Is it time to abandon the green crap again?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I see that the King has been prevented from going to COP27 in Egypt next month.  That’s to say, he was advised against it by the government and he's taken the advice.

What a pity.

You have to wonder why he was so advised.  Fear of his going off-message, perhaps?  Especially with the government / Defra allegedly getting luke warm again about all that “green crap”.   Fear of his overshadowing UK politicians, perhaps, by being knowledgable and passionate and charismatic?  Maybe.

That old smoothie, Lord Deben, chair of the climate change committee, was interviewed in the latest Bath I-SEE seminar.  He said don't worry.  Defra has been sorted out and that there is no longer a risk that the proposed environmental land management [ELM] scheme will be watered down by our new shape-shifting government.  My local wildlife trust feared: "instead of rewarding farmers for restoring nature, preventing pollution from entering rivers and climate-proofing their businesses, we could now see a return to simply paying landowners based on the area of land they own."

Not so [*] according to Lord D who in another life used to be John Selwyn Gummer, Minister for Agriculture / the Environment.  Mind you, if he'd had a veto over Brexit (he implied in the seminar) it would not have happened and we'd still all be enjoying the manifold benefits of the EU's common agricultural policy; that is "paying landowners based on the area of land they own".

Square that circle if you can.

I recall that in 1996 there was a heady moment when both the Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment (Gummer) and the Secretary of State at the Department of Education (Gillian Shepard) appeared together on a platform promoting environmental education.  But the warm glow  of the bromance quickly faded and such a radical coming together was never repeated.

What a pity.


*Not everyone is as sanguine as Lord D and rumours persist that Defra will revery at least part of the funds ear-marked for ELM to direct payments.  We shall see.  On another matter, I wonder, did those who thought up the term ELM forget about the disaster that was Dutch Elm Disease?  Could be a terrible macronym.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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