There’s a great picture at the front of today’s Irish Independent newspaper of John Gormley holding a brolly at yesterday’s demonstration on Sandymount beach. (There’s even one on page 7 of the Irish Times, but I cannot access the online version.) This is an extremely serious issue – climate change – and it’s good to see some publicity for it. I applaud Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth for his part in it.
But…we all know why Mr. Gormley is featured on the front page, and it has nothing to do with a nice day out at the beach or climate change. It is because the Greens are on the verge of going into government for the first time ever. If the Greens enter government with Fianna Fail next week without a firm commitment from them over climate change, then they’re wasting their time and their supporter’s vote. I voted Green in the election, but only on the basis that they’d get Fianna Fail out. I’d be prepared to accept a coalition, however, if I saw that it made a real difference.
Climate Change is not about wishy-washy, fringe politics: it should be centre-stage in any debate about the future of mankind (along with hunger and poverty). And if the Greens don’t negotiate on that basic principle, then they’re selling themselves out. I’d personally put the M3 Tara issue, Shannon, and proper public transport on my “absolute minimum” list of requirements for government too. I would never vote Green again if those issues are not addressed in the life-time of next government if they play a part.