David Levy – Industry versus Conservation. Who do you think will win? – May 15

My thanks to a Marinet supporter for the constant Guardian updates.

The latest of which brought together a raft of concerned blogs about watering down various Directives, merging them together to give a new, improved but weaker Birds and Habitats Directive. That’s Government speak for giving in to industry’s needs and wish lists, and to hell with the environmental consequences.

This is precisely why I know the “Conservation Lobby” has no converts in senior Government Ministries, and that these senior Ministries have never understood the financial benefits of protection and that conservation can deliver economic growth.

All those who champion environmental improvements belong to the “minnow” Ministries whose interests are trumped by socio-economic arguments from the big boys. That’s the everyday stumbling block for us. We are never taken seriously and, most important of all, the economics of conservation is not mainstream in industry or in Government.

We in Marinet have always appreciated the dedication and sound reasoning of the New Economics Foundation, but we are preaching a similar message to each other and, apart for the environmental journalists, it is not clear who else is listening? Clearly not George Osborne and his Ministry and Officials.

If you agree with this assessment of the situation, without entrapping yourself in the dead ends and cul-de-sacsSAC Special Areas of Conservation of justified reasoning — what is the answer? Indeed, is there an effective answer to this conundrum?

Nearly all of the top Ministers and Civil Servants went to the same schools and universities. So here should be the target. For it is only when this youthful elite of tomorrow is exposed to the teaching of tomorrow that the Civil Servant and Minister of Tomorrow will act in the right, moral, ethical and economic way to retrieve the environmental situation.

The problem with this is that it may well prove to be too late for the troubled eco-system that supports us in its hobbling fashion today.


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