Dan Boyle: Our Beds Are Burning


From top: Defence Forces helicopter fighting a fire in the Slieve Bloom Mountains near the Laois-Offaly border during the heatwave; Dan Boyle

I have two tenets of belief that underline my personal political philosophy. The first is that the way that resources (economic, social and environmental) are allocated determines the fairness of a society. The second is how decisions are made, in what way and by whom, is the other vital component of a fair society.

Any political issue, I believe, can be measured against both these tenets.

I’m became a Green because I believed, and still believe, the principles of the party most accorded with those of my own.

Like any member of any political party, I am never 100% in agreement with how the party operates. Over the course of what soon will have been a 30 year journey, I have contested within the party how issues have been prioritised and progressed.

I would have classed myself as a Social (ish) Green dedicating myself to identifying, developing then advocating policy areas not readily identified with the Greens, even if still very much part of a holistic Green vision.

As an elected Green I tried to address not only these issues, but also those issues with a more obvious green bent. Issues like transport, energy, waste management, water use and environmental protection.

While I contributed on all these subjects, I would have deferred to other colleagues to expound more deeply on the Green agenda, while I concentrated on a more conventional political agenda.

I’m still of the belief that that needed to be done. This dual agenda hasn’t benefited The Greens. The social and economic political agendas are of obvious importance, and most particular importance to voters themselves.

Where Greens have fallen down politically, has been in the failure to gain a critical mass among the electorate, that environmental issues should be given precedence.

Without a serious attempt to tackle our environmental difficulties, we will have no means, or wherewithal, to address what it economically or socially unfair.

This is especially true of climate change. Greens have meekly accepted that false narratives should be expressed by those who fear change and who hate science.

What can be argued is the scale, the depth, and the timespan of the problem. What can’t be argued it that the problem exists and is worsening, through political indifference and ineptitude.

In the past nine months Ireland has experienced three extreme weather events of different variety. As I write a heat map of the World shows hundreds of conflagration points.

This is not theoretical. This is not potential occurrence. This is happening and it is happening now.

Reports such as the recent recommendations of the Climate Change Advisory Council, must be acted upon immediately. They must not be placed once again into that vast library of indifference.

We can now longer show tolerance towards the wilfully ignorant. They are no longer part of the problem, they are now the problem itself.

Climate change is the political issue of our time. Life itself depends on how we respond.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle


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87 thoughts on “Dan Boyle: Our Beds Are Burning

  1. ollie

    “The first is that the way that resources (economic, social and environmental) are allocated determines the fairness of a society.”
    Dan gets a pension at age 40, the rest of us won;t get our pension until age 67.

    “I would have classed myself as a Social (ish) Green ”
    Socialist to Socialish…………I suppose all the free money swayed you away for Socialism

    1. Dan Boyle

      At 40 I was a TD would be for several more years, followed by a term as a Senator. If you’re going to be obsessed about something, at least get your facts right.

      1. Ollie

        So whats your point Dan. You sti got a pension way before the rest of us will.
        Equality for some

  2. ollie

    On a more serious note, why is an increase in taxation always put forward as a solution to climate change?
    We now have a drive to so called zero emissions cars, these are a long way for zero emissions when you factor in manufacturing, disposal and pollution items such as brake pad dust which is a serious Health risk.
    Then there’s the environmental cost of manufacture and installation of charging points.

    it’s a shame that Mr boyle, with all his expereince, can only put forward tax increases as a solution.
    His lauded climate change advisory council recommends a tripling of carbon tax over the next 12 years, this is the only recommendation in a 55 page report (carbon tax is mentioned 55 times in the report)

    1. Dan Boyle

      It isn’t and I don’t. There are many recommendations in this and many other reports. Whenever taxation is proposed as a green measure it’s to place the actual environmental cost of the good or service.

    2. Rob_G

      ” why is an increase in taxation always put forward as a solution to climate change?”

      – because people don’t pay attention to these things unless they have to pay for them. Everyone used to get 5-10 plastic bags with their shopping, and had a kitchen press full of the things that they would always mean to bring with them, but inevitably forget. Once they started charging for the things, everyone remembered to bring their ‘bags for life’ with them every time they shopped – it’s just human nature.

        1. Rob_G

          The taxes aren’t high enough. If petrol was €5 per litre and there was a €20 congestion charge between the canals, the centre of Dublin would be empty of cars overnight. Finding the political will to implement effective green taxes is where you run into problems.

