Author Topic: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"  (Read 613 times)

ditchdwellers

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3541
Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« on: 12 Oct 2022 10:57AM »
It is reported to in the BBC that the Government is going to be changing its policies on the protection and management of the environment.


Groups such as the RSPB, National Trust, and Wildlife Trusts have banded together to threaten direct action if the proposed changes go ahead. This will be the first time that these groups will have taken direct action to protect our natural heritage.


They are thinking of planning a march in London to protest. I want to attend if I'm able as this is a cause very close to my heart ❤


If any further details become available I will post them here if anyone's interested.
In the meantime, please write to your MP to challenge the changes if you feel as strongly about our environment as I do.


Thanks!

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #1 on: 12 Oct 2022 11:56AM »
I feel very strongly about the environment.

That being said, whilst there's a good chance I'll go on the march, I've reached a point of frustration over demonstrations.  I emphatically don't oppose demonstrations.

What I'm on about is the  intersection between two things.

Firstly, I think that in recent times, far too many pro-environment demonstrators have mis-directed their demos, with things like blocking roads, denying access for emergency vehicles.  Contrast one of the loveliest youtube videos I ever saw of a huge crowd in, I think, Hong Kong, somehow managing to part to let an ambulance through.

So what some demonstrators do is to annoy the public so as to enable politicians to demonise the demonstrators.  They argue 'but the suffragettes did this', however, there were two things different then.  Firstly, it was the  only way to get into the media, to attract attention. Secondly,  they weren't blocking the same things.  E.g. block trams?  No problem, most ordinary people walked to work, you're blocking the middle class.  Block ambulances?  There weren't any.

Meanwhile, whilst I do believe in lobbying politicians, I think they care more about money.

So what we really need is people with savvy and public image to convince the people that the government wants to let do the things those of us care about the environment don't want that they can get wealth/income/glory from doing more environmentally friendly things, which very often they can with the right help and advice.

So I'm glad you mentioned this and I think it's good to go on what I'll call 'pre-planned, suitably located marches & demos', but I do find the whole thing frustrating.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8424
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #2 on: 12 Oct 2022 12:15PM »
I wish I was not so burnt out when it comes to politic action, demonstrations for the environment to be protected and the ethics of our nation. Maybe when I have a quieter more harmonious living arrangement I will be able to be more like the old me.


I have never been on a demonstration maybe you could both add more to the thread when it comes to your own experiences.





[size=78%] [/size]


Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #3 on: 12 Oct 2022 03:08PM »
I've been on a few demonstrations and marches.

Where they're well organised in advance, with the authorities involved in road closures etc., they can be ok to go on, but you need to do your own planning in advance if you need things like toilet facilities or a rest break.

Sometimes you get more than one demo in the same place at the same time, which can lead to a potential for friction, but I've been on at least three where demonstrators shared the space and even chanted each other's slogans.  That's possible if they have shared interests.  They can even start a united chant.

Fake example to illustrate.  Let's suppose cats hold a demonstration for equality with humans, and teddy bears turn up in the same place to hold a demonstration for equality with dolls.  The cats and teddies might look at each other and decide that in both cases it's about fair treatment for warm, furry creatures and start chanting "Furry friends forever!"

There are negative aspects of demos and marches.  For instance, some very big demos include loads and loads of stalls asking you to sign up for stuff.  Some are very, very noisy with whistles, horns, drums etc.  (I can't cope with that aspect.)  Sometimes there are so many placardse, it's difficult to see what's going on. 

The police, as we all know, vary massively in how they handle demonstrations.  Their handling of it can vary between force/region, local area, precise location, nature of demo, even time of day/week/year and wh knows what else.

I find it difficult to predict how things will go. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #4 on: 13 Oct 2022 12:10AM »
I'm not sure if this will make sense as relevant, but it's to do with a gap between rhetoric and what happens on the ground.

I saw an American documentary about California, addressing what was said to be a clash between on the one hand what the Democrats declare, in writing and orally, to be their policy on housing, and on the other hand, the reality of the situation in Democrat-dominated California.

The film makers said that people say they believe in affordable housing for everyone but when it comes to planning permission, people don't want it where they live and oppose it.

And that's the sort of clash.  A government can say it wants to protect the environment and politicians may believe it on an individual level, but when it comes to the reality, they'll favour the people that vote for them or fund them or rally support for them.

That includes all sorts of things that affect the environment.  My personal interest is affordable housing, but for others it's trees or whatever.

