This post is by Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England.
The prime minister was right to strike a note of optimism in his first speech to the country.
Environmental questions can seem relentlessly gloomy, with measures to cut pollution and recover the environment appearing like unaffordable sacrifices that get in the way of the real challenges. Read more
According to an early promotional leaflet, Green Alliance was set up “by a group of individuals concerned that Britain’s political parties were failing to understand or respond to environmental issues”. Plus ça change. With an emphasis on “ideas more than issues”, the organisation aimed “to introduce an ecological perspective into British political life”.
This has been our aim ever since and is needed now more than ever as the scale of the climate and ecological emergency we face becomes clearer. Over our history we have used various methods to achieve it, from poetry and the arts to analysis, thought leadership and brokering historical political pledges. One ‘softer’ way we do it is by getting people together to talk, to understand the relevance of environmental issues and to catalyse action. Read more
This post is by conservationist and blogger Miles King. A version first appeared on his blog.
Those who believe that nature is important and that, for it to be better protected from the activities of people, the best approach is to gather evidence – scientific evidence – analyse it and present it to those in power, should heed this story. Read more
This post first appeared on The Staggers, the New Statesman’s politics blog.
Economics is not called the dismal science for nothing. As we watch the shocking images of filthy water pouring into homes and distressed residents leaving in rubber dinghies, economists are already debating what this means for the next GDP figures. This highlights the shortcomings of GDP as a measure of economic progress, but looking at the wider economic impacts can help us deal with the challenges posed by the floods. Read more
Today is the last day to apply to be the new chair of the Environment Agency. Chris Smith stands down in July and interviews for his replacement are to be held in April. Faced with storms of both a physical and political nature, and coming after painful budget cuts, it is hard to imagine many people will want the role. Yet, the Environment Agency’s job remains one of the most important of any public agency and we need its top team to be able to continue to show brave but nuanced leadership. Read more