Dear Sir Venki, ladies and gentleman,
“Reasonably reassuring” is not a phrase that springs to mind after Theresa May’s latest appointments. Angela Leadsom at DEFRA is a fox in the chicken coup. According to the Times she has accepted invitations from free market think-tanks (ALEC) to attend pro-fracking conferences in the US. Other Leadsom attributes of major concern to the environment are listed in the accompanying letter to the Guardian which I asked Alex Chalk (MP Cheltenham Cons) to forward to Amber Rudd or Theresa May earlier this week (he declined !). The prospects for improving air quality in this country are now bleak, and Client earth’s case against HMG will fail once we have exited the EU (though not before).
I gather that Business and Energy have now been fused so there is no longer a Secretary of State with a climate change brief. Doubtless Leadsom will have much to say in Cabinet on the unimportance of global warming.
My other concern stems from the fact that BBC News are completely useless when it comes to the Environment, air quality, diesel pollution and climate change. Over the past 3 years they have sacrificed Truth on the altar of “Balance”, and repeated the process prior to the Referendum. The implications for Air Quality and the Environment hardly got a mention prior to Brexit, and none of the Leave advocates were ever asked exactly which bits of EU legislation they thought that the UK would be better off without. If you look at the Hansard link below, you will see that the percentage of air-time devoted to environment, air quality and climate change pre-Brexit was 1.7%, but on BBC TV there was no coverage at all ! (See contribution from Rebecca Pow Conservative MP from Taunton).
For those that are interested I have already reported the BBC to the Select Committee for Culture Media and Sport for the lamentable coverage of environmental issues, and climate change in particular (Attached). I am still awaiting a response 2 months later. Correct me if I’m being pessimistic here, but it seems to me that the Neanderthals have taken over.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath
Chair Help Rescue the Planet