Children’s Hospital; Energy; Obesity and; Banking Inquiry

[Speaking during Order of Business in the Seanad] Link to video: In the context of news reports earlier today, will the Leader seek clarification from the Minister for Health and his Department on whether the discovery of a hitherto unsuspected complex and fairly ancient sewer system under the site for the proposed national children’s … Continue reading

Science Week

[Speaking in the Seanad on ‘Science Week’] I am delighted we have the opportunity to discuss science policy. It is not widely appreciated that the brief of the Minister of State is the most important in the Government. It is unlikely that the future of our species will be determined by real estate prices or … Continue reading

Food Provenance Bill

Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit. I support my colleague’s Bill. Few people can speak with as much authority on the subject as Senator Quinn. Few people have looked at the food supply industry as well as considered the needs and wants of consumers. Food, water and energy are the big three in determining our … Continue reading

Food Wastage

I am sorry if it sometimes seems like I am trying to make very profound statements from these poor, Independent, academic benches, but the Minister and his ministerial colleagues who have responsibility for energy and water policy have the most important Departments. Long after the penny drops that our future as a species is not … Continue reading

Our judgement was distorted by Chernobyl tales

We need to discuss nuclear power as a serious option. So let’s do it openly. Even if you are sceptical about global warming, the case for reducing our dependence on carbon as an energy source is overwhelming. In the first instance carbon fuels are non-renewable. They will run out. There will come a time when … Continue reading

Speaking on the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

As I have stated, strategically the Minister’s (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Pat Rabbitte) Department is perhaps the most important of Government because he has executive control over a branch of policy which, at the risk of being over dramatic, has existential indications for our species. There is a tendency on the … Continue reading

Renewable Energy

We can forget all about political points scoring, procedural matters and constituency boundaries. There is no doubt in my mind that the three existential crises that will face our society and our civilisation in the years to come will be food, water and energy. It is that simple. The imperative to do something fundamental about … Continue reading

Water Services

I wish to address the broad philosophy of how we are addressing the water problem. There is a certain consistency across the public service that the way to solve real world, practical problems is to develop another bureaucracy. I am not saying that we do not need to have officialdom and regulatory oversight. The health … Continue reading

Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

The Minister has perhaps the most important portfolio of all of the Ministers in the current Government. The reason it is important is that the major existential threats which will face our species in the years to come are not the IMF or the ECB or Anglo Irish Bank or disturbances between Fianna Fáil and … Continue reading