A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Go North, Dear Reader.....

One commentator who is always worth a read is Richard D. North, and he has recently placed a number of postings worth a moment's contemplation. Here are a couple to sample, and a link to the key web site for further reference:

(a) 'Global warming, GMOs and economics: the big picture' (January 12):

"A left-right division exists in environmental matters, but it is not income-determined. Nor does it correlate with education terribly well. More, we see amongst the small minority of the population which interests itself in environmental matters a divide between those that are interventionist (a large majority) and those that are not (a small minority). Much (not all) environment policy happens because a relatively small but powerful group exert pressure on the body politic. In economic matters, it is a large group of people who are not individually powerful which achieves policy intervention. (It is easy to think up challenges to this contention, but such challenges have to meet the objection that tax policy is a populist issue, in both directions, whilst environment never has been.)"

(b) 'Biodiversity: nice or valuable?' (November 6, 2003):

"Biodiversity doesn't deserve its dominant role as the watchword of our stewardship: at best it is one of the tools by which we consider our relations with the non-human world. Following the thought in item 2), a small percentage of the world's surface holds a large proportion of the world's species, so preserving the number of species might well not be an engine for preserving much habitat. Contrariwise, cherishing and expanding habitat might increase the commonness or availability or accessibility of various species which are in so sense threatened."

And here is the web site: Living Issues (covering especially pharmaceutical patents, global warming, and pressure politics).

All highly recommended as a thoughtful read.

Philip, coffee.

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