Re: Re: Welcome to Ireland’s ugly urban sprawl
While that article does indeed raise a few points, it is the intellectual, ecological media equivilant of a sun frontpage. It’s not only completely unbalanced, but it’s also totally unfair and inaccurate in its portrail of Ireland and is effectively a well put together rant.
Dublin is a relatively small urban area and does not remotely represent the rest of the Irish landscape. Yes, it does have major transport and urban sprwal problems, but they are not at all representative of the other 90%+ of the Irish landscape.
There are still plenty of beautifully painted multicoloured little towns dotted around the countryside that arn’t suffering from urban sprwal and 30 lane motorways.
I don’t know what the author suggest we do about Ireland’s extremely poor road infrastructure. We are at least 30 years behind the UK and the rest of Western Europe in that regard. We’re not building roads in any great quantities than any other western country ever has and we’re certainly not building anything like superhighways across the countryside.
If anything, our current road infrastructure is causing more CO2 output because it’s conjested but, more pressingly the existing infrastructure is causing thousands of unnecessary deaths. Irish main arterial routes are still largely single carriageway, dangerous and twisty and are killing/maming innocent people every year. Yes, the Gardai and others rant on about speed and drink driving but the reality is that most road deaths in Ireland are head on collisions on single carriageways and have relatively little to do with unusually bad driver behaviour. In fact, I’d argue that Irish drivers in general behave very well on our roads.
So, is the author suggesting that we simply stop moving around the country completely and take up cottage industries?
These roads have to be built, they’re minimal infrastructural requirements.
I would agree however, that some more money does need to go into public transport and I would completely agree that Dublin planning has been allowed to go out of control.
I completely agree with the point about Bord na Mona and peat exploitation. I have never been able to comprehend why this industry has been allowed to continue in operation. Peat production may have been necessary in the days of energy crisies in the 1940s when we had no access to alternatives, but it’s is insane to suggest that peat provides any sort of serious contribution to the Irish energy production. Why ESB went ahead with new peat plants is beyond comprehension.
Bord na Mona should simply be wound up.
The author needs to get some sense of perspective however. I get the impression he was brought on a tour of construction sites by environmental campaigners and then did a quick tour of a bleak Bord na Mona destroyed bog and based the entire article on it.
There is clearly a suggestion that Ireland should simply stop doing anything and be an ecological theme park / bird sanctuary.
And we are *NOT* one of the world’s worst polluters. Once you factor out growth rates (in CO2 emissions) our output of CO2, energy consumption rates etc are in the lower half of the European average. I do think we need to do more, but you can interpret statistics to prove any point.
I also think that article is horrendously unfair to the Irish tourism industry and the claim that photos were “stock photos” taken years ago is practically slanderous.