Chris Jackson looks at the impact of ash dieback on a tree nursery in Northumberland which is counting the cost of the crisis.
BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast spoke to the Liverpool-based company chosen to decorate Bethlehem’s 55-ft Christmas tree.
Continued here: AUDIO: British firm decorates Bethlehem tree
The government’s ‘bonfire’ of regulations rages through the natural world as Conservatives protect their class interests
There was a time when conservatism meant what the word suggests. It was an attempt to keep things as they are: to arrest economic and social change, to defend the position of the dominant class. Today conservatism has become a nihilistic festival of destruction: a gleeful Bullingdon dinner party of upper-class anarchists, smashing other people’s crockery and hurling the chairs through the windows. Yet its purpose is still to secure the position of the dominant class.
It is no longer enough to own the land and most of the capital, to own the media and – through the corrupt system of party funding – the political process. To reinstate Edwardian levels of inequality, the feral elite must seek to reverse the political progress that has been made since then. This means dismantling the tax system, which redistributes wealth. It means ditching the rules that prevent the powerful from acting as they please.
Both are being consumed in what British Conservatives proudly describe as a bonfire. Nowhere is deregulation more destructive than in its treatment of the natural world.
If ash dieback takes root in Britain, it could be as damaging as Dutch elm disease was. This fungus is now raging across the continent, consuming almost all the ash trees in its path. Few ashes – among which are some of the oldest and best-loved trees in Britain – are expected to survive if the disease becomes established here.
The only way the fungus can arrive in this country is through imports of infected saplings. In February the first case in the UK was reported, at a tree nursery in Buckinghamshire. The disease has now been found in 10 places, and foresters are desperately trying to contain it.
But – and this is the extraordinary thing – the government still refuses to ban imports of ash saplings. Instead, it has put the issue out to consultation, as if it had all the time in the world. It’s like spraying one side of a burning house with water while allowing petrol to be sprayed on the other. The government’s commitment to deregulating business outweighs the likely consequences. If ash dieback spreads through Britain, Cameron’s administration will be solely and unequivocally to blame.
It cares just as little about what’s happening to the bees. A new study published this week in Nature provides yet more evidence of the devastating impacts of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. But, unlike other European nations, Britain refuses even to suspend their use.
The same politics inform the planned mass slaughter of badgers, which seems mystifying until you understand that it’s an alternative to effective regulation. Far from controlling tuberculosis in cattle, it could, as Professor John Bourne (who led the previous government’s £49m scientific trial) says, “make TB a damn sight worse”. In the 1960s, strict quarantine rules and the rigorous testing of cattle almost eliminated the disease from the UK. But farmers complained, so the rules were relaxed, and TB returned with a vengeance. Killing badgers creates an impression of action, without offending landed interests.
In March, the government published its kill list of environmental regulations. Among those being downgraded are the rules controlling hazardous waste, air pollution, contaminated land, noise, light and the use of lead shot. Ministers describe this as the shrinking of the state. In reality it’s the shrinking of democracy. Regulation is the means by which civilised societies resolve their conflicts. It prevents the selfish and the powerful from spoiling the lives of others.
But this isn’t about only economic dominance. It is also about cultural hegemony. Uniquely perhaps, in Britain the rightwing culture war is waged largely in the countryside. Tory culture revolves around land owning: battle lines are drawn around the issue of who represents rural Britain. Writing in the Telegraph last month, Fraser Nelson, a reliable guide to the current state of thinking in the party, maintained that people who live in the countryside don’t care about “newts, trees and bats”: these are of interest only in London. He went on to describe David Cameron as “at heart, a rural Tory”, who “still grumbles to his wife about what, for him, are ‘banned activities’ – notably shooting”. Authentic rural people spend their adult lives in Notting Hill and drive out to their second homes for a shooting party at the weekend. Inauthentic rural people are those who live in the countryside and care about wildlife. They are, “at heart”, Londoners. The rural-urban divide, as formulated by Tory theorists, is nothing to do with location. It’s about class.
Those who wish to restrain destructive activities are characterised – by the minister Greg Barker and, apparently, George Osborne – as “environmental Taliban”. Their attempt to associate democratic debate with people who shoot girls in the head tells you all you need to know about their sense of political entitlement.
This conservatism does not care what it destroys. It does not care whom it hurts. It will sacrifice entire species rather than contemplate the slightest check on its own self-interest. All else can burn.
A fully referenced version of this article can be found at Monbiot.com
VIRGIN EXPERIENCE DAYS has been chosen by Go Ape, the UK’s number one Tree Top Adventure provider, as its only external gift experience partner.
