Nature is Saved?


Praise the Lord, Dear Reader! While you have been selfishly hiding in your basement, trying to stay alive by cooking your pets on a fire made of your surplus face-masks and toilet roll stockpile, outside in the glittering firmament of slebworld, the global environment and all of its wildlife have been saved from extinction! It says so on Twitter.

Well, that’s according to “Rewriting Extinction”, a worldwide assembly of “300 scientists, artists, writers and comedians” (don’t snigger) who tell us that they are “Re-writing extinction” (hence the name – clever, heh?) and “This year, we will get the job done”, “forever”….  “through the medium of comics”.

Whaat? Comics? Comedians? I didn’t know extinction was a laughing matter – I stupidly thought it needed scientists, vets, ecologists, biologists, field managers, rangers and so on. Still, if all those -ologists are no longer needed, it will save the planet a lot of money. You have to be intrigued, surely…..drumroll, please……let the show begin, continuing, if you will forgive me, in their own comic emphasis…..

When Rewriting Extinction’s Facebook curtain goes up, enter stage centre KAPOW! none other than that ubiquitous spokesman for WOW! all organic life on Earth, Christopher Gary Packham CBE to announce, with a straightish face and a smiley Extinction Rebellion T-shirt, that WHAM! their “Focus is on environmental solutions”…BAM! “To save as many species as is humanly possible”…So ZONK! “Let’s stop messing around and get it done”.  WHOOSH!  

For the benefit of anyone over the mental age of three, “Let’s get it done” is modern antisocial media patois for:

Buy our fatuous comic book, plus an overpriced moron-teeshirt to exhibit your piety in public and then donate us some cash for giving you absolution” (providing you haven’t already given all your dosh to your gas and electric companies, obvs). 

Packham offering environmental solutions?  I can think of one solution that I produce myself out of recycled beer and would like to immerse Packham in a large tank of it, the puny witless twerp.

In an interview, Pinocchio Packham apparently said that although Rewriting Extinction had gotten things wrong on Twitter, questioning it was also a mistake.

The ‘this-is-all-rubbish,’ ‘what a bunch of prats’ doesn’t help,” he whined. “It’s counterproductive and takes people’s eyes off the mission, which is sincere”. 

Hands up who thinks this pathetic bandwagon full of sanctimonious, self-aggrandising, self-righteous air-heads is sincere??  It’s enough to make you perform a standing full pike and bite off your own scrotum just to ease the pain!

Despite the mutterings of the BBC’s favourite truthlexic Saint, you might be one of those possessed of an enquiring mind who perhaps harbours the tiniest fragment of doubt regarding the veracity of Rewrite Extinction’s fantastic announcement, but fear not, be reassured – this comic-weaponised organisation assures us that SPLAT!

300 people and 7 charities have come together and WHOOSH! saved 625 species since June 2021”. KARAANGG!

And there’s more….KER-THUD! They “Focus on seven projects that will restore the planet” KAPOW! and will “undo the damage” BOOM!  

Crikey…how amazing…Planet Earth’s natural health all fixed up in only one year, with just seven projects? I sat, stunned at the news, and thought, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” Then I found out that I was – this astounding claim was made by none other than Dame Jane Goodall DBE, that kindly but morose old soul who spent so long alone with apes that the organ grinder in her mind has retired, leaving her blissfully alone with his monkey, picking through life’s detritus under her silvery hair follicles, bless.

Mongabay reported this saving of the natural world and were very polite, describing Rewriting Extinction, with admirable understatement, as:

“environmental campaigners as well as celebrities not known for their expertise in wildlife conservation”.

However, I regret to inform you that there have been critics, too, Dear Reader. One suspicious viewer, an ex-US Fish and Wildlife Service Officer, asked them to post the list of the 625 species they claim to have saved. Others responded with greater sarcasm or simple disbelief:

Soon the biodiversity crisis will be over? Because of you?” said one. “Bullshit!!! Name them,” said another.

While no doubt biting on a piece of wood to avoid slashing her wrists, a real, proper, Conservation Biologist, Dr. Amy Dickman, Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Oxford, member of the 50-strong wildCRU team and joint CEO of Lion Landscapes, pointed out through clenched teeth that by oversimplifying the problem and over-claiming success, Rewriting Extinction misled the public into what was needed in terms of global finance (billions) and effort (decades). Besides, conflating animal welfare and conservation, two entirely different things, only ends up getting confused with a third, animal rights.  

This is hardly surprising since the whole comic Rewriting Extinction enterprise has nothing to do with conservation, animal welfare, extinction or animal rights. It is all about self-publicity and virtue signalling. It is a green-washed bandwagon full of egocentrics, pulled by a scapegoat and illuminated by gaslight. Permit me to explain.

We all live in a cave called civilisation. People we call primary industries go out of our cave to rape and pillage the natural environment in order to obtain all the resources we need. They carry the spoils back into our cave where more people we call secondary industries turn the raw materials into useful, practical stuff we can use. The profits made from primary and secondary industries are then used by people we call the tertiary economy to make us happy and comfortable. It follows that everything we use and enjoy has been taken from the natural world if you follow the footprints back to the original dirty deed. It’s no good getting upset about it – it’s how we have always lived and how we got here during the past thousands of years. We just have to accept responsibility and get on with life as adults instead of waving babies’ fluffy toys and banners all over the place or gluing ourselves to roads, or for that matter, producing infantile comics about “saving nature” to fool (and subsequently mug) people inside the cave instead of actually going out of the cave and fixing the real thing.  

This simple picture also explains how our everyday consumption is what is making the natural environment and ecosystems of the world look a bit like Swiss cheese in places. Whatever we do, nature pays the price. Whatever we have, nature pays the price. As our standards of living steadily improve and human numbers increase, the cheesy holes will become more numerous and larger. It also follows that the more assets you use or accumulate inside the cave, the more skeletons you must have under the patio of your life. It’s no good denying it. Because other people tucked them under there out of sight on your behalf does not excuse you from responsibility. 

And so, if you are “an influencer” or, say, a “rich TV celebrity” with a few million in the bank, a posh house in, say, the New Forest with a front entrance decorated with some money-earning dead crows and a blazing 4×4, made possible by, say, a frivolous job that has absolutely nothing to do with human utility, survival or necessity, then you have taken more than your fair share of cheese out of nature without a really good reason. Quel fromage!

And so it comes to pass that rich slebs are adept at masking the smell of cheese that hangs around all of them, quite often by splashing themselves copiously and ostentatiously with the pious perfume of veganism or by adopting the veil of animal rights. Before ordinary people stop to sniff, lift the veil, and question slebs’ undeserved and avaricious lifestyles, they and their fellow gold-plated, entertaining but frothy parasites deploy a clever distraction by making a huge, big, enormous fuss about “How we are saving the natural world and protecting animal rights”.

It’s not so much “Rewriting Extinction” as “Rewriting Truth”, more saving face than saving nature. To turbocharge the deception, they might also point a finger at those in the primary industries and those who toil in the countryside, who do the back-breaking and dirty work that lie buried beneath their frivolous, glittering lives.   

So, if you see a whopping green bandwagon full of luvvies and eco-poseurs and feel sufficiently compelled to shake them by the hand for their selfless dedication to nature, take my advice and be sure to count your fingers afterwards.

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.