Ah but what's affordable housing got to do with environment other than as an analogy?  Well, you can locate it where the transport is, and you can also make sure there are parks and play areas etc.  Or you can stick it in the middle of nowhere so people all need cars.

I live in an area with a mixture of housing, including loads of old Victorian and Edwardian housing.  Gosh, turn them into places like HMOs?  Eek!  Well, why not?

And I feel I can laugh and cry at local influential people who were so hostile to supported housing and who practically cheered when the funding was withdrawn.  Ah, but what's this exempt housing?  Eek!  Yes, the people are still there, just without the right support. 

What, you influential people don't like all those homeless beggars and poorly supported, badly-homed people with serious mental and/or addiction problems making the place look untidy?  Well, maybe they'd be less intrusive if they had proper housing and proper help.  Oh and some decent free parks with lots of seating.

Oh, and you don't like the noise and nuisance and pollution from the traffic?  Tough.  Get snotty about the hoi polloi having cheap housing nearby and you'll have to put up with them driving through your area to get from the cheap housing to the jobs.  You know, jobs in the businesses you use, my local well-connected snobs.

And that's also environment.  Housing isn't just about buildings.  It's about gardens and communal areas with greenery etc.

I wish I'd tried harder to put my views across when I had more influence locally.
I was trustee of a charity with play areas, inner city farm etc.  But I didn't push my views on housing.

And it's the same with open land, farmland, estates etc.  Gap between policy and reality.

So I support campaigns to protect the environment and use land better, but I wish those leading campaigns were better at persuading the people with the real influence.  I'm not criticising them, after all I'm not doing it, but I can wish, can't I?

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3541
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #5 on: 13 Oct 2022 12:03PM »
I take a very holistic view of the term 'environment'.


It should include everything that's needed for communities to thrive, and this encompasses the built environment, the natural environment, transportation links, places of work, habitat creation and management, sustainable energy production, schools, access to services. I could go on but think you get where I'm coming from.


Access to green space is so important for wellbeing and it needs to be considered an important part of planning. Being able to safely walk to local services is essential for people and it has been shown that the effects of air pollution cause respiratory illness and death yet we still build housing next to busy roads that will expose people to pollutants that they have no chance of escaping.


And this is just one example of flawed planning that tends to affect the people who have the least control over where they are housed and where the more wealthy can choose to live in 'nicer' areas.


I read a news article this morning in The Guardian that said that almost 70% of wildlife populations have been wiped out since the 1970s. That both saddens and enrages me. If this has happened during my lifetime then what sort of future are we leaving for those that follow us.?


Habit loss, climate change, poverty, rising food prices, energy costs and consumption, poor housing stock and lack of insulation or efficient heating, pollution, all of these issues are interlinked and many more besides and what we really need is for a government minister to view them as a whole rather than tackle each item piecemeal and develop some coherent and logical ways that we can can start to see the bigger picture.

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #6 on: 13 Oct 2022 12:36PM »
I wish I could express it so eloquently, DD.

That being said, when it comes to tackling things like pollution, I want to put forward views about an illustration of faulty thinking that I feel very strongly about - Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.  We've got them in various urban areas, including mine.

Theory sounds good.  Divert traffic away from 'residential' roads onto 'main' roads, make driving less attractive so fewer people drive, reduce pollution.

For me, the problems where I am (and, from what I read, in other areas that have implemented LTNs)...

- Main roads are almost all residential roads as well.  So then councillors divert traffic away from what I'll call 'privileged residential' roads, often housing with  big gardens, onto 'underprivileged residential' roads (aka 'main' roads) with mostly smaller gardens, more noise, more pollution. 

- Reduced overall traffic?  Hmm.  Well maybe on the privileged roads, but if you make the bus routes busier, you give people that use the  buses an incentive to use cars. 

- Postcode and social bias.  Where I am, there was great rejoicing at reduced traffic round schools.  Yes, round those schools with tiny catchment areas and expensive housing, contrasted with the extra pollution round certain schools used by the hoi polloi and Send kids.

- Who needs what.  Where I am, the system makes it worse for people with mobility scooters and wheelchairs.   A district nurse went public about not being able to make as many visits in a day.  People needing home carers in a shortage went public about not being able to get them if their roads are in some parts of an LTN because if you're a carer only paid by your agency when you're with the client, work for the clients that you don't have to go all round everywhere to get to.  Etc.

