THE Wildlife Trusts organisation exemplifies how wokeness has taken over so many of our British institutions.
The movement began life in 1912 as the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves. In its current incarnation, it acts as an umbrella group for the 46 Wildife Trusts in the UK, nearly all county-based, which have a combined membership of 870,000.
Until recently everybody knew what the Wildlife Trusts stood for. Their website in 2018, for instance, talked about making the world wilder, saving wildlife and wildlife places, looking after nature reserves and operating visitor centres. It was precisely these ideals which attracted thousands of volunteers over the years.
Today, however, their main priority appears to be climate change. They are currently lobbying members about COP28, demanding ‘faster action to reduce emissions’ and ‘a loss and damage fund’. Quite what a loss and damage fund has to do with British wildlife eludes me.
Their website https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/ talks of a ‘climate emergency’, and calls on us to ‘change the way we travel’ and eat less meat.
As we have seen many times with other organisations such as the National Trust, this shift in policy seems to have stemmed from the infiltration of extremists into top management.
Stephanie Hilborne OBE was the Wildlife Trusts CEO for 15 years before leaving in 2019. During her tenure she continued the work of her predecessors, and was remarkably successful in her campaigns to create Marine Conservation Zones and restore wildlife habitats. In other words, exactly the sort of things hundreds of thousands of members had worked so hard for over many decades.
She was replaced by Craig Bennett, a self-described environmental campaigner, who was previously CEO of Friends of the Earth, which tells us all we need to know.
Worse still, in 2022 they appointed Kathryn Brown, whose previous job was with the Committee for Climate Change, as their first director of climate action. Craig Bennett applauded her new role: ‘As The Wildlife Trusts work to tackle the twin nature and climate emergencies Kathryn Brown’s experience will be invaluable – we’re absolutely delighted that she’s agreed to join our team.
‘Too many climate records are breaking as the world warms, and though the natural world should be our ally in the fight against climate change, too many of our natural habitats are now so degraded they are unable to store carbon. We need to get serious about tackling these environmental crises by putting nature in recovery across 30% of land and sea by 2030.’
The outcome is that the Wildlife Trusts no longer has much interest in the concerns and ideals of its ordinary members. To those running it, the organisation is just another means to push their extremist agenda.
No Sky, Batteries Can’t Replace Wind Power
THE award for Climate Misinformation goes to Sky News this week for their puff piece about battery storage. You can see it here.
The news clip featured a battery storage park and an interview with Ben Guest, the MD of Gresham House New Energy, an asset management fund which invests in energy storage! No conflict of interest there then.
Guest tells the gullible Sky reporter that these battery parks are there to send power to homes when the wind does not blow. But the National Grid is using gas-fired generation instead. The Sky reporter falls for this hokum without any challenge.
As any energy expert could have told Sky, the amount of battery storage in the UK is far too tiny to make even a dent in generation, never mind replace wind power for days on end when the wind does not blow. According to the National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios published earlier this year, we have 2.8 GW of battery storage, ‘with mostly 1-hour discharge duration’.
Wind power generates 195 GWh per day on average, which means that all the UK’s battery storage put together could keep the grid going for about 20 minutes if the wind stopped blowing.
Put it another way. A single typical 100 MW wind farm would need four times the UK’s current amount of battery storage to maintain its own supply of power to the grid for two weeks.
This is why battery storage is used for balancing the grid only for short periods to meet spikes in demand and short term fluctuations in generation, usually for a few seconds or minutes at most.
No doubt Gresham House would love their batteries to be used more, and the Sky reporter should have had the gumption to challenge it.
The video finishes on an interview with Jeremy Hunt about the massive grid upgrades needed for Net Zero – building thousands of miles of new transmission lines, increasing the capacity of existing ones and upgrading all the local distribution networks.
A proper journalist would have pressed the Chancellor on the massive cost of this, how it would all be paid for and the ruinous environmental degradation involved. Instead he meekly accepted Hunt’s claim that ‘we have to do it to meet Net Zero’.