David Levy – Wherever You Look! – Nov 17

I have been campaigning since 1984, that’s 33 years by my calculation and the topics I have covered are as varied as they are interesting.

What is sure and most depressing is that many of the issues still remain active, but the opposition to them is far weaker.

Certainly in the past there was greater access to legal aid and people were able to take on the powers that be. Activism was not afraid to confront Government, and the atmosphere around issues was one of optimism. Now that same atmosphere is one of neglect and certainty of inaction.

In previous blogs Marinet has made it clear why this has happened but it still grates. Government must be applauding itself on the clear field it has created and is able to exploit with no opposition. From my perspective this is dangerous and is a true reflection of the current state of politics. That is : rhetoric with no accountability or rationale.

When it comes to many issues, the sensitivity of this failure is mirrored by the importance of what is actually happening on the ground.

Any government agency that practices governance for business promotion and this practice is championed by the agency’s leadership, in other words “business as usual”, will override environmental protection.

There are so many examples of this imbalance, most of which Marinet has reviewed. Nowadays the argument behind a challenge has to be novel in order to stand any chance of success. Debating the issue and relying on environmental concerns will get you nowhere. In fact, it will exhaust those who have a concern and drain their oppositional resources. We are engaged in a War of Attrition with the odds stacked in their favour.

Expecting that a rational argument will win the day is now a long lost memory.

Likewise the use of consultation is Government’s way of engaging the uninitiated in time wasting and more of the above. What is so galling is that when you warn those who have a new concern, they frequently do not get this fact. Like trusting babies they respond hoping that the system will respond to their efforts, honesty and argued debate with a fair trial. This does not happen and once again business wins.

Some subjects have a past history of confrontation — such as nuclear waste and its distribution into the environment. Some environmentalists have abandoned their opposition to nuclear in favour of climate change solutions. Past CEOs of NGOs have publicly left us exposed having changed their attitude towards nuclear. What is going on now with nuclear new-builds and decommissioning is a scandal but it is impossible to see organised watchdogs, and who cares anymore?

I leave this blog where it started as I reflect on a career still focused on conservation and environmental sanity.

David Levy

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