Should being sued be a sign you are doing the right thing?

Mongabay, one of the best websites about the natural world, has had one of its writers sued. This happened after the reporter in question reported on illegal deforestation by a Peruvian cacao company.

For this company, it appears that this is a decision that they have taken, having sued several other outfits in recent times. The suit has been thrown out. The company had also sued the 4 members of the local environment ministry, including the one which lead the prosecution of the company. This suit has been lost, but the company is appealing.

This sounds like extreme wrong-doing. If you are prosecuted and found guilty, clearly those who prosecuted are right.

Increasingly, companies that are involved in illegal acts will sue anyone who uncovers it – wrongful judgements can move them forwards, and even if not, the court process can keep everyone tied up for years – if anything survives of the forest at the end of that, it is surprising. The judgement for the original crime of destroying forest, was clear and final with 3 sentenced to prison for the “crime of illegal trafficking of timber forest products and aggravated obstruction of justice”. They also had to pay fines of over $4 million.

Unfortunately, despite overwhelming evidence all of the sentences were overturned by the supreme court – freeing the way for the attack on Mongabay. Indeed, 4 days after the original publication a notarized letter arrived requesting the article be corrected – in particular, claiming false claims were made in the article. Mongabay Latam published an article refuting each point in turn. Some of the points were absurd, with the company complaining about the turn deforestation being used – as they had not been found guilty of this. More foolishly, despite forest destruction being deforestation by definition, the website had only quoted one of the officials prosecuting.

This back and forth continued, but suffice to say their arguments are stupid: talking about logging and deforestation are completely interchangeable.

Stupid moves in court must be publicized, as only ridicule and financial loss will force companies like this to behave.

Thankfully, this website is not a big enough thorn to have to face similar suits, but that may come.

The British government claims that 30% of of UK land is set aside for nature; what rubbish

At the current time 26% of the UK is designated as a national park, area of outstanding beauty or other form of protected area. However, to claim that this whole area is set aside for nature, is absurd. British national parks, unlike African ones still have human habitation within them.

Continue reading “The British government claims that 30% of of UK land is set aside for nature; what rubbish”

What should we do when our government makes a big show of new climate commitments which are actually recycled?

The British government is continually making good noises about cutting emissions.

At the beginning of June they announced half a billion pounds for a blue planet fund – but this was merely repurposed money, from the conservative manifesto in 2019. A total of £11.6 billion has been pledged to fight climate change by the British government in this term, which means that this pledge is nothing more than deciding where to spend the money.

Is £11.6 billion spent across a parliamentary term a good amount of money. 

It is certainly a lot of money, however in 2020 the government spend over 900 billion pounds, meaning that this advertisement is roughly 0.2% of our spending each year for the next 5 years. This is not fighting for our lives and that of our children’s future. Indeed if we truly consider environmental change an existential threat to our current way of life if this is chump change.

The fact that new pledges the government make then come out.of this small amount should be an embarrassment. I suspect that it will be highlighted multiple times during the the climate conference being held later this year. I hope other countries point out the absurdity of this position.

We are an island country! We stand to have our country changed dramatically if the amount of sea level rise that is possible actually happens. The idea that we can’t even put 1% of our GDP towards fighting this is a problem and one which future generations would have a right to point to.

See Animals Wild