Britain must build thousands more bat-chomping bird-slicing eco crucifixes in order to stave off “dangerous climate change” says the RSPB.
RSPB stands for Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and, no, this is not The Onion.
Yes, Britain’s oldest and biggest ornithological society really has put out a report demanding the erection of yet more avian Cuisinarts – despite swathes of evidence showing that these monstrosities are responsible for killing many millions of birds around the world every year.
The way that we currently use energy in the UK is not sustainable. We use too much of it, we use it inefficiently, and our main sources of energy, fossil fuels, are driving us towards dangerous levels of climate change – one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife.
In order to save Britain’s wildlife from the alleged threat of climate change, in other words, we’ve got to first got to slice and dice it with the turbine blades that, by some estimates, kill 22 million birds a year.
Britain currently has around 5,000 wind turbines. According to the RSPB, it could do with around 20,000 more. More solar panels too. And wave power. And carbon capture and storage. And herds of organic unicorn to harvest all waste and pollution and magically transform it to special fairy energy which can be sprinkled on the cots of every new born child so as to instil in it a true appreciation of Mother Gaia’s beauty. (I may have invented the last one)
Mysteriously no mention is made of the actual cost of this exercise.
We’re shown a triangle at the beginning which illustrates our ‘energy trilemma’ – Environmental Sustainability; Energy Security; and Affordability.
But that’s the last time affordability gets a look in. To do so would be to ground it in the kind of economic reality that ideological greens like the ones that have infested the RSPB would view in much the same way vampires view garlic and holy water.
I’ve written quite a lot before about the disgraceful relationship between the RSPB and the wind industry. It has made hundreds of thousands of pounds from its partnerships with wind companies such as Scottish and Southern Electricity, whose turbines are known to have killed birds including Hen Harriers – a protected species which regularly features in the RSPB’s handwringing doomsday literature. It has even erected wind turbines on its nature reserves.
Many ordinary members – ones who prefer their birds alive and flying or perched on a tree rather than, say, decapitated at the foot of a wind tower – find this very upsetting. Some have resigned their membership.
But there’s not much they can do because, like its sister eco-fascist organisation the RSPCA, the RSPB’s senior echelons have been hijacked by entryists from the more lunatic end of the environmental movement.
Like the proverbial Japanese soldier on the remote Pacific island who refuses to accept that the Emperor has surrendered, these people are stuck in a mental timewarp, in a universe where “global warming” (which hasn’t happened for 19 years) is still a dire threat and where the renewables industry hasn’t been proved to be an unaffordable fraud which does nothing for the environment except deface it with industrial structures.
Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Conservation Director who commissioned the report is a case in point. He got his Biological Sciences degree not at the University of East Anglia, as you might expect, but from Oxford. This goes to show just how deeply the rot in science academe of set: Oxford appears not to have educated this green junk-science out of him; rather it would appear to have embedded it – and gold plated it with an Oxford BSc.
He claims in the report:
The RSPB prides itself on being an evidence-based organisation.
This is exactly what the RSPB is not. It’s a prisoner of outmoded group think, producing pie-in-the-sky eco-guff which has about as much to do with the reality of wildlife conservation – let alone with preserving the integrity of Britain’s matchlessly beautiful landscape – as Pol Pot did with enhancing Cambodia’s intellectual tradition.
Yet the RSPB – morally, intellectually, and scientifically bankrupt though it is – continues to have the legitimacy of a serious, trustworthy conservation organisation conferred on it thanks to its extremely cosy relationship with the European Union.
As Richard North has previously reported, the RSPB has received millions of pounds over the years from the EU, essentially to act as the EU’s sock puppet.
But one of the biggest single beneficiaries of the EU’s largesse seems to have been the RSPB, of Baroness Young fame. It has pocketed tens of millions of EU cash, most of it directed to Habitat Directive and Natura 2000 projects, which includes the Birds Directive. Between 2007-2012, according to the EU Financial Transparency Database, the RSPB has netted over €14 million.
