Category Archives: Sustainability

Lismullin Post Enclosure, Co. Meath, Ireland

I attended the public lecture entitled ‘Iron Age Post Enclosure at Lismullin’, which was delivered by Frank Prendergast at the Dublin Institute of Technology on 2nd November 2010. Frank, a colleague from the School of Spatial Planning, had carried out a thoroughly professional analysis of spatial archaeological data that had been gathered during the painstaking archaeological removal of top soil prior to the construction of the M3 motorway. It was the construction of the motorway that had led to the discovery of the former existence of an iron-age wooden post enclosure at this location. Frank pointed out that no visible indication of the post enclosure had existed before the motorway-related investigations. The archaeologist who had led the dig and staff of the UCD School of Archaeology were present at the lecture and contributed significantly to the discussion that took place afterwards during the ‘questions’ session.
Continue reading

The Very Basics of Sustainability – an Alternative Viewpoint

Globe showing land areas for different sea levels in succession

Animated views of world land areas for different sea levels

When I actually calculated what the land and sea areas of the Earth have been and might be in the future and when I considered the amount of time it takes for the sea level to change (even with our current high usage of energy and fossil fuels), I had a better perspective on the issue. It is a far more serious matter that, for example, in my lifetime the population of the Earth has more than doubled and a large fraction of the population has living standards that would generally be considered unacceptable.
Continue reading

Sustainable Energy, Environmental Protection and the Nuclear Energy Question

A conference entitled Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection takes place from tomorrow, 12th August, 2009, at Dublin City University and I am putting the final touches to my presentation, which I will deliver on Friday 14th August. My presentation is entitled ‘The Very Basics of Sustainability–an Alternative Viewpoint’. I am in favour of continuing to evaluate all of the options that are available to humankind. I favour allowing the best technologies to win out in the marketplace, but subject to global coordination and regulation that would ensure safety and would prevent exploitation of the common environment by some in a way that would be unfair to others who share the environment.
Continue reading

Sustainability – a Contrary View

I have always been in favour of efficiency and the avoidance of waste. As an engineer much of my career has been devoted to the development of better systems for using energy. I am currently a member of the Sustainability Group at the Dublin Institute of Technology. I am not a member of the Green Party or Greenpeace or any such organisation, although I respect their positions and am glad that they exist. By the way, the views expressed here are entirely my own; in fact they are not so much views as reflections, because I am not secure or at ease with them, and they are not static.
Continue reading