I’ve been reading scientific papers about burning heather recently. They are a bit heavy going and there seems to be quite a lot of acrimony in this field of learned research – which does, in some ways, make it all the more interesting.
The paper that was leaked, and published whilst still under embargo, was this one – click here.
The paper in question is long and frankly, a bit dull in places, but my interest perked up (back in March 2016) when I saw that this blog was referenced in the paper. In a sentence that said ‘Individuals closely associated with the RSPB have made unambiguous calls for burning to be banned ‘ the reference cited was none other than a post on this blog, this one: Avery M. 2014 Burn, maybe burn (aka Wuthering Moors 40). See https://markavery.info/2014/03/07/burn-burn/. Fame indeed! And I know I am large of stature, but I am only an individual not individuals, so the paper first falls down on being able to count. Second, I think it falls down on the ‘closely associated with the RSPB‘ unless it is suggesting that I am an RSPB member, which I am, but then there are over a million of us. Maybe it means that I used to work for the RSPB – I did – although that was five years in the past when this paper emerged into the murk through the auspices of GWCT and YFTB. But the third error, in a single sentence, is that these individuals (ie I) ‘have made unambiguous calls for burning to be banned‘ in that blog post. Well, you have a look at that post and help me to find where it says, unambiguously that I think that all burning should be banned – click here. I don’t.
It’s always a good idea if those moaning about politicising debates don’t miscount, misrepresent or misconstrue others, otherwise it looks like they are politicising the debate.
But I can’t say I’m all that bothered – after all it has taken me nearly four years to correct these errors.
But there are other burning arguments too.