New year, same old controversies. The UK Government has gone back on promises to keep a ban on bee killing pesticides in place – despite it still being outlawed across the rest of Europe.
Environment Secretary George Eustice is allowing a deadly product containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam to be used this year, The National among other media reports.
The limited time deal has been welcomed by farmers, though, as they look to protect sugar beet crops from disease.
Environmental groups warn it could have a devastating impact on bees which are essential to the world’s ecosystem and accused the government of ‘broken promises’.
Worryingly, the UK is not alone. In the two years since the ban EU countries have issued more than 65 emergency authorisations.
“Nature is in immediate danger and our food systems with it,” Apolline Roger, a chemicals lawyer for environmental law charity ClientEarth told Unearthed.
Sir David Attenborough’s new series of a Perfect Planet also makes for grim viewing.
Among the footage, the fight to save a baby elephant dying from thirst, its parents having done so. Baby turtles dying in their nests as floods hit.
Badly burned koala bears caught in the Australian bush fires.
It is upsetting viewing, but reality which he tempers with hope that a repeat can be stopped. He discussed a 8000km ‘green wall’ of drought resistant trees in Africa, the next generation of activists and what we do now as contributing to the fightback.
Sir David isn’t to everyone’s liking, but this at least shines a light on some of the more recent effects of climate inaction.
Birds too, it seems, are being affected in a different way, changing their breeding seasons to match climate change. The Observer carried this piece recently explaining how researchers have discovered the new pattern as they adapt to the emergence of food supplies to feed their young.
Yet if even our wildlife is having to adapt, just what is the new ‘climate normal’?
That’s the subject of an article in Forbes which details attempts benchmark temperatures and other factors to build a (mainly US) picture of what’s going on around us.
Across the former Iron Curtain, grasslands from the old Soviet era make for a fairly fascinating read on the BBC website, telling how 30 years of being left to rewilding has had a dramatic impact on biodiversity.
Some brighter news. The Scottish Wildlife Trust are hailing the conclusion of a scheme to introduce beavers as a resounding success.
A partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has, they say, resulted in 21 beavers being released.
The full report of the Scottish Beaver Reinforcement Project can be read at this link.
What gets measured gets managed, is how Ireland described a decision to report emissions and removals from peatlands as part of the EU’s new accounting system for emissions. The idea being carbon sources will instead become carbon sinks. What’s more, the decision has been taken voluntarily.
BP recently announced a £2m cash injection to expand Scotland’s native woodlands in a scheme administered by Future Woodlands Scotland.
But The Sunday Times reports it is now engulfed in claims of greenwashing as a result which raises many questions over whether fossil fuel firms can ever play a part in the green recovery and if so, how can it become acceptable.
The Ferret published this story about receipts from Scotland’s swathes of derelict land being undertaxed to the point it may discourage redevelopment.
Our question would be, could it be used and financed for rewilding instead?
And marking the 200th anniversary of his birth, The Courier spotlights the life and times of Scotland’s forgotten pioneering climate scientist James Croll who according to Royal Scottish Geographical Society chief executive Mike Robinson ‘opened the door to an understanding of the links between the sun and the Earth’s climate’.
It is the challenge of our lifetime, is how Unfold introduces Season Two of its Climate Change podcast which should be required listening.
There’s still time to listen to episode one The Kilted Kiwi podcast featuring RSPB Scotland, The John Muir Trust and Nature Scot talking about conservation during COVID-19
And if you can’t get enough of yours truly, then check out the debut episode of Sustainable Scotland from The Scotsman, talking mainly smart energy and fuel poverty.
Main image credit: Harry Strauss, Pixabay
Climate Notes | compiled by Planet Scotland