The con in conservation

“In zoos in Wales:
• Only 9% of species are endangered
• Only 17% of species are threatened
• 84% of mammals; 95% of birds; 93% of reptiles; 79% of amphibians are not endangered
The most common species held in Welsh zoos are the house mouse and guinea pig.” https://www.captiveanimals.org/con-in-conservation

The zoos stressed that they were clearly interested in conserving their business model, and claimed the house mice were living within buildings of their own free will.

Overgrown

“As values, principles and moral purpose are lost, the promise of growth is all that’s left.
You can see the effects in a leaked memo from the UK’s Foreign Office: ‘Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts … work like climate change and illegal wildlife trade will be scaled down.’ All that counts is the rate at which we turn natural wealth into cash. If this destroys our prosperity and the wonders that surround us, who cares?” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/doughnut-growth-economics-book-economic-model

Sustainable growth: maximising economic profit without triggering (noticeable/attributable) ecological collapse within the policy maker’s lifetime.

Persuasive argunment

“Apart from the Woodland Trust, which appears to be gaining some access to Defra ministers, the UK conservation movement is remarkably absent from these meetings, while the fieldsports lobby has done very well.” https://anewnatureblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/time-to-rename-defra-the-ministry-of-agriculture-and-fieldsports/

The shooting industry has UK government over a barrel.

Rigged

“Big oil already receives generous public subsidy to extract a resource we know we have to start leaving in the ground. It would be wrong for this same industry to be allowed to walk away from a situation that could create jobs and protect the marine environment we all rely on.” https://greens.scot/news/brent-platforms-warning-must-be-taken-seriously

The oil industry is notoriously slippery to pin down.

Flood de-fence

“Reduc[ing] the height of a newly-built Clontarf flood defence wall in Dublin which obscures motorists’ views of the sea … would make it so low in parts there would be a danger of walkers toppling over into the sea.” https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/motorists-to-get-better-views-by-lowering-of-clontarf-wall-1.3044066

Dublin City Council should be congratulated on this tri-purpose engineering – protecting pedestrians’ wavering legs, motorists’ wavering attentions, and the ocean’s wavering.

The elephant in the moon

“The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums has said that leaving the EU without a deal could threaten already endangered species, whose survival depends on easy access to Europe-wide breeding programmes.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2017/apr/09/how-to-move-an-elephant-to-europe-post-brexit

Zoos may retain a role in rehabilitation or palliative care for victims of our systemic animal abuse, but appealing to Europhobes on free movement? A bit ambitious. A bit late. How likely are anti-migrant, anti-refugee ‘populists’ to listen to ‘conservation’ dinosaurs? Actually, all too likely.

“Computer software does the matching. Each breeding programme has a coordinator who monitors the populations kept in captivity, and if it is time to move an animal – if there is a lone animal, or it is old enough to leave its family group, or a new zoo requires that species – they will contact the zoo and recommend it be involved in a breeding programme.”

Welcome to Orwellia.

“We then need to train the animal to go into that [transport] crate. It’s not a case any more of forcing an animal in.”

How enlightened.

Peak pesticide

“By comparing similar farms using high or low levels of pesticides, the scientists found that 94% of farms would lose no production if they cut pesticides and two-fifths of these would actually produce more. …
A recent consultancy report commissioned by the ECPA [European Crop Protection Association] indicated that French farmers would lose €2bn of grape production without access to certain pesticides.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/06/farms-could-slash-pesticide-use-without-losses-research-reveals

The agrochemical industry insists it’s all or nothing with their pesticides; they won’t have farmers cherry-picking.

Razor wired

“Dredging the sea bed for razor clams has a horrific impact, but to switch to electrofishing instead won’t allow our precious marine environment to recover.” https://greens.scot/news/electrofishing-trial-decision-criticised-by-greens

First their homes are bulldozed, then the air they breathe is electrified – life on a knife edge for razor clams.

Storming EUt

“Veteran British diplomat John Kerr — now Lord Kerr of Kinlochard — drafted the text that sets out the procedure for leaving the European Union as part of an effort to draw up an EU constitutional treaty in the early 2000s. …
‘It seemed to me very likely that a dictatorial regime would then, in high dudgeon, want to storm out. And to have a procedure for storming out seemed to be quite a sensible thing to do — to avoid the legal chaos of going with no agreement,’ Kerr said.” http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-article-50-lord-kerr-john-kerr/

The UK government: putting the ‘tory’ in dictatorial.

Radioactive decay

“Westinghouse and its parent Toshiba are in crisis because of massive cost overruns building four ‘AP1000’ nuclear power reactors in the southern US states of Georgia and South Carolina. … Toshiba says Westinghouse had debts totalling US$9.8 billion. …
Westinghouse is the major member of the Nugen consortium that’s set to build a massive three-reactor AP1000 nuclear complex at Moorside in the UK, next to the Sellafield site. The company has already stated that while it intends to progress the project through planning stages, it is unable to take on financing or construction and intends to sell its share.
Nugen’s other member, the French energy company Engie (formerly GDF Suez) has also gone on record as wanting to extricate itself from the Moorside project in favour of the ‘new energy’ economy based on renewable, storage and smart grid technologies. …
The UK’s Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) today – with impeccable timing – accepted the AP1000 design as “suitable for construction in the UK” and issued Westinghouse a Design Acceptance Certificate.” http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2988820/toshibas_nuclear_flagship_goes_bust_after_10_billion_losses.html

The UK government still hopes to save the nuclear industry by unveiling miracle cutting edge technology that uses radioactive heavy ironium.