Read the original: Virgin Experience Days Sign Tree-Mendous Partnership With Go Ape
Category : Stocks
Portsmouth Marriott Will Dedicate Tree to the Woodlands Trust in Your Company’s Behalf
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – May 14, 2012) - Tree Island Wire Income Fund (TSX:TIL.UN)(TSX:TIL.DB) -
Excerpt from: Tree Island Announces First Quarter 2012 Results
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – April 17, 2012) - Tree Canada is proud to announce its 20 winners of its very popular Edible Trees program.
Supported by Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Taste of Nature, Edible Trees provides grants of up to $3000 to municipalities, schools and community gardens to purchase and maintain fruit and nut trees.
The companies will suspend purchases from Asia Pulp and Paper after evidence emerged of illegal logging in Indonesia
Several multinational companies have vowed to boycott the huge forestry conglomerate, Asia Pulp and Paper, after a public outcry after evidence emerged of illegal logging by APP in Indonesia, that is damaging the habitat of rare animals such as the Sumatran tiger.
Pressure has been growing on APP, its suppliers and customers, since the Guardian revealed last month evidence of illegal logging that had resulted in the chopping down of large numbers of a protected tree species, known as ramin, which grows in some of the last remaining bastions of the critically endangered tiger in south-east Asia.
A year-long Greenpeace investigation uncovered clear and independently verified evidence to show that ramin trees from the Indonesian rainforest had been chopped down and sent to factories to be pulped and turned into paper. The name ramin refers to a collection of endangered trees, protected under Indonesian law, growing in peat swamps in Indonesia where the small number of remaining Sumatran tigers hunt.
The three large companies – all household names – have now said they will suspend purchases from APP, either permanently or until they can be satisfied that the paper and associated products are being produced sustainably. They are Danone, the food giant whose brands include Cow & Gate, Actimel and Volvic; Xerox, the IT and printing supplies company; and a branch of the Collins publishing group. The Guardian understands that other companies are also considering whether to take similar action on the issue.
Danone said: “In view of the questions raised about APP, and as a precautionary measure, Danone group has decided to suspend all purchases from this supplier wherever possible under law, until the situation has been clarified and confirmed by independent stakeholders. This suspension will apply to all group subsidiaries in all affected countries.”
The company, which uses APP for about 1.5% of its cardboard packaging, amounting to about 7,500 metric tonnes, will suspend purchases from APP from June.
Xerox confirmed a longstanding ban on purchasing from APP, after an investigation revealed that at least one of the company’s subsidiaries had been using APP as recently as last year. Xerox said: “While at one time APP was a Xerox supplier, our corporate direction has been to cease doing business with APP on a global basis. This direction was put in place years ago and is based on our stringent paper sourcing guidelines. While we have confirmed that no Xerox branded products have been sourced from APP since implementing our ban in 2002, we have uncovered that a Xerox European entity bought and resold APP branded paper as recently as 2011. This was against the company’s purchasing protocols. The activity has since ceased, corrective actions have been taken, and we are reinforcing our policy — banning any purchase of paper from APP.”
Collins Debden, the diary publisher, said: “In response to customer and market demands, Collins Debden does not procure raw material originating from Asia Pulp & Paper.”
APP said it was “committed to ensure that its operations, control systems and chain of custody process is in accordance with Indonesian law. The Ministry of Forestry has issued public statements regarding the investigation process for the Ramin issue, and therefore APP will provide update on the matter once the process is completed.”
In a statement in response to the original report, the company said it had rigorous standards in place to prevent any illegal material entering its supply chain, but added: “No system in the world, no matter how rigorous, is 100% failsafe.”
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “Having been exposed for destroying the rainforests and using internationally protected ramin wood in Indonesia, APP are now paying the price for their poor environmental policies. The only way APP can stop losing customers is to become a responsible supplier of paper and packaging products.”
Chopping down ramin trees is illegal under Indonesian law dating back to 2001, because of their status as an endangered plant species. But Greenpeace alleges that its researchers found ramin logs being prepared to be transported for pulping when it tested logs in lumber yards belonging to the paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper, on nine separate occasions over the course of a year, and sent them to an independent lab to be tested. Out of 59 samples, 46 tested positive as ramin logs.
When five shell-pink buds open together on a particular tree in the precincts of Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, the city explodes with the joy of spring. The cherry-blossom season has officially begun!
But the crowded picnics beneath the graceful Somei-Yoshino trees are only part of the story. If you walk among the hills of Yoshino itself, a small town in the hills some 30 km north of Nara, you will discover something older, and deeper.
Visit link: Tracing the trees in a long national love affair
Coverage will vary, but Yellow Ribbon Tree wants homeowners to know what that in many cases, Atlanta tree removal is covered by insurance.