Once upon a time, Britain was a land of enterprise and development. Our brilliant inventions, our exploration and ability to push back the margins in pursuit of better lives for the many changed the world immeasurably for the better, and gave us full bellies and cheap energy. Now, our civil servants – when they are not doing the bidding of our masters in Brussels – spend their time drawing up useless regulations, and even worse, measuring our “ecosystem assets” in pursuit of greenie moonshine. At a time of supposed austerity, bucketloads of cash have been tipped down the sewers in an effort to map out how much of the UK divides into coast, farmland, forestry and so on. The man responsible for this luncacy, Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and co-chairman of the NEA, pontificates that this is a terribly important exercise that will benefit us all.

But make no mistake, the agenda involved is not to make the world a better place. Richard Black, like a rat up drainpipe, of course loves the report, because it fits in with his political creed. Bob Watson is clearly the new hero of the hour, and he quotes him lovingly:

“Professor Watson said this did not imply an end to development, but that costs and benefits of each proposed development could be assessed more accurately in advance.”

Be afraid, very afraid, because finding news ways of stopping economic development IS the real agenda here. Skilfully woven into Richard’s piece are supporting words from all the usual sources he uses – the government-supported “charity” the RSPB and lefty academics included. All of them make it very clear that they want to find new ways to use this loathsome report to halt economic growth and take us back to that pristine age when we were all greenies and at one with nature.

Richard Black is the willing mouthpiece for this dangerous tripe. He thus continues his political campaign relentlessly. I suppose that’s to be expected – what else has he ever done? – but what’s shocking is that Britain is fast becoming the world centre of anti-enterprise because of the greenie poison he spreads.


Remarkably soft interview with EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom here. As the prelude Gavin Hewitt explains why “many people” see Schengen as a lofty EU achievement! Lovely Cecilia wants to see lots of people from North Africa come to Europe to do the jobs that Europeans just won’t do. I was impressed to hear her bring climate change into her desire to incorporate Africa into the EU.


Let us be clear, anything that brings to light the mistreatment of the vulnerable is to be commended. The BBC has made headlines itself today by revealing a pattern of abuse in a private nursing facility. Four people have been arrested as a consequence. Good – that’s how it should be. Can we look forward to similar undercover investigations into NHS facilities?


Richard Black seems hell bent on telling us that the oceans are turning acid. Two days ago, he posted this, and now, today, he’s added this – he faithfully and uncritically recycles alarmist predictions that clownfish are going to choke to death because of rising CO2. These clown researchers are being paid to find problems like this, and they do so, using their ju-ju models that predict doom on every level.

Other more rational and less politically motivated souls look coolly and calmly at the evidence. First, rising carbon dioxide levels are good for us and good for the planet because the trace gas enhances plant growth. This is a long report, but well worth a read.

Second, the measurement of ocean “acidification” (whatever Mr Black chooses to call this process) does not support the idea of catastrophic change, even on IPCC projections – it only happens in laboratories deliberately set up to pander to alarmist fantasies. And third, even if there is significant change, there is abundant evidence that life on coral reefs adapts to the changed ecology.

Mr Black is clearly impervious to any contrary facts, is determined to maintain an alarmist paradigm and selectively ignores evidence that does not accord with his own extreme political views. My observations about him are repetitious because he is manically repetitious. But I will not let go because it is a disgrace that our money is being used to support him in his deliberately one-sided campaign.