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.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Devon versus Islington.....

It's increasingly clear that the average Brit exhibits far more commonsense when it comes to environmental myths and magic than the chattering metropolitan elite. So today I am ignoring the Islington Guardian and the F(r)isky Independent to focus instead on that excellent regional rag, the Devon Western Morning News.

Here are three trenchant little pieces illustrating all too vividly the inconsistent nonsense that masquerades as the government's current (sparky pun there!) energy policy:

(a) 'Kyoto is dead, long live commonsense' (Western Morning News, April 6): "Perhaps when they notice that the sea has not risen to the extent that everyone is being driven from their homes, the general weather pattern is more than acceptable, the wind hardly blew for long periods last year (the Netherlands even complained about that) and, all in all, temperatures are in keeping with those we have enjoyed most of our lives, they will still be disappointed that they have been proved wrong."

(b) '"Madness of windfarms threatening our country"' (Western Morning News, April 1): "Businessman and broadcaster Noel Edmonds, who first raised concerns about windfarms in the Western Morning News, said yesterday: 'I am delighted that Country Life is taking this as seriously as we do. Hopefully, this will encourage other country organisations to follow suit.'"

(c) 'A winning biofuels plan for Gordon' (Western Morning News, March 31): "In his Budget, Gordon Brown missed an opportunity to help farmers, rural businesses and the environment. Taxes on biofuels remained constant.... With the economics of farming uncertain following the Mid-Term Review of the CAP, and the EU's continued use of set-aside to reduce the cropping area grown, an increase in biofuels could provide a significant extra income to farms."

EnviroSpin hopes to get out and about in the future to record this saner voice of Britain. There's more to life than The Gloomiad, The Indy, and The Ivy!

Let me egg you all on to have a wonderful clotted cream of an Easter. Philip.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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