Sunday, July 26, 2009

Irish Airspace invaded

Tonight, July 15, my ten year old son and I watched in awe as the space shuttle Endeavour passed over our house at 11.23pm, Irish time, just 20 minutes flying time from Florida to Galway Bay - Now that's the way to travel, eh!

Suddenly there it was, a brilliant bright star, hurtling along, huge really, and closely paralleled by the glowing orange fuel tank, they appeared together over the Aran Islands, rocketing eastwards towards us across a midnight blue sky, a comet among stars, breath-taking! And we think we saw them jettison the boosters just after it passed us, fireworks as we turned to follow its flight path. What Timing! Oh boy, Endeavour was really shifting as it crossed from horizon to horizon. In just about 2 minutes flat it was gone, leaving us both open-mouthed, stunned, privileged. Whooooey!!! You had to be there! Just the two of us, dad and 10 year-old son, on our little rock out on the bog in Barna, in the silent pitch-dark night - star-gazing! What a thrill! Absolutely priceless.
Thank you America. Good luck Endeavour.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Permission to dream

Spirit of Ireland - Energy independence anyone?
Check out

This is one very ambitious though that I believe makes a whole lot of sense!

Mind you, for Ireland this is a bit like a JFK 'Man on the Moon' moment! What I mean is whoever would've thought that such a nutty ambition would succeed in 1967? Men on the moon indeed! Or who could have foreseen that building the Hoover Dam would lead America, and the whole world, out of a 15-year depression?

Whoever would believe that we could create a water-filled valley in the west and use wind-power to constantly keep the water levels pumped up, while on the other hand using the stored sea-water to generate Hydro-electricity on demand! No pollution, no oil, no gas...just green energy, all day long, for free. (other than the capital development cost of course, which might be $30 Billion or so!). Not to mention the new aquaculture and tourism industries that would be supported by such a project!

Could Ireland really become a net exporter of energy within ten years using wind energy and hydro-electric power generation? Pipe Dreams perhaps? (no not pipelines....! pipes, sorry to be so politically un-PC) Or are we so afraid to fight for our own destiny, that we are waiting for our politicians to lead us forward!! Some hope that! (Actually there must be something good about this when our politicians have run a mile from it! Perhaps they have finally reached the Peter Principle of Politics....another pipe dream I'm afraid).

I know one of the Spirit of Ireland promoters, a really solid guy, not given to flights of fancy!Inspirational goals, charismatic leaders with humble personal aspirations, socially responsible, nationalistic, sustainable, creative, meaningful, achievable, renewable, green.
A clatter of clever cliches.

So why then are we becalmed, procrastinating in the doldrums...waiting for the other shoe to fall? Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal all stand to gain from this.

Jobs, industry, cheaper electricity, a future for our there's a dream. Permission to dream?

Feel free to make a comment.