Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 19 July 2023

‘Nature expert’ who never looks out of the window: ‘Britain suffering more from heatwaves and fires.’ Did I do good, sir? Thank you, sir, please sir

More people will die, more homes will burn, more crops will wither and heatwaves will be harder to bear in Britain until the government delivers outstanding pledges on nature, one of the country’s leading environmentalists has said.

The “promises, pledges and rhetoric” of the Conservative government over the last 13 years has “far outpaced” what it’s actually doing, according to Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, a federation of 46 conservation charities.

The long-time campaigner pointed to air pollution, which prematurely kills 64,000 people every year in the UK, according to parliamentary figures, and which can be tackled by things like cutting emissions and planting trees.

“The longer we take on that, very simply, the more people die… And perhaps we need to get better at stating it in those terms,” he said in an outspoken interview with Sky News.

It comes as the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs today warned government tree-planting is hitting less than half its annual targets.

But the government has cut carbon dioxide emissions by 44%, faster than any other G7 country.

It said it is “going further and faster on nature than any other” – and is spending billions in the process.

‘A warning of what’s to come’

Mr Bennett, whose job in part is to put pressure on government, said ministers had dropped the ball on preparing for the increased risk of wildfires and heat.

Last summer, when the UK experienced record temperatures, an estimated 3,000 extra people died for heat-related reasons, while wildfires, fuelled by hot and dry temperatures, set homes alight – problems suffered in many other European countries too.

Schemes that would have boosted insulation, which can keep houses cooler in summer were dropped in 2015 by the government, which was again this week criticised for “disappointing” plans to protect people from overheating.

“That appalling fire in Aveley was a warning of the kind of impacts that we’re going to see in the next few years if we don’t take climate adaptation a lot more seriously,” he said.

‘Build back beaver’

Farmers also struggled because “we weren’t holding enough water back in the landscape”.

“It sounds funny,” he said, but the issue could partially be relieved by using beavers to create more wetlands.

Their habitats can also reduce flooding and clean rivers, but as with many wildlife policies, their reintroduction is controversial. Farmers fear they will disrupt agricultural land.

This year, environment secretary Thérèse Coffey said there are “more important things than beavers” – two years after Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “build back beaver”, prompting wildlife groups to start work and mobilise cash for the expected reintroduction.

Defra is still working with Natural England on a strategy to reintroduce the once native animals in England. The UK remains one of the most nature-depleted on the planet.

‘Post-Brexit delivery’

But Ms Coffey did win some praise from Mr Bennett for her delivery of some long-standing promises.

In her nine months as environment minister, she has published a new scheme to pay farmers to protect nature, a plan to crackdown on sewage spills in waterways and new environmental targets.

Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network, also defended the government’s record. “To be fair to the government, they have delivered a great number of environmental policies post-Brexit,” he said, such as the recent Plan for Water to tackle pollution and polluters, and setting new targets.

“But it is also fair to note that further policies are needed,” he added.

Under the Conservatives, the UK has also been praised for helping to secure an international nature treaty, and for being one of the more ambitious developed countries at the COP climate negotiations.

Nature policies can ‘protect’ from energy crisis

Since the government pledged some policies, such as the deposit return scheme on drinks bottles in 2017, it has had to deal with the shattering effect of both the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Mr Bennett suggested more was needed to improve resilience to future shocks.

“It is about the need for us to run fast towards a much better future.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “This government is going further and faster for nature than any other, with our Environmental Improvement Plan and the inclusion of legally binding targets in the Environment Act demonstrating our commitment to stronger regulation, tougher enforcement, and greater investment in nature.

“We are also investing billions on adaptation measures, including through £5.2 billion in flood and coastal schemes in England, over £750 million for the Nature for Climate Fund and £80 million for the Green Recovery Challenge Fund which creates jobs in nature recovery and conservation.

“Together, this will support our wider efforts to restore our natural environment and biodiversity, protect our much-loved landscapes, green spaces and marine environment – as well as help tackle climate change.”

Read More: ‘The longer we take, the more people will die’

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