Category Archives: Edward Milner

Milner Blog #9: “Faith and Reason”

Credit: Public Health Notes If there’s anything that defines the 21st Century it is perhaps the disturbing rise of evidence-free decision-making, ‘not driven by reason at all but by emotion’ as the influential British novelist Jonathan Coe has it, or that people “have had enough of experts” as UK MP Michael Gove has claimed. Instead of reasoned argument, decision-makers seem

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Blog #8 Milner on Biodiversity: Beyond Forest Loss (Part 2)

The UN Biodiversity Conference at Montreal in December will be concentrating on the 30:30 proposal – every country and all the seas to have 30% in ‘protected areas’ by 2030 – with as many governments as possible to ‘pledge’ support. As I indicated in a previous blog, I am unconvinced that ‘pledges’ agreed at these conferences advance actual performance at

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MILNER ON BIODIVERSITY BLOG #7: BEYOND FOREST LOSS (Part One)

Please excuse the perhaps heavier-than-usual tone of this blog, but we are dealing with very serious issues; indeed, our children and grandchildren’s futures depend on them. As I am about to become a grandfather, I am more aware than ever of our failures in respecting nature across the world. The much-delayed UN Biodiversity Conference will finally meet at Montreal in

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Milner on Biodiversity Blog #6: Plastic Waste

Biodiversity is adversely affected by the torrent of plastic pollution in every aquatic environment from the smallest stream to the depths of the ocean. What can be done about it? A recent news report from the Food Packaging Forum (a trade paper) proclaimed the news that ‘drafting of the International Plastics Treaty is now underway’. Wonderful! I nearly ran outside

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Milner on Biodiversity – Blog #5 “The Rights of Forests”

If rivers can be granted legal rights (see my Blog #2) what about other natural features and ecosystems such as forests? It’s an idea first suggested nearly fifty years ago by Christopher Stone, an American law professor in his classic essay ‘Should Trees have Standing?’ If revisited perhaps it could help us revalue forests and all their inhabitants. It might

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Milner on Biodiversity: Blog #4 “Creating New Ocean Habitats”

Seals are known to be attracted by the sea around windfarms; researchers found that tagged individuals in the North Sea traced out ‘a striking grid pattern’ in their daily movements, swimming directly from one wind turbine to the next – hunting for fish. As with other physical structures in the sea, from mangrove roots to coral reefs, wind farms appear

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Milner on Biodiversity- Blog #3

Edward Milner  June 9, 2022  A recent news item in the UK publicised the claim that the construction of 120,000 new homes was delayed because of a ruling by Natural England (the Government’s biodiversity agency) because pollution to local wetlands would result unless major changes were made to the builders’ plans. For a moment I was quietly astonished; environmental protection

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The Rights of Nature: Some thoughts on the Biodiversity Crisis 

April 14, 2022  As the latest IPCC report takes the headlines, the equally urgent biodiversity crisis is once again pushed down the agenda below the Ukraine War, the cost of living crisis, and global heating due to uncontrolled carbon emissions. UN Biodiversity Conference – now, finally due to take place in Kunming China in a few weeks’ time – constantly

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