This tweet from the RSPB South West caught my eye: “Due to climate change & improvements to the way our land is managed,” it says.
Calling it ‘climate change’ is such a neutral way of expressing it. It’s like saying that someone who’s been badly beaten up and is now unrecognisable has had their ‘features rearranged’. It’s a euphemism; a good or neutral word to hide the reality. Using the phrase climate breakdown or climate destruction is much more truthful.
What about the phrase “Improvements to the way our land is managed”? That’s clearly another euphemism. If someone was being held captive and being tortured five times a day and that decreased to be only four times a day, would you welcome it and say that their “Conditions have improved.” Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be focussed on ending the torture they were still enduring. Using the phrase “A small reduction in the extreme harm to wildlife being caused”, is much more truthful.
I note the use of the words “Our land”, as if we own it. Of course, we don’t; it’s mainly owned by feudal landowners paid by the state, from taxes on the rest of us, to farm in ways which have killed our wildlife. Note my use of the phrase “Our wildlife”. Using the phrase, “The land of taxpayer-subsidised multi-millionaire landowners”, is much more truthful.
Then there’s the tone: cheery and optimistic. Collapse of our climate and the destruction of our wildlife by agriculture, industrialisation, pollution and persecution may well result in strange species paying us a visit and maybe even breeding here. That’s not something to look forward to, is it? The fact that a few enthusiasts will be able proudly to add a tick in a box or an entry in a spreadsheet or app, or claim to be the first to have witnessed something on their patch isn’t something to be proud of when we’re facing Earth’s sixth mass extinction event. Your record book might look great, meanwhile our wildlife is dying as if a slow-motion comet is striking the Earth. We’re fiddling while Rome burns.
Here’s my take on what the tweet should say:
“Due to catastrophic climate destruction and a minor reduction in extreme harm caused to our wildlife by paying a ransom to taxpayer-subsidised multi-millionaire feudal landowners, who are currently holding our wildlife hostage, we are likely to see wildlife chaos as different species of bird colonise the South West. This is nothing to celebrate. Which once common species currently here do you see as first to die in Earth’s sixth great extinction event?”
What do you think?