Since the very early days, though, the RSPB has been a first class passenger on the EU gravy train, in 1994 fronting a €1,000,000 project on the Preparation of action plans for the recovery of globally threatened bird species in Europe.
Typical of its projects is this one where it walked away with a grant of €846,273 – for a total project cost of €1,692,547 – to “raise awareness of the Birds Directive and promote positive land management”, the organisation happily trilling about EU support on its own website.Trill it might, for this was only a tiny fraction of the EU funding finding its way in its capacious, feather-lined pockets. Currently, it is enjoying the Little Terns project funded to tune €3,287,140 with an EU contribution of €1,643,570. The Saline Lagoons Project previously yielded dividends of a cool €682,419.50 from the EU, in a project worth €1,364,840.52. Whoever else might have been short of money, it was not the RSPB.
On top of that is the Alde-Ore Project where the RSPB along with its partner in crime the National Trust is splitting €533,145 of EU money in a project worth €1,066,290. The RSPB even got its feet under the table on the “Life for the Bourgas Lake” project in Bulgaria where the lottery winners are sharing €1,775,006, of which €1,331,254 is EU (i.e., our) money.
Then there is the Scottish Machair Project where the EU is funding the RSPB and partners to the tune of €1,367,515 in a project costing €2,735,031. There is also the Salisbury Plain Project where the RSPB is a partner in a scheme worth €3,482,722, with an EU contribution of €1,741,361.Then there was the happy little project of reintroducing the Great Bustard to Salisbury Plain which netted the RSPB-led project €1,636,631.00 in EU funding, in a scheme costing €2,182,175.00. And there was also the RSPB’s Bittern Project, costing €3,756,072 with an the EU contribution of €1,878,036.
Between January 2009 and December 2012, there was the TaCTICS project: Tackling Climate Change-Related Threats to an Important Coastal SPA in Eastern England. This involved work on the RSPB Titchwell Marsh bird sanctuary in Norfolk, allowing the RSPB to collect €1,004,830 in EU funding, for a project budgeted at €2,009,660.We mustn’t, of course, forget the New Forest Project either, where the RSPB, with other partners, creamed off €3,744,911 of EU money, out of a total budget of €7,488,389 – the balance funded by the likes of Hampshire County Council.
Nor should we forget the Blanket Bog Project in Wales, which raked in €2,824,046 of EU money for the RSPB, with a total of €3,765,394 being spent. Not content with that, the RSPB then got another €2,728,721 from a project costing €4,547,869 for Blanket Bogs in Scotland. That would have gone down really well on the Somerset Levels as a contribution towards dredging costs.
All that must be added to the Wise Use of Wetlands co-ordinated by the RSPB, at a cost of €2,108,110 with the EU paying €1,052,044.Taxpayers will also be delighted to know that the Scilly rat removal project, co-organised by the RSPB, had a total budget of €1,107,871. The EU put in €553,935 of our money. With the Broads Authority, the RSPB also managed to chew their way through €1,047,116.69, of which the EU’s contribution was €491,909, on a project called New Wetland Harvests.
Many commentators (rightly) complain about the cost of our EU payments, whereas defenders claim that we get the bulk of the money back, through EU-funded schemes. But these are the types of schemes being funded, with the RSPB up-front, filling its boots with our money.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. The RSPB gets lots of free money. The EU gets to have its pet projects rubber stamped by a supposedly independent, world-respected conservation body – which also then frequently lobbies the EU to enact more of the environmental legislation that the EU is keen to pass, thus lending the whole exercise a spurious air of popular and independent expert legitimacy.
Of course the RSPB is going to call for more wind farms and solar farms because that’s what the EU wants. But this has nothing to do with the conservation interests of Britain’s birdlife, still less with any sympathy with the British environment generally.
The best thing for Britain’s birdlife would be if the RSPB were to be shut down by the Charities Commission tomorrow.