A Couple of Important Nature Links

Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.

THOUGHTS ON NATURE

My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…

A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY

A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.
NH GCSE

My next major link is to a…

THUNDERCLAP

To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclap please do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.

BJBthunderclap

Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported. 

A COUPLE OF FURTHER LINKS

Miles King over at anewnatureblog has today produced a splendid piece titled “Time to rename Defra the Ministry of Agriculture and Fieldsports” in which he reveals the extent to which our government is failing in its duties as regards the environment. Below is a screenshot of the section of the post dealing with the downright dishonourable Andrea Leadsom by way of introduction.

ALfail

Now it is time for…

A NOD TO NEW ZEALAND

Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blog named after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:

It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…

ANNA’S NATURE MEME

This wonderful creation was formed around words that were originally submitted by me as a comment on one of her blog posts.
Nature Meme

PHOTOGRAPHS

birdmootcorvidscysbbirdmootDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5763DSCN5771Goose1ducklngs x 5Goose2gull on jettyHGSquirrelStarling in grassbirdmootcorvidscysbDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5762DSCN5763DSCN5771DSCN5772ducklngs x 5Goose1Goose2gull on jettySquirrelHGStarling in grass

Chris Packham and the Foxhunters

An account with links to the three source pieces of the vile abuse of Chris Packham by the pro-hunting lobby and his dignified response to it.

INTRODUCTION

I live with Asperger’s Syndrome, have previously had mental health issues including depression and am a nature lover. Chris Packham presents nature programs on TV, has Asperger’s Syndrome and has had mental health problems. Mr Packham has recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression, and this is where the story starts…

A TWEET AND RETWEET

Yesterday morning Hunting Solutions put out the following tweet, quoted in his own piece immediately after it had happened by Miles King on anewnatureblog:

hunting solutions

This tweet was retweeted by Nicholas Soames, a politician whose own party leader has spoken of the need to end the stigma attached to mental health. As Miles King points out, given the hysterical reaction to Naz Shah having liked an offensive facebook post before she became an MP, you might think that this could cause more trouble for the party concerned. When Miles King challenged Soames about the retweet, rather than attempting to defend himself Soames blocked King. Please follow the link I provided near the top of this section and read that post in full before proceeding.

PACKHAM’S OWN RESPONSE

Chris Packham provided what was in the circumstances a remarkably restrained response in the form of an interview that was published on Huffington Post, which I urge you to read in full.

THE FOLLOW UP THIS MORNING

Miles King on anewnatureblog returned to the fray this morning because Hunting Solutions had provided a response of sorts. As this image, taken from the Miles King piece, which I urge to read in full shows it was exactly what we might expect from these people:

connor

This is classic victim blaming of the sort that Tories specialize in. I will conclude this section with my own comments on Miles King’s posts which I once more urge you to read in full:

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and who has experience of depression I am in no doubt that the both the original tweet and Soames’ retweet were bang out of order, and in the continuing absence of an apology there is no doubt to give these people the benefit of. The use of the word “nutjob” in the context Mr Packham having recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression is reminiscent of the the prolonged series of smears that functioned (thankfully and deservedly very badly) as Zac Goldsmith’s London Mayoral campaign.

And Miles’ response to that comment:

thanks Thomas – a good analogy. The hunting community, feeling threatened, are resorting to a smear campaign against high profile people like Chris Packham.

My comment on the second post:

Excellent follow up piece. I would take your reasoning re the comments about foxhunting being psychopathic a small step further and say that for true equivalence between the remarks Packham would have to labelled not just foxhunters as a group (which as you point out he did not) but an individual named foxhunter as a psychopath. As for the ‘if he hadn’t criticised us we would not have said it’ “defense”, that is simply another example of a favourite tactic of these kind of people – victim blaming.

I conclude this post with some photos…

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An eight-legged friend

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Gibraltar £1
I noticed something about this £1 coin that caused me to examine it closely – just as well I did, as it is Gibraltarian and would probably not have been accepted by the bus driver!
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Close up of the reverse
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Close up of the obverse