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talking therapy

22nd Jun 2017

Talking therapy


One of the interesting things about concepts such as no-net-loss (NNL) and net gain etc is that they seem inherently beguiling to some. They promise the moon, when in reality they are hard to pin down. Offsets and other concepts have been sold hard, and only now is it being tacitly accepted that they may be a little more difficult to deliver than promised in the spin.


Talking is therapeutic: when you mention NNL or net gain, people start to air, usually in an in-confidence meeting, some of their inner doubts. Talk to a bunch of seasoned ecologists, and that conversation will turn at some time to these topics. The high level story is that it is a good thing; the effects of an impact can be offset, and if you fiddle it right, you can deliver more than you lose. The lower level story is one of a little more scepticism. Can you identify a credible baseline? In effect all that stands or falls by this. As for delivery......


Baselines aren't discretionary: without a viable one, the concepts and reality are worthless. Add in problems with timescales, multipliers and the like, and you've a chimera: a fanciful thing. Those conversations become more revealing as time progresses. Participants are beginning to look over their shoulders as accountability starts to creep up; claims on projects are being examined, and found wanting.


The more people talk, the more honest they become; spin is one of the casualties. It is therapeutic, and if the spin is queried perhaps the biodiversity losses that accrue will become more obvious.

previous posts
talking therapy
22nd June 2017
cross bats
12th June 2017
curlews doing fine
1st June 2017
cool bats
25th May 2017
swift returns
11th May 2017
cold comfort
29th April 2017
who takes the biscuit?
18th April 2017
Buzzards and grouse
3rd April 2017