I read this article yesterday morning. It is about drilling for oil in the Amazon rainforest. Specifically drilling for oil in the Yasuni National Park. Here is an excerpt from the Wiki entry for Yasuni National Park:
- Yasuni National Park is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on Earth. The park is at the center of a small zone where amphibian, bird, mammal, and vascular plant diversity all reach their maximum levels within the Western Hemisphere. Moreover, the park breaks world records for local-scale (less than 100 km2) tree, amphibian, and bat species richness, and is one of the richest spots in the world for birds and mammals at local scales as well.
Having read the article I felt like crying, I felt disgusted and I felt ashamed.
I type this in the middle of a week when Butterfly Conservation asked me to sign this petition http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-belted-beauty-in-lancashire-1, Mark Avery has asked me to bother Marks and Spencer because they stock grouse sourced from (Hen Harrier-less) northern moorland http://markavery.info/2013/08/21/ms-wrong/, and Caroline Lucas MP was arrested at a fracking protest: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23759827.
I wont be signing the Belted Beauty Petition, I wont be tweeting M&S and I am not impressed with Caroline Lucas.
Here is why.
If the petition read:
“Dear Mr Pickles please re route of wind-farm cabling proposed through the saltmarsh south of Heysham as part of the Walney Extension Offshore Windfarm by Dong Energy (UK) Ltd and ensure planting compensatory Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil and Kidney Vetch.”
“Dear Mr Pickles please prevent the routing of wind-farm cabling through the saltmarsh south of Heysham as part of the Walney Extension Offshore Windfarm by Dong Energy (UK) Ltd.”
Then I would have signed it.
If I shopped at Marks and Spencer maybe I would have noticed the grouse on the shelves; if we knew categorically they sourced from raptor persecuting estates then perhaps I would be moved to bother M&S.
If Caroline Lucas were arrested protesting against the drilling of Yasuni National Park then maybe I’d respect her. Protesting against exploratory drilling (not actual fracking) is like getting arrested for thinking about shoplifting. I think the Tory core of the home counties should be fracked. After all it is this government that are championing the technology, opposing wind farms and attacking climate change policies.
I don’t want to get into a debate about energy supply and different forms of generation; after all I type this on my fully charged laptop with a fully charged iPhone beside me. I bet Caroline Lucas had a fully charged iPhone when she was arrested and I am sure the fracking protest groups write on their websites with the lights on, maybe the tele too, and perhaps dinner in the electric oven?
It isn’t very admirable to blankly oppose. I think there has to be a solution. There has to be a positive a ‘to do’ for the perpetrator. What M&S are doing, it is at best secondary to raptor persecution and in reality several places removed. The attention needs to be focused on the real offenders: the landowners, the gamekeepers and the shooting fraternity.
After all we all signed this http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46473 didn’t we?
Maybe M&S will withdrawal sales of grouse and even issue apologetic vouchers? Then people can get crayfish and watercress sandwiches with their spoils. Do we know where the crayfish and watercress was sourced?
The point I am getting to is this: I am nearly reduced to tears that Yasuni National Park is going to be subject to oil drilling. Why shouldn’t Balcombe be subject to drilling, it isn’t comparable ecologically (by a long way) and there are energy users nearby. Because Tory voting, grouse eating M&S shoppers don’t want to go past an oil well on the school run? But it is ok for people in the north west to drive past the same infrastructure on their way home from Tesco…
If the same level of protest had been applied to the government then maybe we would be one of the countries that pledged support to the Ecuadorian government to stop the Yasuni drilling. After all Turkey, Chile, Colombia, Georgia, Australia, Spain and Belgium all managed to contribute funds. Why didn’t we? Were we too worried about opposing everything in our back yard?
The next opportunity to disappoint could come sooner than you think. Exploratory drilling in Blacombe is fine with me if it means the oil companies leave the Arctic. The pristine, depleting and fragile mass of ice I fell in love with back in March. I did sign this http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/arctic and you should too. Perhaps write to your MP about it too? Maybe Caroline Lucas will get arrested protesting against this, or will that not attract enough votes?
This is probably the most negative post I have ever put online. Although the converse is I do wholeheartedly support meaningful petitions, causes etc. I am not using this as a defense for the above; I mean every word of it. It is just important to pick and choose causes and I choose considered causes.
The truth of the matter is that WE are the problem. I’ll leave you with Human Cull. A good soundtrack to consider yourself too…
About Jonny Rankin:
My Twitter bio says ‘Heavy metal bastard, dog owner, rider, birder, collector of tattoos and learner of moths.’
I am all of those things. Well, technically I am not a bastard as I have a father, that aside it is a pretty accurate description. In addition I volunteer for the RSPB and fundraise for the multi-partner Operation Turtle Dove.
Whilst I like the principle of the vegetarian and animal welfare efforts that Charlie pursues, I cannot claim to be vegetation or be so concerned about captive animal welfare. My output is wholly concentrated on the natural world.
Birds are my main area of interest and I am out in the field everyday. As with most people nowadays in addition to my own experiences I am exposed to a number of issues via my online reading. So I am going to ‘Talk Naturally’ from my perspective, it may not always be correct or even reasonable but it will be honest.
My most desired birds are Albatross (any!) and to self find Black Duck. The best birding Counties are Durham, Suffolk and Caithness.
I hope you enjoy (or depending who you are – get really upset by) my posts. Feel free to comment or send hate mail to me via Twitter @Jonny09Jonny