The Rural TD’s Guide To Climate Change


A SIGNIFICANT spotlight is being is being shone on the agricultural sector as Ireland aims to achieve a reduction in its carbon emissions, 37.5% of which is generated by the industry.

This puts the average rural TD in a tough spot. For any of these TDs struggling with how to best bury their head in the sand, WWN has produced this guide:

A so-called ‘expert’ with so-called qualifications and relevant experience and knowledge (yawn) might point out that overgrazing has lead to the disappearance of rare native flora.

You as a rural TD might think it’s advantageous to bang the drum by stating ‘well then grants are needed to encourage sustainable grazing’. Schoolboy error, with a Green Party in coalition the following may happen, observe:

Green TD: “Overgrazing is problem.”

You: “Pump the farmers full of sustainable grants, ha I didn’t so.”

Green TD: “Ok, sounds like a good idea nice to have you on board.”

You: “Shite, you’re supposed to say ‘no’ so I can do my 500th ‘them up in Dublin have no clue speech’, followed by my ‘the only way to get anything done is to vote me in again'”.

This is a delicate ballet, so don’t get caught wearing those mud caked wellies you only wear around town so you look like a man of the people.

“Yes, Ireland must prepare for the extreme heat of climate change but you can’t expect the agriculture industry to do the bulk of all the reductions and sacrifices” – to utter when the agriculture sector is simply asked to reduce its emissions in line with all other sectors.

“This is an attack on good honest rural families” – to utter whenever a legitimate criticism is made of some of the largest agribusiness conglomerates the world has ever seen.

“He’s not been well for some time, I think it was a kick to the head from a bullock” – to dispatch whenever a farmer shares their own concerns about the sector.

“Well I’m proud, we should be shouting this from the rooftops” – when it’s pointed out that figures show an increase in emissions of 4.7% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Remember it doesn’t have to make sense or actually help farming families in your constituency, it just has to get you reelected.

“Name one thing trees have done for us anyway!” – to use when cornered over the fact Ireland is near the lowest forest cover in the EU, covering just 11% of land, of which only 2% is native woodland.

“Aside from the Environmental Protection Agency, who says the Ag sector produces 99% of ammonia emissions? Or that it is an air quality concern?” – to say when it’s pointed out Ireland has breached it’s EU ammonia limits 8 of the last 9 years.

“Ballymacricken survived the last ice age just fine and it’s still standing” – you can just shout this at will wherever you go.

“Everyone knows Irish farming is the most green and environmentally friendly in the world. Captain Planet would get the auld blue horn looking at us” – when confronted with a video of a slurry being pumped directly into a waterway.

“I invite the good TD to say that down at the Ploughing Championships” – to be wielded any time another TD briefly acknowledges the existence of climate change.

“I’ll stab you with a steak knife so help me God” – whenever a parliamentary colleague said they ate a meat-free meal and didn’t hate it.