Ireland is green. The reason for this is deceptively simple; the land gets a lot of rain.
Once, you could count on the Irish climate for a gloriously temperate summer, an invigoratingly stormy spring and autumn, and a crisp winter with a touch of ice around the edges. These days are passing; temperatures are rising, weather extremes are increasing in frequency and severity, and erosion and dryness are becoming major threats.
On a slightly lighter note, with lots of mystery and beauty in so much greenery my Irish grandfather used to tell us kids stories about many different mythical creatures that originated from Ireland. I think the funniest one he told was that the Tooth Fairy was Irish. Now that my siblings and I are all grown up we joke that perhaps our Papi was just a bit of a drunk, and many of these stories he made up in a tipsy frenzy as entertainment for us but more likely entertaining for himself! No one holds it against, rest his soul, as he was a gentle man, who did tell some pretty wild stories that made our childhood as great as it was.
Here in Orange County New York, the climate is somewhat different, although we are all concerned about climate change. Now with children of my own, I must admit I have taken up my grandfather’s mantle and his habit of telling fabulous tales of woodland creatures when my kids camp out in our large woody back yard that over looks the Hudson River. There are a number of well known folktales about the Hudson River and surrounding area- recall The Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow or the New York Ghost story about Henry Hudson and the Catskill Gnomes. But my tales are more reminiscent of the stories of R. R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings with their elves, fairies, gnomes and wizards, but no Orcs. We don’t need the kids to have nightmares that require us to get up in the middle of the night.
This past spring I bought from a pool and had a large deck built off the back of our house. Our neighbors operate an above ground pools orange county company and he was kind enough to give us a great discount, plus recommended the folks who built the deck around the pool. The fact that his kids play with mine and have sleep overs here didn’t hurt. This year the kids wanted their tent on the lower deck rather than the lawn. My daughter is squeamish about ants and creepy, crawly things.
The kids have been to Ireland once, but I think we should visit again in the not too far future.
The climate and environment of Ireland, famed from time immemorial, is suffering from the exploitation of international companies such as Shell. It is known that Shell employs their own ‘security forces. By using force and ‘dirty tricks’, whenever and wherever possible they often successfully intimidate and silence the opposition.
Already we see Ireland’s crops showing signs of decline with rapid destruction of coastal areas due to increased water levels and more severe weather events. This is not merely a problem for policy-makers and businessmen, this is a threat to all that is Irish, and therefore to all the world — for a world without Ireland is a house without a garden.