You get the picture.  Nice theory, shame about the reality. 

But it makes the people that make the decisions, the people with nice houses and cars and money for taxis and home deliveries and private healthcare feel good to say "Look, we're reducing pollution" whilst the hoi polloi living, working, going to school etc. on the now busier main roads suffer extra pollution.

(PS. I live in a very privileged road, a through road, is as quiet as a cul de sac, and I have a big garden, and my PIP and inherited savings mean I can afford taxis and home deliveries, although I prefer to walk and with my ataxia largely in remission, I usually do.)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3541
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #7 on: 13 Oct 2022 01:09PM »
That is absolutely faulty thinking!


It's probably due to a poorly thought out and conducted Impact Assessment. It would make interesting reading if you can get hold of a copy and you can then see if they considered these unintended consequences or thought the risks to people's health and quality of life a risk worth taking 😉


But most councillors are retired, middle class, and have a very narrow view of the world. I was a Parish Councillor for seven years and a parish clerk for four. I got used to dealing with pompous idiots, mostly men, who didn't like being called out by an intelligent, articulate woman who was much younger than them.
We once had a district councillor present a set of statistics to us that the parish council had to approve and vote on. It made no sense whatsoever so I asked him to explain it. He blustered a bit and said "it's perfectly obvious from the numbers in front of you! " to which I replied "I'm currently teaching an undergraduate course in statistics and I can't make head nor tail of it, kindly explain it."
At this point other councillors admitted they couldn't understand either, leaving the district councillor flapping his papers in alarm and embarrassment saying he would get a simplified version to us :f_laugh: . He just couldn't admit that he had presented a complete load of twaddle. He kept a wide berth from me after that encounter!
So my view of district and county councillors is pretty low.




ditchdwellers

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3541
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #8 on: 13 Oct 2022 01:09PM »
Sunshine,  you asked about experiences of going on demonstrations and I've been on a few, starting with my student days.


The first one I went on was the so called 'Poll Tax Riots' not that I saw any rioting. I travelled in one of several coaches from my university in Wales to London with friends, carrying our placards and I remember it being all very friendly.


The next one was a small demo when Edwina Curry came to visit during the salmonella in eggs farrago and someone was arrested for lobbing eggs at her. He was a pretty good shot and it was the highlight of the afternoon!


I also went on the big Countryside March that ended in Hyde Park. That was very well organised even though I don't necessarily share the same views as espoused underpinning the march I went along as someone who is concerned about rural jobs and countryside issues. There were a surprising number of us attending for the same reasons. It wasn't just a pro hunting march. Far from it. It was very misrepresented in the Press.


The last demonstration I went on was for the NHS when the government were considering downgrading a lot of hospitals to create larger hubs in the county and reducing local services significantly. My local hospital was due to lose A&E, maternity, paediatric, and coronary care. The nearest A&E would have been over an hour away, which is utterly ludicrous and lives would have been lost.
This was the only march I've been on that saw everybody from all walks of life and all ages attend. It was a lovely atmosphere, almost carnival like, and all the local luvvies, celebs, and aging pop stars joined in with their entourages!


I've not been on any since, certainly not in London for two reasons.
The first being I'm put off by the behaviour of the police to demonstrators, and some of the anti right to peaceful protest legislation that Priti Patel was trying to push through alarm me.
The second thing that puts me off going is the thought of a peaceful protest getting hijacked by groups with their own agenda who seem intent on causing disruption and damage rather than trying to put a point across. Sunny touches on this in her post and I agree with her totally. I don't like this form of action and it almost seems to me that some of these people are professional demonstrators who jump on the latest bandwagon. It seems hypocritical.


I feel strongly enough about things issue though that I would like to try to attend a demonstration if I'm able to.

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Government Policies an "Attack on Nature"
« Reply #9 on: 13 Oct 2022 11:06PM »
Impact assessment?  The official one or the real one?  The official one round here would be blah, blah, blah.  The real one would be a map marked with the houses of influential people (e.g. councillors, 'community leaders' etc.) and with the establishments they favour (e.g. certain schools etc.)  Yes, I genuinely believe (but obviously cannot prove) there was what I'll politely call bias.

I don't know if it'll ever be possible to bypass that sort of thing, which is why I think in terms of convincing the people with influence in relation to the environment that they personally will benefit or that those they want to stay on the right side of will benefit if they do environmentally good things.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)