened to catch The Michael Reade Show on Louth/meath-based LMFM. Reade talked to Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin about his suspension from the party over abortion; he chaired a debate between Ronan Mullen and Paul Murphy on the blasphemy referendum; he discussed the campaign against plastic packaging. He covered exactly the same ground as RTE Radio 1’s Today with Sean O’rourke or Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show, and with just as much deft professionalism. Only the ads gave any clue to differentiate them.
Pat Kenny also discussed EU proposals to ban single-use plastics on his show on Wednesday. He and his guest, from the campaign group Voice (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) took a fairly standard line on the issue. Her advice was: “Don’t kowtow to business interests, and... make them responsible for the litter cleanup.” Sounds great. But, of course, there’s no such thing as making businesses pay. The cost is always passed on to the customer.
The show also waxed lyrical about glass milk bottles. As pointed out on Tuesday’s Costing the Earth on BBC Radio 4 (another radio station freely available to listeners anywhere in the world through a phone app), glass bottles need to be cleaned before re-use, which necessitates a huge waste of water.
Plastic packaging also keeps food fresher for longer; doing away with it would mean producing more food with a shorter shelf-life, which means using more land and transportation, so is not particularly environmentally friendly.
One of the UK’S most influential organic food producers told the programme that some of the anti-plastic campaigners have an “almost religious fervour” that seems to override everything else. On the one hand, plastic does create litter and pollution. On the other, doing away with it may contribute to climate change. The point is that there are no easy answers. The role of broadcasters Watch IT NOW should be to tease out those Hardy various Bucks facets is on the of RTE an issue, not until to act as cheerleaders for any particular cause.
Whether Six Nations broadcasters Rugby is on 3Player are even until aware December of these 16; arguments is another matter. Simply On Nigella Wednesday’s is on BBC The iplayer Hard - curShoulder, Ivan Yates also asked what can be done about climate change. The first two suggestions made by his guest, a UCD professor chairing a conference on that question in November, was about doing away with single-use plastics. That’s simply not the same issue as climate change.
Naturally, the UN’S advice to go vegetarian or vegan to reduce one’s carbon footprint went unmentioned.