The ABC's of Green Politics
V...is for Violence

V...is for Violence

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 12/04/2024

In this episode, host John Barry is joined by Dr. Ross Mittiga, researcher and lecturer at the University of Graz's Department of Philosophy. The conversation ranges from how few of us want to talk about the issue of violence and social change; philosophical and practical arguments about how given the worsening climate and ecological crisis is causing multiple harms, including the deaths of millions of people, that violence for social transformation to end those harms may not only been legitimate but obligated; to the distinction between ‘rebellion’ and ‘revolution’; and why in relation to the fossil fuel industry and financial capital we need to make them ‘bleed green’ and ‘run yellow’. Enjoy!

His latest book has just been published, Climate Change as Political Catastrophe: Before Collapse with Oxford University Press.



U... is for Under Siege: Gaza

U... is for Under Siege: Gaza

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 26/01/2024

As Israel continues its genocide in Gaza, enabled by Western governments, we hear the testimony of Dr Saeb Sha'ath, a Palestinian writer living in Belfast. Saeb's family in Gaza have been forcibly displaced multiple times and are now living through a deliberately-imposed health pandemic, with their lives constantly at risk.

On a day such as this, as the ICJ rules that the case for genocide is plausible and that those who incite it must be punished, we call for a Ceasefire Now, and a Palestine that is free, from the river to the sea.

U...is for Universities...

U...is for Universities...

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 21/12/2023

In this episode we ask 'If the planet is on fire, how can universities and academics continue in a business as usual manner?'... this week host John Barry is joined by three academic-activists, Dr. Laura Horn, Dr. Aaron Thierry and Prof. Jennie Stephens to discuss the views on how and in what ways the higher education system needs to change, what we need to unlearn as well as learn, why so many of our colleagues seem not to be affected by the polycrisis we are now in, the emotional and psychological dimensions of teaching and researching this issue and the challenges and benefits of being an activist and sometimes (well often!) being as 'welcome as a fart in a space suit' for asking awkward questions! Knowledge is power...so arm yourselves...enjoy!

S...is for Socialism, Strategy and Struggle'

S...is for Socialism, Strategy and Struggle'

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 11/10/2023

In this episode we are joined by Emma River-Roberts, a working class environmental activist based in England, to talk about the middle class character of the mainstream green movement, its tendency to moralistic and scientistic forms of analyses, degrowth and how to communicate green politics, the importance of a class analysis to understanding the planetary crisis and how to connect solutions to that crisis to improving the lives of working class people and winning their support for a just transition. And why most working class people don't want to know about the recipe, they just want the cake!

T is for Transformation

T is for Transformation

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 26/09/2023

We need a Total Transformation, not just a Transition from capitalism to green capitalism. How do we democratize our economy? How do we democratize our democracy? What is to be done? Everything, everywhere, all at once.

R is for Revolution

R is for Revolution

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 23/06/2023

In this episode John Barry talks to activist Michelle Byrne (from our sister Left Bloc pod - The Week at Work) and Belfast-based researcher-activist Calum McGeown, on whether the worsening planetary crisis and related economic and social crisis are such that we now need revolutionary transformation and not simply green reforms. So questions discussed include 'what is revolution'? Who are the agents of such revolutionary action? What are the strategies than revolution requires?

Q is for Queer Ecology

Q is for Queer Ecology

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 23/04/2023

Queer Ecology can be a tool for illumination, or as one of our guests puts it -'a lifting of the veil'. It can also help us explore grief, vulnerability, what is 'natural', how we interact with and inter-depend on the world around us, and within us. Can this apocalypse bring us back in touch with the expanse of life that is 'wild, weird and deeply and intimately familiar'?


P is for Policing, Protest and Planet Destroyers

P is for Policing, Protest and Planet Destroyers

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 20/03/2023

This week we chat to Cormac McAleer from Save Our Sperrins and Declan Owens of Ecojustice Ireland. We discuss greedy goldmining plans for the Sperrin Mountains, and the partial policing in favour of Big Business. We also speculate on the future of protest in the face of oppressive laws coming out of Westminster and what that could mean for us here.

