I was recently described as tendentious by one of my favourite commenters here, and after checking that I really did know what that meant, I agree!
I certainly tend to tend towards tendentious, and I don’t intend to pretend that is likely to change.
I think the name of the blog – Standing up for Nature – is a bit of a clue really. In this blog I am partisan and expressing my point of view. There will be gems of explanation (I hope) and nuggets of information (I hope) but you are getting my views on what nature needs from us if you keep coming back to read this blog. No apologies for that – after 35 years of studying nature and working for its conservation, it would be a bit odd if I didn’t have a view about it.
Here are some of the views that inform this blog:
- birds of prey are lovely birds, though no lovelier than many others, and shouldn’t be illegally shot, trapped or poisoned by commercial interests
- bovine TB is a terrible disease and something should be done about it – that might have to include killing badgers but I’m not convinced by that at the moment and if only politicians and the NFU had pulled out their fingers years ago then we probably would already have a vaccine
- hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money should go to the farming community but we should expect them to be a bit grateful, but more importantly, to deliver lots of public goods in return for the payments (and that’s what Defra is for)
- wildlife NGOs need to speak out and use their memberships to engineer political change because most of wildlife’s problems derive from over-consumption by people
- the current Conservative Government (I’m sure there was another party involved but I’ve forgotten who they are) is disappointingly hopeless on wildlife issues but there is little sign that a Labour government would be much better
- lead isn’t good for you, or for wildlife, and should be replaced by non-toxic shot
- there are too many wildlife NGOs and that dilutes nature’s voice
- if enough of us raise our voices then we can make a difference – I am an optimist
- we need more marine protected areas around the UK coast and in the UK Overseas territories and in the world
- the right regulation is a ‘good thing’ and we need more of it as markets and exhortation don’t work very well
- biofuels that take up lots of land are an abomination
- renewable energy is needed, but even more we need ways equitably to reduce consumption rather than meet demand
- linnets are my least favourite bird but I love them all really
- nature does have an economic value but its spiritual value is so much higher
- the natural world is fascinating – much more interesting than anything else
- the UK should remain a part of the EU even though the EU is a bit rubbish at lots of things – getting out would be worse
- reintroductions are, generally speaking, a really good way quickly to enhance our conservation impacts – but only if we choose the right ones
- one day I will learn to recognise plants – but I’m not sure I will be much happier for all that
- you will all buy ‘A Message from Martha‘ when it is published next ‘summer’
- we will win in the end