Podcasting controversy

Dear friends, it finally happened! I knew it would at some point, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. Someone who initially agreed to be my guest decided to pull out because he didn’t like one of the subjects previously discussed on the podcast. People are different and have different motivations for their actions. I respect his decision but thought this would be a good moment to make a short statement about the purpose of the podcast.

Tommy’s Outdoors is dedicated to everything outdoors. We discuss not only specific outdoor activities, like cycling and angling, but also issues related in any way to the outdoors, such as outdoors safety or wildlife conservation. The podcast is meant to be a conversational and educational platform. I welcome guests from all walks of life with a variety of different views. I encourage them to express their ideas. The more the merrier, as that will provide listeners with a wide spectrum of opinions on many different, often complex, subjects.

Being my guest doesn’t mean that you agree with or support the opinions expressed in any previous episodes of the podcast. Instead, it gives you an opportunity and platform to express your own views even if they are completely opposed to mine. That is okay and it has already happened more than once. I’m happy to have my opinions challenged and I welcome the discussion. This is how progress is made, this is how we get a better understanding of complex issues, and this how we enrich and educate listeners.

Thank you for your continuous support and I hope you will enjoy coming episodes of the podcast!

Episode 27: Sailing with Damian Foxall


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Ever since I started the podcast I wanted to talk about sailing. So I was truly honoured when my invitation was accepted by Irish national hero, Damian Foxall. Damian is a veteran of ten round-the-world races, which include four 1st place finishes. He has sailed in no less than five Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, and was also part of a team that set an around the world sailing record. In this podcast I had an opportunity to ask Damian many question related to his sailing exploits and to hear his stories from the high seas. We also spoke about the natural environment as Damian is actively working on issues related to Ocean conservation and is an ambassador for the nonprofit Sailors For The Sea.

Extinction Rebellion

There is a lot of buzz, at the moment, around the activist group called Extinction Rebellion. The group is organizing direct action campaigns and acts of civil disobedience in a protest against governmental inaction on climate change and disappearing wildlife.

As concerned as I am about the environment and wildlife I have mixed feelings about that group and their actions. So let me break it down for you.

I do recognize the role of such campaigns in environmental advocacy. Showing dissatisfaction about governmental inaction has its place in democracy. It can raise awareness of an issue in the minds of the general public. However, actions like these don’t make a difference on their own. In addition, they can give ammunition to the opponents, making it easy to label legitimate NGOs, lobbying for the cause, as “extremist”. That is especially true, if peaceful demonstrations deteriorate into vandalism resulting in arrests and disruption of public order. That just annoys people.

Unfortunately, that turn of events is quite likely, when the group behind the campaign has a strong anarchist background. And that’s exactly the case with Extinction Rebellion. Their leaders actually speak openly about their previous involvement in the anarchist community in Britain. It is also hard to miss their carefully curated, parallel media campaigns and personal attacks on public figures to push a socialist political agenda. All that makes me question the real motivation behind their actions. Do they really care about the environment? Or are they merely puppets in the hands of higher level political actors, used to rally unsuspecting people to create confusion and weaken the political structure?

Because of these questions, I was deeply concerned to see a reputable conservation organization and even a political party getting behind such events. We should exercise great care to make sure we’re not helping push hidden agendas that would work against our cause in the long run.

As always, I welcome discussion and I am curious about your thoughts on the issue. I would be more than happy to be corrected. So if you would like to be my guest on the podcast and have a conversation on the subject, please get in touch. Leave your comment or contact me through the social media channel of your choice, and let’s talk.ex_sq

Episode 26: Running with Patrick Mercie


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Patrick Mercie is an avid runner and ultra-runner, a businessman, a life coach and owner of The Intentional Academy. In the podcast Patrick is sharing with us his unique approach to life which he applies to all aspects of it, including his running. While listening to this episode, you will not only hear interesting stories, tips and advice for runners, but you might also get a glimpse of Partick’s life philosophy, “Do more of what you love”.

Episode 25: Mental Health and the Outdoors with Gráinne Clancy


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Gráinne Clancy is a counsellor, psychotherapist and owner of Clancy Care Counselling. Gráinne has vast experience working with people who are going through hard times in their lives. So, I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with her about how being in the outdoors benefits mental health. You can think of our discussion as an expansion on an article published on Tommy’s Outdoors blog titled, “Benefits of the Outdoors”. It was a very interesting conversation and I would encourage everyone to listen to it.

Episode 24: Deer Hunting with Paul Dowling


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In this episode of the podcast I talk with my good buddy Paul Dowling. Paul is an avid hunter and shooter. Before recording the podcast we attended the Rut Walk in Killarney National Park organized by The Wild Deer Association of Ireland. Paul is an active member of the aforementioned organization and was one of the co-organizers of the Rut Walk. As you can imagine, we talk all things deer hunting and deer management, from proper clothing to education of hunters and non-hunters alike. We also discuss what we heard and learned from the park rangers during the Rut Walk. Even if you’re not a hunter, but you love deer and are concerned about their wellbeing as a species, you should definitely listen to this episode.