Sunday, 16 November 2014

A transition interview with: Patrick O'Donohoe

The media blog is planning to publish an interview with a local Transitioner every fortnight, to help draw attention to the rich diversity of groups and events, via the incredible people that make them happen. The project starts today with Patrick O'Donohoe from the energy group.

1. Who are you, and what group are you representing?
My name is Patrick O'Donohoe, and I have been part of the TC energy group for several years. I am a software engineer, working for a company in the LED lighting industry - something I think is a major stepping stone to a lower energy future.

2. What have you enjoyed, and what have you learned, during the last year, as part of working with this group?
I think enjoyment and learning are closely related; it's been great to expand my knowledge by interacting with like minded people. We have a lot of practical expertise within the group, which was very useful when it came to reducing my own carbon footprint, especially by making my own house more economical.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to help inform the wider population at our various public events; sometimes it can be frustrating in the face of general apathy, but there are also many people who want to use less energy and just lack the knowledge.  It's very gratifying to be able to give those people information that will help achieve their aims.

3. What are you looking forward to for the next year?
Unfortunately I will miss our Low Energy Lighting forum in November, but we are planning to continue the series of events through the next year. Topics are not finalised yet, but are likely to include heating controls, and financing for eco-retrofit on houses.

4. What question should I have asked you?
I think you should have asked why I became interested in the Transition movement. There are many well intentioned people who vaguely talk about saving the environment, but don't have much clue where to begin; for instance I have seen people thoughtlessly open a window rather than turn the heating down, or boil a kettle full of water then throw most of it away. This is not a question of stupidity, just one of habit; we need to break these bad habits by raising awareness of what "energy" actually means, and Transition is largely about getting this message across. Over the last few decades society has absorbed various good ideas like safe driving and anti-racism, to the extent that they are no longer really "ideas" - we don't ponder these things, we just get on and live them. Surely, we can give the same profile to an idea like energy economy.


  1. would be interested to find out when LED bulbs will be available for screw-in plugs that hang down from the ceiling, if they're not already.

    1. I am not sure what you mean but there are lots of led bulbs with screw fittings to replace standrard GLS type bulbs. See here