The RSPB has come out against fracking and urged the government to ‘rethink its shale gas policies’. And of course the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds would know. After all when your skill set ranges from identifying Little Brown Jobs through your binoculars at 10,000 yards all the way to differentiating a Greater Spotted Woodpecker from a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker merely by the sound of its drumming beak, clearly it goes without saying that your insights into the merits of hydraulic fracturing and the minutiae of Britain’s energy economy deserve to be taken very seriously indeed.
No, no I jest. About the first bit, anyway. It would, of course, be an utter nonsense to expect anyone in the upper echelons of the RSPB (as opposed to the dedicated and decent membership) to know anything about ornithology these days. What, after all, do stupid, twittery, feathered creatures matter when you’re on a holy, Gaia-sent mission to drive up the cost of energy, rein in economic growth, and rid the world of all those pesky raptors which insist on hovering dangerously next to the splendid spinning turbine blades which are going to save us from global warming?
Lest you think I exaggerate, consider the RSPB’s latest flight of lunacy. It is currently applying for planning permission to adorn its nature reserve HQ in Sandy, Bedfordshire, with a 100-metre wind turbine. The RSPB claims ‘it is the single biggest step we can take to reduce our carbon emissions’. Yes, but what about the woodpecker, the great tit, the hobby, and the nuthatch, which the RSPB lists as the reserve’s star attractions: where exactly do they fit into this exciting new plan?