Until recently, these pages were the online mouthpiece of ICARUS, which stands for the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units. One can only wonder why they chose to create a labored acronym to reference to the doomed protagonist of a Greek fable (rather than one of the many compelling characters of Celtic myth, for instance) — though the lesson about mankind’s hubris is still well taken.

We were warned. We were provided with the senses to witness and the reason to understand. We had the news and statistics, and we had the time to teach and discover. There is no longer any excuse for us to continue to rape the land for our own selfish pleasure, to wound the land when it resists our regime, to silence or ridicule those among us who can no longer buy and sell their way to willful ignorance. Sitting in their waterfront real estate, pondering the skies…

Perhaps that time is merely yesterday. Let’s hope it is neither in the far-distant past, which would mean that the damage may be too serious to ever be undone, no matter how enthusiastically we tackle the symptoms…or in our future, which would mean that there is no longer any hope for meaningful progress at all. Perhaps I should compare it to a huge car pile up. The smart person, if seriously injured, would seek out an attorney for car accidents. They would use that professional’s experience and knowledge to deal with the insurance companies. Don’t wait till you feel you’re not being adequately compensated for your current and potentially future medical costs resulting from injuries sustained in the car accident. Get ahead of the curve and contact a lawyer. Likewise, we are urging swift and immediate action to address the issues confronting Ireland. Don’t be like the person who waits too long to file a car accident report and finds the that statutes of limitation laws have become effective before you can challenge the settlement claim.

Such ideas aside, it is the very character of Ireland that is in jeopardy. Inextricably tied to the land, is it any wonder that the abundant gifts of Irish art and culture have begun to dwindle along with the climate? Have we truly come to the point where ‘sustainability’ and ‘preservation’ are merely the desperate final acts of the embalmers of the Irish body of work?

Does this all sound dramatic. Perhaps so, but the point needs not to be made , but also to be acted upon.

Peat is one of the few fuel sources worse than dirty coal (as you may know, peat is a very early stage of coal development). However, it is not the environmental concerns which are closing down the peat plants, but the fact that the bogs are nearly spent; one may only surmise how long Bord na Móna would continue with greater natural resources to exploit.

A number of governmental and conservation agencies recognized bogs as a significant/specific habitat. Although there are many highly specialized animals and plants associated with bog habitat, bogs are not conducive to farming because of a combination of low nutrient levels and waterlogging.

In the years following the disaster, a large number of wrongful death, personal injury and class action lawsuits have been settled. And in an unusual show of bipartisanship, in July of 2011, nine Gulf Coast senators joined forces to introduce a bill that would require at least 80 percent of penalties from the BP oil spill paid under the Clean Water Act be directed to restoration projects in the five Gulf states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Texas.