      1. Ollie

        Wrong again. People changed their shopping bags becauce they care, not to save a few cents.
        A shame the supermarkets cashed in by charging for bags for life, a bigger shame Dan’s green party let them away with it

  3. Cú Chulainn

    The Greens did fall fall down because they couldn’t get critical mass. They did. What changed was allowing the M3 to go ahead the night before signing the deal. The vast majority of the critical mass saw that for what it was. Everything else that came after was just another nail in the coffin. The greens are human. Humans are fucking up. That seems to be the way of it. For now.

  4. Dan Boyle

    You’re confusing Lismullen with the M3 which already had the go ahead. We were fooled and cheated on that, and had admitted to being.

    1. Cú Chulainn

      No I’m not. The Skreen valley section was allowed go through when you turned a blind eye and in one movement changed nothing and everything.

  5. jusayinlike

    Climate change hysteria 101.

    1 hot summer and we’re all doomed.

    1 trick pony Ban Doyle..

    1. jusayinlike

      For a conclusion to be reached with any merit, there must be a pattern, you cannot establish a pattern from one single year.

      Without evidence, all Ban Doyle can do is speculate.

      1. Nigel

        You can’t? Oh no! Tell the scientists! Tell the governments! This changes everything! You’ll get the Nobel for this you genius you!

          1. Dan Boyle

            It’s sad that you think that this ‘proves’ your argument. It does exactly the opposite.

          2. jusayinlike

            It’s sad you think that a conclusion can be reached without proof, that’s pony science Ban Doyle.

          3. jusayinlike

            @ CJ

            Please state how in science it is possible to reach a valid conclusion without evidence.

            And would you consider this conclusion to be 100% reliable?

          4. Nigel

            Yeah for proper conclusions to be reached you need proof, preferably in the form of pizza menus.

          5. jusayinlike

            Just like the ridiculously invalidated conspiracies that Russia hacked the DNC.

            Nigel swallowing pony science. Quel surprise..

          6. jusayinlike

            Why are you so concerned with Russia at the moment?

            The democrats haven’t given a toss about Russia for 60 years yet somehow all of a sudden they’re hacking democracy..


          7. Nigel

            I haven’t said anything abour Russia, you have. Why are you avoiding answering my question? You’re either into them or you ain”t.

          8. jusayinlike

            Nigel accuses someone else of digression..


            If you hadn’t noticed, the original topic was climate science or lack of, you decided to waffle on about pizza’s..

            The original sin is yours hombre..

          9. Nigel

            The discussion was about standards of evidence. But It’s no surprise you wouldn’t know much about that.

          10. Nigel

            Oh and I didn’t call it a digression you did, the same way I didn’t mention Russia, you did. Weird how you keep doing that.

          11. jusayinlike

            I don’t care what you call it, you ran off on a tangent like you always do so suck it up..

          12. jusayinlike

            The only shame here is oozing out of you champ.

            And for someone who never risks citations your request for me to answer a rhetorical question is sad.

          13. Nigel

            You were so proud of this before, how did it turn into such a difficult question? I’m just trying to contextualize you AGW denial with your pizzagating, qanoning, crisis-actoring, anti-vaxxing and, er, moon-landing denial. Just to get the whole picture.

          14. jusayinlike

            Keep jogging off on your tangent, hopelessly looking for any means to try and abnormalise, whilst at the same completely avoiding the initial line of discussion.

            Keep an trucking, maith an fear..

  6. lord scoundrel

    the greens lost me – I was a regular almost religious Trevor Sargent voter – when they (and the party internationally) got involved with identity politics.
    Lost the run of themselves and my vote.

  7. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    Thanks for the earworm, Broadsheet. I used to love that song when I was a whippersnapper.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Yup. Threatening singing style. Adam Buxton tweeted a link to the guitarist from Men At Work teaching people how to play Overkill a day or two ago. Apparently it’s fantastic. Hang on:

  8. pok

    Climate change ? It alway did ( eg Glaciers in Ireland as recently as 12,000 years ago)
    By all means we need to use resources sparingly and with care but to me it is gross oversimplification to believe reduced carbon use while will be the

    1. Nigel

      Telling us climate always changed while accusing others of gross oversimplification is a neat trick.

  9. Ollie Cromwell

    I had a Green supporter work for me once.
    A vegan too.
    Not the greatest looker but she was enthusiastic.
    However her flatulence was so bad I had to let her go eventually.