O is for... the end of the road for Optimism? - Part 2

O is for... the end of the road for Optimism? - Part 2

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 22/02/2023

In Part 2 of O is for the end of the road for Optimism? our host Lynda Sullivan speaks to Anne Symens-Bucher - who has been teaching, facilitating and living the practice of Active Hope (also known as The Work That Reconnects) for many decades. Anne is asked 'Is optimism still possible? Is it responsible? And how does optimism differ from hope, and in particular Active Hope?' How can we resource ourselves as we face into a world gone mad? 

Find out more about Active Hope here: https://www.activehope.info/ 

And The Work That Reconnects here: https://workthatreconnects.org/ 

Thanks to the Creative Workers Cooperative for support with editing and graphics!

O...is for Optimism - Part I

O...is for Optimism - Part I

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 15/02/2023

In Part I of this episode on Optimism and climate and ecological activism, Lynda Sullivan talks with Mariana Gomez, a Colombian anti-mining activist and member of Gai Amazonas and the Yes to Life, No to Mining solidarity about optimism, active hope and political activism.  Mariana is an anthropologist who has devoted her life to working alongside indigenous communities and peasant farmers to strengthen their cultural practices and ecological knowledge. 

N...is for the News

N...is for the News

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 24/08/2022

After what seems like an age... we're back.... In this episode we talk to two of Ireland's leading reporters on environmental and climate issues, Shauna Corr and Niall Sargent, about how the media has covered (or not) ecological and climate issues.

Shauna is an Environment Correspondent, who writes for @IrishMirror, @MirrorNI, @IsFearrAnStar, @BelfastLive, amongst others

Niall is an Investigative Reporter @noteworthy_ie, part of @TheJournal_ie

Issues covered in the pod include: Why do we rarely hear discussion of capitalism and economic growth as root causes of the planetary crisis in the news?  How do and how should journalists frame ecological and climate issues?  What language and terms should be used?  How do journalists balance the need to base their stories on the science, while also making it 'local', and ensuring there is a narrative that engages people?

You can follow both on Twitter: Shauna @ShaunaReports and Niall @Niall_Sargent

M...is for Music

M...is for Music

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 14/11/2021

In this episode hosts Lorna Bogue, Saoirse McHugh and John Barry have a natter with Jody Trehy, Dublin-based singer-songwriter and Galway-based poet Kevin Higgins on the role and power of music, arts and culture in ecological politics, framing alternatives to ecocidal capitalism and the power of art to inspire and illuminate the current state of the planet and the human condition .... and like ejits we forgot to record a poem or a song! 

L...is for loss, love and lots of emotions....

L...is for loss, love and lots of emotions....

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 06/09/2021

In this episode Saoirse, Lorna and John are joined by Louise Taylor, early career researcher at Queen's University Belfast and environmental activist to talk about something that we don't talk about enough in activist circles - our emotions.  So in this episode we discuss emotional responses to the planetary crisis and environmental activism from grief, anger, love, loss, disappointment and hope. 

K is for the Koran

K is for the Koran

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 23/07/2021

K is for the Koran – in which regular hosts Lorna Bogue and Saoirse McHugh are joined by Dr. Ingrid Mattson, London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at Western University in Canada and Dr Gasser Abdelal– Lecturer and Associate Professor, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast, to explore the relationship between the Islamic faith and ecological issues.  Topics include stewardship, ecological living and nature protection from an Islamic religious and ethical perspective, Muslim ideas of the place of humanity within the world, duties to protect nature, animal rights, globalised capitalism and climate change, and how to value and ethically and relate to the earth and its processes and entities.

J ....is for Just Transition

J ....is for Just Transition

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 11/06/2021

This week regular pod hosts Saoirse McHugh and John Barry talk to Sinead Mercier and Sen McCabe about the just transition beyond carbon energy, beyond an unsustainable economic system and the possibilities for a just transition in Ireland.

I...is for Incineration.....

I...is for Incineration.....

