Professor Adam Hart was our guest on the podcast not long ago, in episode 66. However, given the unusual situation we are going through globally, we decided to get together again just a few weeks later. The reason is to discuss the devastating effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on wildlife conservation. Major sources of funding for conservation, like tourism and hunting, have dried-up overnight. And with the general turmoil and uncertainty, conservation enforcement has been weakened and poaching is on the rise. We also explore the idea of a connection between the coronavirus and biodiversity loss.
If you care about wildlife and conservation you should definitely listen to this episode, learn about the situation and see if, and how, you can help.
It has become quite common these days to hear about the negative impact of tourism on popular tourist destinations and local communities. Tourists are usually welcome as they contribute to local economies. Unfortunately, big crowds flowing every year through otherwise small and quiet regions can cause significant inconveniences. The infrastructure, like roads and sewers, is often not designed for such big crowds. Also the environment like beaches, mountain trails and footpaths can be totally destroyed by a large number of tourists. Not to mention the litter. There are many places all over the world which are struggling with this problem, but today our focus is on the famous Ring of Kerry route located on the Iveragh peninsula in south-western Ireland.
In the episode, I talk with a man who is proposing a bold solution to this problem. A futuristic eMonoRail, an electric coach, powered by solar energy, travelling on a single rail, designed to eliminate tourist coaches and cars from the narrow rural roads of the area. This could revolutionize tourism and provide a whole new way of experiencing the Ring of Kerry. Is such a bold and futuristic project possible? My guest, Kevin C. Murphy is convinced that the answer is, yes. But it’s not only wishful thinking. Kevin has put a lot of thought into the technical and economic aspects of this project. So, listen up and you just might get excited about the prospect.