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RTE Television

Eco Eye

This year's series is now a series of special one off big issue episodes. Each week Duncan Stewart will dissect a subject to its core and discover some surprising answers.

The underlying theme will focus on environmental issues with solutions that are immensely beneficial to the Irish economy. This theme of green economy is central to Duncan's message of sustainability and resource efficiency, as he shows that it's not about spending money to save the environment, it's about saving money and creating jobs to save the environment.

Episodes

Programme One: Irish Food?

Ireland's beautiful rolling hills and green landscape combined with our low-density population and vibrant rural communities are the envy of the world, they typify the ideal food producing country. However 70% of the food we eat is imported on ships and airplanes of 10,000 tonnes per day which adds up to €5bn a year spent on imported food!

This has a huge impact both environmentally and economically. Amazingly most of this food can be produced here at a lower cost to the consumer and would create thousands more jobs in rural economies. So why is this happening? Why aren't we growing our own food? The answers to these questions lie in the markets.

This episode will show how three supermarket chains control 85% of the food market in Ireland and while this market control is great for company profits, it's not good for the Irish farmer, the Irish consumer or for the environment. In this episode we will try to find an answer to rebuilding Irish food culture for a better environmental and economic future.

Programme Two: 2050

If we could plan ahead 35 years ago, would we have done things differently?
Countless immense challenges lie ahead for us in the not so distant future. By 2050 we will have 9 billion people on the planet and we will be battling the first stages of climate change that will affect how most of the planet produces food and consumes it.

What will the world look like in 2050 and what will these changes mean for us in Ireland?
This programme will find out from the world's top experts studying future projections and while looking through a crystal ball we will travel to the world's 'smartest' city to learn some lessons about the plans they have made to secure their future.

Programme Three: What's up with the Weather?

Something we've all noticed in the last few years, Irelands weather is changing, from the coldest winter on record, to one of the warmest summers last year. The wettest and driest summers back to back all paled in significance to the fodder crisis that effected farmers in 2012 who had to import fodder from the UK for the first time ever. These extreme changes in weather have also lead to flash flooding becoming a common yet unpredictable event in Ireland.

In recent years we have witnessed a number of destructive floods that have had huge financial costs for both households and businesses across the island. Are our observations about changing weather also observed by science?

This episode goes from Met Eireann to the worlds top climate scientists who tell us that the world and Ireland is getting warmer, and it's set to get a lot warmer. Could this mean we're headed for the Mediterranean climate we all hope for? or could this mean something very different? This episode will explore what this really means for us here in Ireland.

Programme Four: 2050

If we could plan ahead 35 years ago, would we have done things differently?
Countless immense challenges lie ahead for us in the not so distant future. By 2050 we will have 9 billion people on the planet and we will be battling the first stages of climate change that will affect how most of the planet produces food and consumes it.
What will the world look like in 2050 and what will these changes mean for us in Ireland?
This programme will find out from the world's top experts studying future projections and while looking through a crystal ball we will travel to the world's 'smartest' city to learn some lessons about the plans they have made to secure their future.

Programme Five: Community Energy

Communities all over Ireland import 98% of their food and fuel creating a market imbalance which is at the core of the reason why Irish rural communities are struggling to survive.

This episode will show how it's possible to switch the system around and become a sustainable community where most of the fuel and food is produced locally. But how easy is all this and what are the barriers?

We will visit the Aran Islands and North Tipperary where the path to a sustainable community has already started. We also travel to Modling,in Austria who have paved the way for the rest of us to follow.

Programme Six: The Future of Farming

While Agriculture is currently Ireland's biggest industry, it is also set for massive growth in the coming years. But is this growth sustainable? And what has the latest science on Irish farming got to tell us about what needs to change for this growth to be achieved?
Most farmers don't know that the world's most valuable resource in the future will be phosphorus. As global supplies continue to diminish, the price of phosphorus is set to skyrocket, but what will this mean for Irish farming? And what can we do about it today?

Programme Seven: The Green Fireman

We all know there's something special about firemen, but there's one fireman in Kilbarack who has something extra special. This is the story about how one man turned an ailing, aging fire station into the greenest and most cost efficient fire station in the world. Now managing to save millions of Euros in water, electricity and heating bills across a number of fire stations, they are now not just a role model for every public sector and business in Ireland but are used as an example all over Europe and the world. This programme will discover the secrets of saving money while going green and how one fireman made all the difference.

Programme Nine: The State Of Water

In the wake of news that we will soon have to pay for our water, Ireland is still riddled with a myriad of water problems, from shortages across the country, boil water notices to the discovery that a new deadly v-tek virus is on the rise. This programme will investigate the real state of Ireland's water infrastructure, where has the money been spent and what the real cost will be to you the consumer?

Programme Ten: "A New Economy"

The old economic system was built on the premise that you could dig resources out of the ground, use them or burn them and then simply discard the waste. But in a world inhabited by 9 billion people forecast for the near future, and a host of environmental challenges facing mankind, a new economic system is being discussed. This new system is called 'The Circular Economy' and it may look like science fiction but is becoming the foundation of the new economic think-tanks worldwide.

The circular economy proposes that what we take out of the ground we reuse or recycle thereby reducing environmental and economic cost of these rare minerals and fossil fuels, we can no longer rely on the unlimited resources the planet has provided us with so far. But what does this mean for Ireland? Where has it started to happen here already? And what will it mean for how we think about the economy in the future?

Eco Eye
  • RTÉ One, Tuesday, 7.00pm

Related Links

Eco Eye: Series Nine

Eco Eye: Previous Episodes