Green and pleasant land

I had a number of things to do last weekend and so found myself driving around Dartmoor and Torbay.

Working for the newspaper, we quite often hear of proposed housing developments and how the locals are generally always against them.

I was, therefore, really quite surprised to see so much building going on, much of it housing.

There have been various statements made over the past year on how certain council and government reviews into housing have been ‘mis-informed’ or ‘out of date’. It seems that whatever system they use (and I really know nothing about this) doesn’t really seem to equate to what housing is actually needed in certain areas.

My point is, in view of the emergency that we’re all facing with climate change, why is it still acceptable to bulldoze over ground that is needed in this war?

I saw a great photo of an environmental protestor holding a board that said; “All disaster movies start with a scientist being ignored”. More and more scientists are publishing more and more papers which support the theory that we need our green spaces and the life that those spaces hold, whether flora or fauna.

Bee species are on the brink of extinction. The number of flying insects has declined by a massive 75% in the last 25 years. Dave Goulson, professor of life sciences at the University of Sussex, said: “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on a course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose insects then everything is going to collapse.”

Climate change has a lot to do with this, but pesticides and urbanisation has also played a huge part. Overwhelming, I know. “We’re reducing plastic use and trying to cut our emissions, you want us to stop building, eat locally and organically AND fight evil giants who spend millions in courts across the world so that they can keep using deadly chemicals? Can’t we just pick one?” No, sorry.

Last edition I had a dig at how the media can spin things into the realms of unreality, now I say the media has done wonders in telling the whole world about all the damage that has been done and is continuing to be done in far flung places that have an effect on us all as a whole.

No longer are we limited to knowing what’s happening in just our towns or countries, but we can now have a voice to stop destruction of rainforests and coral reefs.

We can be heard if we shout alongside native tribes whose water supplies are being stolen by multi-national companies and sold in plastic bottles for vast profit.

And we will be listened to when we say we need our countryside to remain green, not turned into post-apocalyptic grey.

I know we need houses – of course people need somewhere to live. But the South West already has lots of houses. We need to look at better using what we have rather than taking yet more habitat away from the species that need it the most.

Laura White

Author: Laura White

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