    1. bisted

      …I trust you pointed out that she was adding excessively to Ireland’s production of greenhouse gas…

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        Her co-workers certainly did.
        Fortunately she wasn’t in the executive suite but I’m told it was rather rancid.

  10. johnny

    This is a fantastic report from the CSO-highly recommend it-FFS Dan get a grip,the Irish ‘green party’ won’t stop,cant stop shooting itself in the head-it has be ‘worst’ green party in EU if not world.Given where the public’s sentiment has shifted in your parties favor,the non performance of the greens has go down as the biggest tragedy of a missed opportunity in Irish politics.

    “The environment area is wide-ranging and the nine domains cover areas as diverse as greenhouse gases, waste, and biodiversity. There are a large number of EU legal requirements to compile environment related statistics in areas such as energy balances, waste materials, special habitats, and material flow accounts as part of the wider European Strategy of Environmental Accounting. The environmental economic accounts provide an integrated framework for data, indicators and analysis. Integrating environment-related data with the national accounts framework makes the resulting indicators more consistent among themselves and permits aligning with the social aspects of sustainable development and the employment aspects of green growth. This report attempts to bring together the most important indicators from these domains to facilitate easy access for users.”


    1. Dan Boyle

      What are you on about? I never referenced this report. It’s a statistical report it doesn’t promote responses. In the international context the Irish Greens do all right. Your hyperbole indicates where you are coming from.

  11. johnny

    Its exactly this type thinking that has resulted in the irish green party being a joke in Irish politics and the media.Disband the bunch of tossers and allow some new young, fresh people have a go-can’t be any worse that you guys.

    I noticed all your musings are ‘stat/fact free’ zones.

    “Our History
    The Green Party was formed in 1981 by a group of people with a vision for better planning, social justice, sustainable economic growth and protection of our natural environment.
    The first Green Councillor was elected in 1985 and in 1989 the Party took its first seat in the Dáil. The Green Party served in a coalition government from 2007 to 2011 with 6 TDs.”

    You guys failed, next.
    (why are women less than 2% of your party pic, but grandads dominate)


    1. Frilly Keane

      ah Jesus
      you’re a right grouch lately


      all the Summer blow ins t’ the Hamptons getting on your moobs?

      1. johnny

        Hi Frilly,not at all I’m actually very ‘green’ myself and consider it one the biggest missed opportunities in Irish politices,that the people of Ireland are offered “this” choice by Dan and his mates.

        As a somewhat ‘local’ you learn avoid all those blow in’s-city during week but great surf at mo-its hurricane season-gosh hope nothing happens to DOB/Digi’s towers what with all those pending asset sales:)

        1. Dan Boyle

          It’s a picture of most the party’s elected representatives. Five Northern Ireland reps aren’t included, neither is Grace O’Sullivan nor are three other councillors, two of whom are female. New website is going up soon so it’s somewhat moot. Besides 2 out of 11 is 18%. I’m surprised you could read that CSO report. And none of the people in that picture are grandparents. I am though.

          1. johnny

            Yeah yeah and two dollars buys you a cup of coffee-why not simply say ‘ under-construction’ on your website or ‘coming soon’ then as it also reflects the state of the actual party……….
            I’m gonna ignore the ‘grandparents” thing-for now!
            Not as surprised then as I am that you could do that math-or did someone help you:)

          2. Dan Boyle

            What and give you nothing to complain about? The 2% crack was yours, sounds like you need help with the maths.

          3. johnny

            Ya know this is the problem with you greens-it was illuistrative perhaps quickly done or on the fly,pre morning joe, but now your simply going on and on and on and on about it…
            Thanks for engaging Dan:)

            (now its my math huh, normally its my horrific spelling,typos,grammer)

  12. Dan Boyle

    I’m glad you’re able to forgive yourself. Harsh on others kind to yourself. Maybe you should be a life coach.

    1. Johnny

      Certainly looks like you could use one-if I come across a cheap one I let you know…..
      Hopefully the voters are as forgiving ,but I doubt it,the stench from that shambles of a govt will linger over you guys for a long time.

      (Next time take a olive branch when it’s offered,makes you look small or tiny like your party)

        1. johnny

          WTF do you need a hug-that’s me being nice (ask anyone)-as you should know NY style is in your face,no time for Kumbaya,and yes actually I thought it was awfully decent off me !

