Orange and Green and blue-green algae

There have been poisonous Green and Orange algae in the six north-eastern counties of Ireland for more than a hundred years. But now there are new poisonous algae making the headlines here. It’s a blue-green alga that has infected Lough Neagh. And only a few minutes ago the local Fermanagh Herald has reported that Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh has become the latest freshwater lake to be infected by these industrial algae.

No matter how often or how much climate activists or experts in the field publish and warn about climate destruction, it falls on deaf ears; often deliberately so. But nature has its own way of forcing the sceptics to listen. And the blue-green algae have just upped the ante.

The reality is that climate destruction has been known about for many decades. But there has always been a counter-narrative, to the effect that climate destruction is not real, or is a “normal” process of nature. This narrative can always be traced back to those who benefit most from lax rules and deliberate avoidance of any pollution controls. Governments around the world close eyes and ears when industries put the pressure on them to allow industry to ignore climate protection regulations.

The biggest polluters of all, the oil companies, have, since their inception, sailed merrily under the radar while paying billions to governments and political parties—and, yes, climate scientists too.

Who could be without a car? Who could be without plastic? Who could be without oil-derivative fertiliser? The world would stop without it; but it’s now stopping because of it.

Factory farming is another major source of pollution, driven by greed for yet more profits and under severe pressure from meat factories, dairies, food wholesalers and supermarkets to reduce prices. As a consequence, many farms have become both grossly overstocked and chemicalised. Slurry, chemical fertiliser and other crop treatments are in turn washed off the land and into our rivers and lakes. Even sewage treatment plants the length and breadth of Ireland regularly discharge raw human waste into rivers and the sea.

At every level, all these polluting actions are caused by the desire to save money and increase profits. And, yes, there will be the deflection stories and absolute denials about the real causes of pollution and ultimately climate destruction.

All lakes and rivers, their paths and lands, should be in public ownership. They should be the central tenet of human health and well-being. And all of nature, like humans, should be governed by the rights of humanity, or at the very least human rights law, a very simple beginning to the people owning the means of production.

However, the captains of industry, their PR teams and their tamed scientists are already hard at work to defer and deny that anything they are doing—or not—could possibly have anything to do with the spread of the blue-green algae in Lough Neagh and Lough Erne. A “freak of nature,” they will say. Just like the freak of religion in their use of the Green and Orange algae in the six north-eastern counties of Ireland to their benefit and the destruction of the majority of the population.