The Editor’s Corner

Beibhinn Byrne

We demand a better future. That is the cry that went up from communities at the local elections with the increased endorsement of the Greens. An environmental vision is a humanitarian one. We are connected to our habitats, cityscapes, landscapes and all the necessary biodiverse wildlife, fauna and open spaces we should have within our constructed ones. This is vital for survival and wellbeing. Equally the choices we make and the interests we endorse via political representation matter because they become the policies and blueprint that dictate the quality of our lives and the direction of our society. 

We are ‘the environment’ and we desperately need a whole, new way of thinking, interacting and being if we are to ensure a tomorrow, let alone a better one. We need a world where we can all breathe both figuratively and literally; because unchecked, unsustainable capitalism and its crony politics of ‘business as usual’ is killing us. 

This is why elections are important and communities need to stay vocal and be active. The Save our Trees campaign (pg 14) is a case in point as is the fact that BusConnects is in a two-phased consultation process and the community needs to engage with it in wholesale numbers if they want to have an impact. It works, as the IGB outcome (pg 33) illustrates. Changes don’t have to be either/or, where to improve a public transport system, we tear nature asunder. We need to retain what’s best and build on to that (Vienna Housing Model pg 32). This requires the work of thinking, negotiating and patience rather than the irrational, ‘make-it-so’ of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, everytime. We’ve been here before: Dublin’s old trams and the LUAS are a case in point. Lisbon a hilly, ancient city has managed to retain their historical trams and build a state of the art metro system without destroying the character or cultural uniqueness of their city; made possible because of long-term thinking, resourcefulness and a focus on servicing people not contractors, ‘the market’ or corrupt ideology. Check agendas and policies before you give your consent, vote or euro. Be informed, then engage accordingly with positive action. This is how we demand a better