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Thread: Silent Summer - The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland

  1. #1
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Silent Summer - The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland

    Some of you might have seen this new book reviewed in the Daily Telegraph and elsewhere:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ear...er-threat.html

    I'd pre-ordered my copy from Amazon and it turned up today. Looks to be a very interesting read, not least because it's one of the few 'conservation' books that is speaking to the benefits of fieldsports.

    Robin Sharp, who has written a chapter called "The Great Game: the interaction of field sports and conservation in Britain from the 1950s to 2008" is Emeritus Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - see http://www.iucn.org/about/

    I think his organisation is what typically we would classify under the title of "bunny-hugging, sandal-wearing, tofu-eating, Organic Nazis"

    However, what about this:

    "Yet it may come as a surprise to those whose understanding of wildlife conservation is shaped by beguiling television images of 'wild nature' that field sports, as practised over the last 50 years, have been almost universally good for the hunted species and the non-hunted, non-predators that thrive in the same habitat."

    or this:

    "The benefits to biodiversity conservation from shooting sports are very substantial. These [the efforts and effects of fieldsports on habitat] were contributing not only to game conservation, but to the conservation of song birds, waders, butterflies, plants and flowers, on a scale equivalent to that of the statutory conservation agencies, but over a much wider area of the countryside....a contribution which should be acknowledged by conservationists when funding for wildlife programmes from taxpayers is likely to be under extreme pressure for the foreseeable future"

    But one note of caution:

    "Shooters and hunters, tending to be rugged individualists, seem reluctant to account to the wider world for what they are doing and to explain the benefits that flow from their activities."

    I know we all know the above, but it's nice to see it acknowledged by others for once

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  2. #2
    Even the very name strikes fear into my heart!

    As you may recall there was a book called "Silent Spring" which was published in the early 1960s and which to a greater or lesser extent unleashed the "environmentalist" movement upon the earth. The premise of "Silent Spring" was that DDT was making bird's eggs thinner and that this chemical was going to wipe out all the fluffy bunny rabbits and the book, and the movements it spawned, were responsible for DDT being "banned" despite a total absence of science to support such a ban. In recently years DDT is slowly starting to be used again but in the mean time malaria (some countries using DDT before the ban had got their malaria cases down to tens of cases in a year) has killed about 2 or 3 million people each year. This of course sits well with the environmentalists position that there are too many humans on earth and so some of them, but not themselves or their kids, have to go. The science is farily clear that DDT is safe in proper use and some areas are now starting to use it again but there is no question that the "Silent Spring" book and the environmentalist movement have killed about 60 million innocent people who were unfortunate enough to live in areas where this level of death was considered acceptable in the cause of some developed world fad.

    So, as you can imagine, writing a book with a title like this strikes fear into the hearts of people like myself who consider the environmentalists to be the biggest challenge facing modern civilised life and modern science and it also leads to the immediate conclusion that it will be a lot of emotional, unscientific, bunny hugging junk aimed at furthering the political ends of the green vermin. So, I was grateful to see your positive review and I might just order up a copy myself and see what I think. My first impression is that a less emotionally charged title might have been a good idea if it is a genuine look at the science :-)

    Thanks for the heads up.

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Caorach

    Yes, I've read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring as well, though some years ago now. The similarity in titles also concerned me. That's why I was surprised to see it positively reviewed in the Daily Telegraph, Hunting Life and elsewhere.

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

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