Conservation: July 2009 Archives

The BBC website's environment correspondent keeps a well-informed and well-written blog, which I commend to you, especially on conservation matters. Having said that, I couldn't agree with the conclusion of this piece: Does climate cloud the bigger picture?

In it, he looks at the relationships between some key environmental threats, including climate change, to ask if our priorities are wrong. There's an (unannotated) version of this chart to illustrate the links as he sees them: 

The centre of it all, for Richard, is population growth, the third rail of environmental campaigns for decades. As a simple mathematical fact, humanity's environmental footprint can be considered as a per capita impact multiplied by the population, but that tells us so little, not least because of local differences and local opportunities.

Scotland could, for instance, have a much lower environmental impact by putting science first on fisheries, not the SNP's short-termism. This country could actually start to lead on climate change if Ministers delivered a universal insulation programme, or if they funded better public transport instead of all their motorway building projects. We could be facing a lower level of habitat loss if Ministers hadn't backed Trump in Aberdeenshire. 

None of those changes would require a draconian population policy, but I also disagree with Charles Moore on this: choosing to have a smaller family is certainly anything but irresponsible.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Conservation category from July 2009.

Conservation: May 2009 is the previous archive.

Conservation: January 2010 is the next archive.