Friday, 14 September 2007

It's NOT the economy, stupid!

Following on from my recent blogs, I have been asked "What's the point of conservation, if it's all so depressing?"

A difficult one. Strictly speaking of course, it's all natural. We are only one cog in the mighty mechanism that is ecological equilibrium and evolution. I am personally pretty well convinced that the next few decades will see more and more wars, more outbreaks of disease, and almost certainly economic collapses. I am not an economist, so can't even hazard guesses how and where these will occur. But with China owning so many of the USA's dollars, and the rapid economic growth of India and other parts of Asia, combined with the trillions of pounds of debt that the citizenry of Britain owe, something has to give. So why bother. Well in many cases I do actually think that conservationists are full orchestra playing away while Rome burns, or as the Titanic sinks -- which ever you prefer. But buying land and protecting it makes sense to me however you look at it. It has tangible results. It's there, and with any luck, we can make sure it's still there in 100 years time, after 'civilisation' as we know it has changed, or collapsed. And anyone who suggests that it won't either change dramatically, or collapse, is living in cloud cuckoo land as far as I am concerned.

Bill Clinton used the phrase "It's the economy, stupid" in his successful 1992 presidential campaign. It's time all politicians realised, the problem is not just climate change: "It's the human population, stupid".

A point Sir David Attenborough alluded to in the opening programme of the BBC's recent Saving Planet Earth series. David is widely regarded as the most trusted person alive today. Rightly so, in my view. So politicians should sit up and take note. "It's human populations, stupid." Perhaps if we all say it often and loud enough they will eventually hear.

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