127: Seabird Monitoring and Tracking with Katherine Booth Jones, Daniel Johnston, Jacob Davies and Kendrew Colhoun

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This is the second episode dedicated to the Seabird Monitoring work package at the MarPAMM Interreg project. It also concludes a six-part series in which we delved into the project’s work packages. Our guests are Katherine Booth Jones, Daniel Johnston, Jacob Davies and Kendrew Colhoun who you might remember from episode 125.

Continuing the topic from our previous episode, today we’ll talk more about the research conducted as a part of the Seabird Monitoring work package. Listen and learn many fascinating facts about seabirds and their biology. Unlike in previous episodes which focused on methods, today my guests also share some of the preliminary results of their research. Over an hour of delicious seabird nerdiness! It is always a pleasure to talk and listen to scientists who are not only knowledgable but also passionate about the subject of their research. Enjoy!

The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann – A Book Review

I’m not exactly sure who recommended this book to me but I think it was one of my followers on social media. As always in such cases, I bookmarked it for later. After a few months I finally, and I must admit reluctantly, decided to give it a try. And boy, did I not regret it! So I’m writing this short review to return the favour and recommend it to you.

Given the topic of my podcast I am often entangled in discussions and debates about the natural environment, the role humans play in it and the best way forward for us. Those discussions are often heated and, I must admit, it is sometimes hard for me to make sense of some of the points being made. I’m sure that some of you can relate to this situation so I’m glad to let you know that this book will help you to make sense of it all!

The author discusses two fundamentally different philosophical approaches to humanity’s relation to the natural environment. “Wizards” rely on technology and human ability to change and shape the environment beyond what’s possible for other living creatures. “Prophets” insist that humans are just living organisms subject to the same natural laws as all others on this planet. These two opposing concepts result in different opinions as to the correct course of action for humanity going forward.

The book deals with a number of hot button topics and discusses them from both perspectives. The list includes climate change, farming, population growth, GMO foods, geoengineering and more. It is rich in historical facts and discusses important events, such as scientific discoveries, wars and famines, and how they changed the approach or caused a course correction for both “wizards” and “prophets.”

Don’t make the mistake, like I almost did, of thinking that reading this book would be a waste of time because you already have your own opinions on these subjects. As always, the differences are more nuanced than you might think. And as I said at the beginning, knowing the origin of these differences will help you understand why some people are making the arguments they do.

It is a highly recommended read and you can easily get the book using the link below. And by doing so, you will support my work as I will get a small commission. Don’t worry it won’t affect the price!


In forty years, the population of the Earth will reach ten billion. Can our world support so many people? What kind of world will it be? In this unique, original and important book, Charles C. Mann illuminates the four great challenges we face – food, water, energy, climate change – through an exploration of the crucial work and wide-ranging influence of two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt.

Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Episode 85: Time nor Tide with Ben Harkin

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Climate change, in one way or another, is mentioned in almost every episode of my podcast. But with the exception of episode 38, which was a recorded public talk, I have never dedicated a whole episode to this important issue. But today we’re going to jump right into this subject with Ben Harkin who wrote a book about climate change in the Irish context. Ben is a young man who decided to put to good use the extra time he had available during the lockdown and wrote a book about climate change! Not only that, he also self-published it to avoid any delays with getting his message out. Talk about a good use of time!

I read the book and must say that I’m blown away by it. It is well written and covers a wide spectrum of climate change issues. Ben put a lot of effort into research for the book and all key information and statements are backed up with ample references to scientific papers, press releases, governmental documents and other books. In the book, Ben makes many refreshing observations that I have not heard before. What are they? You need to buy the book and read it for yourself! One thing for sure you won’t regret your purchase. And with the Christmas season around the corner, you just might have an excellent gift idea!

Given all of the above, I was really pleased to be able to sit down with Ben and talk about his book. In this episode, we not only discuss some of the issues he mentions but also his motives and the process of writing the book. I am very happy with this episode and Ben is a great man. Go, listen, and then buy the book!


Drawing on research from Ireland and across the world, this book explains what we can expect for the future in Ireland with climate change, and how we can move to limit the worst impacts. Combining studies and stories, Ben Harkin explains how we can use the technology we already have to bring our country to being carbon neutral, while building a better future for all.

Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Episode 48: Green Party with Pippa Hackett

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This is another episode of the podcast where I talk with the representative of a political party. The goal is, as always, to dig a little deeper into some of the issues affecting the outdoors lifestyle. This time our guest is Pippa Hackett who is a Green Party Councillor and a spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, Forestry, Heritage & Animal Welfare.

Once again I want to include the disclaimer that it is not my intention to promote any political party. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for a particular option might impact the activities they love.

Episode 43: Sinn Féin with Toiréasa Ferris

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You probably look at the title of this podcast and wonder what is going on? So I feel like a little disclaimer is in order. It is far from my intention to be canvassing for one political party or another. Instead, I want outdoors enthusiasts to be aware of how their support for various political options might impact the activities they love.

I hope this will be the first of many podcasts in which I get to talk with representatives of different political parties and ask questions about issues that are of vital interest to outdoorsmen and women. In this episode we talk about the protection of the natural environment, tackling biodiversity loss and climate change, greenways and cycling infrastructure, farming, land access, overfishing, the role of NGOs and much more.

Finally, if you or someone you know is a member of a political party who would be happy to sit down with me for an hour and talk, please do not hesitate to contact me through one of the many channels available. I would love to continue the series and inform fellow outdoors-people about the views of different political parties and their representatives towards the issues important to us.

Episode 38: Time to Panic with John Gibbons

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In recent weeks the news and media have been filled with reports about protesters demanding action on climate change. So, in the interest of covering important and current events related to the outdoors, once again, I am bringing you a recording of a talk. This time the speaker is the campaigning journalist and climate change activist John Gibbons. You can find more about John and his work by visiting his blog thinkorswim.ie. The talk was recorded during the March Green Drinks event hosted by The Dublin Branch of The Irish Wildlife Trust.