Broadcasters are ignoring the elephants disappearing from the room

AS IF we hadn’t already had enough clues from our ever more ridiculous weather, climate change has become a greater threat than ever, as the UN has warned. The world will experience more severe flooding, dangerous heatwaves and violent conflicts over water and food, unless carbon emissions are rapidly cut, it said.

Rising temperatures have already started to raise the frequency of flooding and other extreme weather, but this is only just the start, the IPCC report says.

For years, meanwhile, conservationists have been fighting to raise awareness of extinction and loss of habitat, affecting species from farmland birds to the exotic South China Tiger and Javan rhino. In all, 16 species are on the WWF “critically endangered” list, with dozens more categorised as “endangered” and “vulnerable” – an appalling and shameful legacy of human activity. Continue reading

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Biodiversity bunkum: You can’t ‘offset’ nature

IN RUSSIA in the late 1920s, Stalin began his confiscation of peasants’ land to enforce mass collectivisation of farming, in the belief that slicing up land, fencing it off and generally putting the natural world in some sort of order was not only possible but desirable, and that the people didn’t really know what was good for them in terms of ownership.

Now, nearly 100 years later, we have a government in Britain that appears to be thinking along similar lines.

For those in their Westminster towers who think trees are easily replaceable and that living creatures are dispensable, there’s a modest little lesson that needs to be learnt.

Trees take decades to mature, aided by populations of wild birds that learn from instinct and parental habits; together with hedgerows and wildlife, they thrive on interaction and interdependency. The strength of our countryside lies in its very history and finely balanced mix of mutual nurturing. Continue reading