2015 ends with a bang and not just with Conor McGregor's left hook
Published 15/12/2015 | 00:00
The aisles started closing in on me in Smyths the other night.
Surrounded by 12 ft high shelves of plastic creations, I was finding it hard to breathe.
Three weeks to Christmas and I was already getting a cold sweat; my nights (and dreams) plagued by shopping woes, and I wasn't even the one doing much of the shopping. No, The Good Woman looks after all that, but it's hard not to get sucked into this, the most giving time of the year.
Stressed women wheeling trolley-loads of toys at 10.30 p.m. on a Thursday night to their suddenly too-small cars was a sight to behold. The plastic was turning to gold for the toy shop and with the weather outside frightful sure where else would you be.
The festive jingle 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' was probably not on the playlist in Paris as 187 world leaders convened to agree a monumental climate treaty, one which if properly implemented, could stem the tide of global warming over the coming decades thereby saving the planet, or at least postponing its deterioration.
With everything from Ireland's draw for the European Championships, to the RTE Investigates expose on some bad egg councillors, to the Conor McGregor fight, to Saudi Arabian women finally getting the right to vote, to lollipops outside nightclubs to stop fighting, there was much to ponder last week, but undoubtedly what happened in Paris was the most significant. The Paris Agreement may well be seen in future as a landmark moment, one which propelled the world on to using electric cars, nuclear, solar and wind farm power only. In Ireland it will mean we'll have to come up with a way to stop all the carbon emissions from our cattle, which there will be an Oireachtas committee on, undoubtedly chaired by a returned Phil Hogan.
Things we take for granted like electricity may get more expensive, but hey better to be cold, wet and miserable, than hiding behind huge flood walls and hearing ever increasing climate change news tragedies from across the world.
As I type in my freezing cold home office - which sounds a lot more plush than it is - I'm conscious of so much 'fluff' clogging up our collective consciousness. People today are too easily offended. They have lost their values and are miserable for the lack of them. The closer 1916 becomes, the more conscious everyone will become of the sacrifices people made for our country. In Paris great sacrifices were agreed on by wealthy countries, like our own.
in a landmark accord, paving the way for the transformation of the world's fossil fuel-driven economy within decades in a bid to arrest global warming.
The President of the United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris, Laurent Fabius, has said the final draft climate agreement is the best possible balance that could have been achieved.
187 nations submitted detailed plans in a unified effort, the first of its kind in history.
At the end of the hottest year on record and after four years of fraught UN talks, a deal was reached, one which creates a system to encourage nations to step up voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions, and provides billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition to a greener economy. Outgoing US President Barack Obama hailed the accord as strong and historic, calling it the best chance to save the planet from the effects of global climate change. Let's just hope what happened in Paris doesn't stay in Paris.