It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Buzz off

Posted by chrisrick13 on April 26, 2013

It is obvious: I look after myself

When I was young I remember seeing on tv bulging nets of huge healthy fish being hauled on to trawlers in the North Sea.  Roll forward and we have been through the Cod Wars with Iceland (OK in the Atlantic) and huge trawlers from Spain and other European countries fishing North Sea until there are no fish there.  Recent pictures of nets being pulled on to trawlers are of small amounts of very odd-looking fish.

The evidence was that unless fishing stopped there would soon be no fish.  However that is tomorrow’s problem.  For all the fishermen who made a living in the North Sea and the countries that needed the fish to feed their populations there were fish there so drag them out.

Now we have few fishing boats on the North Sea coasts as there are no fish for them to catch.  Perversely as there are few boats the fish are starting to come back.  No doubt we will go through the cycle again of recovery, overfishing, no fish, recovery…

During that period of overfishing, now proved beyond question, there were endless presentations of arguments and counter arguments that fishing was OK.  Sufficient that fishing continued to where we are today.  I remember the same situation with the evidence that smoking was bad for you and the thirty year rear-guard action by the tobacco companies delaying the start of proper action to limit smoking.

One of the arguments was that we could stop UK trawlers but foreign ones would just ignore the regulations and fish.  So why not let ours do it?  One of my acquaintances bought ivory trinkets when he was abroad and his argument was that they were in the shops so the elephant was already dead – what harm was he doing?  Same incorrect argument.

So it is with decisions made by the government.  On what basis are they making them?  Whenever the government enacts laws in an area I know a little about it seems that the decision is mostly based on some poor evidence from an interested group.

I have loan-bees at the bottom of my garden.  The crops on my fruit trees have more than doubled in the time that they have been there.  We lost one of the hives over the winter and there is a constant watch by the owners for problems with the hives.

Near to my house in Dorset there is a field of Oilseed Rape.  Over a million plants in the field.  In order to get a crop there are 20 million flowers need pollinating.  One of my hives with 50,000 bees does it in a day easily.  They go back the next day and do it all over again.  If the farmer did not have the bees then maybe 10% of the crop would pollinate and produce seeds.  He could use, say, 1,000 people and they could pollinate 90% of the crop in a week.  Perhaps this is an answer to unemployment over the summer: get them in the fields pollinating.

The farmers are spraying their crops with pesticides.  They are on sale and instead of losing 20% of the crop to pests they only lose 5%.  That extra 15% of crop pays for the pesticides many times over.

The pesticides are killing the bees.  So the farmers can have 95% crop and in a few years cut to 10% or they can have 80% in perpetuity.

The government agriculture minister has said that the evidence does not point to pesticides being a problem and is about to vote against a ban being proposed by the EU.  I don’t want to say I told you so in a few years.  I have signed the petition and will be in Parliament square to protest today.  I will also be voting for anything but Conservative in the next election.

It is obvious: I look after myself because the government does not

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