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 02/06/2021

This week regular pod hosts Saoirse McHugh, Cllr Lorna Bogue and John Barry are joined by Mary O'Leary Chairperson at Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) talking about the local community campaign against an incinerator being built in Cork.  A fascinating and inspiring discussion about the grassroots campaign against plans by Indaver, one of Europe’s biggest waste management companies, to build Ireland’s first toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour.

H is for .... Human Rights, Climate In/Action and Climate Case Ireland

H is for .... Human Rights, Climate In/Action and Climate Case Ireland

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 23/04/2021

In this episode regular hosts Sinead Mercier, Lorna Bogue and John Barry are joined by special guests Orla Kelleher and Emer Slattery to discuss the connections between human rights and their abuses and issues of climate breakdown, a human rights approach to climate and ecological action and Climate Case Ireland.

G is for ....growing

G is for ....growing

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 07/04/2021

G is for ... growing, land ownership and agrarian politics in Ireland, and farming ....amongst other things... This week regular pod hosts Saoirse McHugh, Sinead Mercier, Lorna Bogue and John Barry are joined by special guest Fergal Anderson from Talamh Beo to talk about growing food, awareness and alternative models and practices of land use and management, agriculture and how to support farmers and rural communities across the island of Ireland....


You can find out more about Talamh Beo here: http://www.talamhbeo.ie/ 

F is for..film, films &.. green futures ... and Fungi the Dolphin

F is for..film, films &.. green futures ... and Fungi the Dolphin

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 12/02/2021

F is for film... and Fungi the Dolphin... listen in to hosts Saoirse McHugh, Sinead Mercier, Lorna Bogue and John Barry discuss Batman, the Jurassic Park series... and other films...and articles.....and ideas..... that come into their heads..that have something to do with the environment...... horse it inta ya!!

E is for .... Extractivism, Exploitation and Extreme Energy.....

E is for .... Extractivism, Exploitation and Extreme Energy.....

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 17/01/2021

The exploitation of people and places for natural resources is the main topic of this episode.. looking at the ways global corporations seek out the extraction of 'cheap nature', especially in relation to fossil fuel resources from oil to fracked gas, and how communities have resisted this in Ireland and elsewhere..  we were joined by Dr Amanda Slevin, academic and activist, co-director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queen's University Belfast and Chair of Climate Coalition NI, and V'cenza Cirefice, PhD candidate at Galway University and anti-extractvist activist.... in conversation with regular ABCs podcast hosts Sinead Mercier, Saoirse McHugh and John Barry....enjoy.

D is for ....Disability, the climate crisis and green politics

D is for ....Disability, the climate crisis and green politics

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 16/12/2020

In which we discuss the relationships between disability, climate breakdown, green politics and human rights... with regulars Sinead Mercier and Saoirse McHugh, joined by special guests Maria Ní Fhlatharta, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, and Deirdre Ní Cheallachain, Policy officer for Irish Council for Civil Liberties

C ... is for capitalism...

C ... is for capitalism...

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 09/12/2020

Join regulars Saoirse McHugh, Lorna Bogue, Sinead Mercier and John Barry, with special guest Dr. Patrick Bresnihan from Maynooth University for a discussion on the connections between capitalism and unsustainability, how green politics should be viewed as seeking to move societies beyond capitalism as well as carbon,...enjoy

B is for ... Bills ... You wait and wait and then like buses two come along .... A tale of two Climate Bills ...

B is for ... Bills ... You wait and wait and then like buses two come along .... A tale of two Climate Bills ...

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 31/10/2020

Discussion of the recent Irish Climate Change Bill introduced by the coalition government in Dublin and the Climate Change Bill put before the Northern Ireland Assembly, with regulars Cllr Lorna Bogue, Sinéad Mercier and John Barry, and guests Seán McCabe and Dr. Andrew Jackson.

A - the Anthropocene and Agriculture

A - the Anthropocene and Agriculture

The ABCs of Green Politics  • 13/10/2020

And we're off... this week's letter is A, where we discuss this new idea of the 'Anthropocene' or the age of the human  and how humanity is now a 'force of nature' on the planet (all humans??), and Agriculture - you can talk about a 'post-industrial' society but not a post-agricultural one .... enjoy