          Progress not perfection and all that let us know how it goes with the life coach Dan-I find positive affirmations by Louise Hay very helpful first thing.

          ……….as i forgive myself it becomes easier to forgive others………….
          -Lousie Hay.

  13. Culchie

    Dan thinks more taxes will change the weather.

    Dan offers a vague picture of doom with no evidence.

    Dan thinks skeptics and critical thinkers and all science that does not follow the false logic of his climate change cult should not be tolerated.

    Is he going to jail us? Shoot us? Silence us?

    Present Dan with actual facts and I bet he runs a mile.

    Medieval Warm period, Little Ice Age, 1930’s warming (dust bowl), 1970’s cooling, 1980’s warming, 2000’s hiatus…

    Give it up Dan, you’re fooling less and less people as time goes on.

          1. Culchie


            Any evidence that man-made climate change is actually occurring outside of natural variations?

            Or are you just going to spout more fact-free dogma?

            Just like Dan Boyle does.

            And then insidiously intimidate with vague threats those who refuse to join your cult of doom.

          2. Rob_G


            Anything other than tautological arguments to show why we listen to you, rather than to the world’s climate scientists, geologists, marine biologists, geologists… I could go on.

          3. Culchie

            So that’s No concrete Evidence from ReproButina. Just a lame google search to a collection of bogus science.

            As for Rob G: We’re still waiting for the Climate Catastrophe we’ve been warned about for 40 years. Where is it?

            All those promises made about the end of the world by Al Gore and others: none have come true.

            Cos they’re lies.

            The so-called science is bogus and based on tampered date. Remember Climate Gate, the emails? Hansen and the Hockey stick? The Secret Science of the America EPA (now outlawed by the Trump admin)

            I’ve provided plenty of non-tautological evidence that climate change is a natural state but you Kool-Aid sippers just ignore it in favour of your Cult of Doom.

            Here it is again, just so you can ignore it one more time.

            Medieval Warm period (Vikings grow Barley in Greenland), Little Ice Age 1700’s (Ice Fairs on the Thames), 1930’s warming (dust bowl), 1970’s cooling (Ice Age Scare), 1980’s warming (Global Warming Scare), 2000’s hiatus (Climate Change scare)…

            Notice how Dan disappears when ever anyone calls for the ‘evidence’. He’s selling snake oil. Badly.

          4. Culchie


            Still posting links to bogus (non)science sites pandering to the false narrative of man-made climate change. Not good enough.

            Evidence is what I’m looking for: When and how are we all going to die like you crazy science deniers promised? When will the snow stop? When will the oceans drown us?

            BTW, the earth isn’t flat. So you can withdraw that insult.

          5. ReproButina

            There is no science that wilfully ignorant flat-earthers like you will accept. Everything you list as some sort of counter to climate change has been repeatedly debunked. I’ve danced this dance too many times to waste my time throwing up link after link after link just for you to dismiss them as “bogus” based on nothing. There’s plenty of evidence in the first link for anyone who’s interested.

          6. Culchie

            So your debate tactic is to insult and demean anybody who asks you for evidence to back up your position.

            Are you Dan Boyle in internet drag?

            You sure come across like him.

            Just give me one piece of solid evidence that we’re all doomed; something that’s not a link to the fake science propaganda.

            (For the second time you write that you’re finished arguing but I bet you’ll be back at least once more to lob more insults. Narcissists just can’t help themselves).

  14. Mé Féin

    Where Greens have fallen down politically, has been in the failure to gain a critical mass among the electorate, that environmental issues should be given precedence.
    Or maybe it was selling out your supporters just to get into bed with the Fianna Failures.

    1. Culchie

      The Irish Pseudo-Greens are really just another branch of the catch-all FF brand in the end. They deliberately conflate genuine environmentalism with their fake climate science and social justice posturing.

      Their lasting legacy will be the pollution of a pristine Irish landscape with hundreds – if not thousands – of pointless, obsolete and worthless windmills pretending to produce electricity using outmoded technology. The only value from these windmills are the government subsidies paid to enable their construction.

      It’s the worst kind of cronyism: a severe cost to the citizens for no discernible benefit.

      And now Dan is on the verge of jailing anybody who disagrees with the rationale for the Greens’ plundering of the public purse and the desecration of our lived environment with his ugly, useless ‘totems to virtue’.

      How do you describe a political philosophy that refuses to tolerate dissent?

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