In January of 2021 I was invited by Cork Environmental Forum and SHEP Earth Aware to give a talk on the theme of compassion in ecology. Lucy Weir also presented on the night on the subject of the ‘us and them’ mindset in relation to environmentalism.
In the lead up to this talk I had some very helpful exchanges with Lucy and also James O’ Donovan of Cork Environmental Forum. As mentioned in the discussion section of the video, humility is an attitude that is good to adopt in environmental debates, given our propensity for blindspots and making mistakes where we think we’re making improvements. A case in point is the example of Moriarty rewilding the rhododendron as analogous to the need for people to occasionally rewild their own minds. The rhododendron is an invasive plant species which causes damage to native ecosystems in Ireland. Moriarty had major concerns over human impact on the environment. In many cases – as outlined in this talk – he was well aware of his own role in this, but in others, for example in the case of the rhododendron, he may have been missing some information which would have clarified that the rewilding of this particular plant species could cause more harm than good. Hence the need for humility in our thoughts and actions, however well-intentioned they may be.
I’m always interested in hearing comments, critiques or questions, and can be contacted at innerchaptermusic [at] gmail [dot] com
*The picture in the title card of this presentation was taken by myself near Glenteenasig in West Kerry. The tree on the home page of this website was also photographed by me during some particularly magical daylight, just next to the upper lake in Glenteenasig.