LibLink: Recalling Michael Gove is an act of environmental vandalism – Ed Davey

In an article in The Guardian Ed Davey writes:

Perhaps Theresa May has a sense of mischief after all. Putting Michael Gove in charge of the Department of the Environment is much like putting a wolf in charge of the chicken coop. To say that the Gove pulse is unlikely to race too much faster over environmental concerns would, from my experience of working with him, be an understatement. He probably regards global warming as an excuse to reduce winter fuel payments.

May bringing in her old enemy demonstrates her crippling weakness. This desperate attempt to buy off those who might bring her down may help her own survival for another few months. Sadly, it will do nothing to help the survival of the planet.

Ed recalls his spats with Gove during the Coalition:

When I was energy and climate change secretary I sat around a cabinet table with Gove, and he couldn’t help playing to the Tory climate-sceptic audience. As education secretary, he tried to ban climate change from the geography curriculum. After an angry exchange of letters with me, he eventually backed down.

On another occasion, he stopped Amber Rudd – my then junior minister – from attending a critical climate change conference under the pretence of needing her for a vote in parliament.

He speculates on the damage that could be caused:

Thankfully, Gove will not have primary responsibility for Britain’s climate change efforts, which fall mainly to the energy department. But he will take charge of our environmental and land management policies – including designing a British replacement for farming subsidies – and drawing these up without a genuine commitment to tackling climate change would be a huge mistake. After his promise for £350m a week extra for the NHS, we wait to see whether he seeks to keep EU farming subsidies.

He could also be a danger on transposing EU environmental regulations into British law. We know he has a natural inclination to reduce regulation. This could endanger efforts to reduce air pollution or protect habitats if he fails to keep the protections on which we rely.

And finally:

I call on Gove to release a clear statement acknowledging climate change is real; that he’ll do everything he can to tackle environmental problems, such as air pollution and flooding; and that, on this at least, he might humbly listen to experts.

You can read the full article here.

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This entry was posted in LibLink.


  • Jenny Barnes 15th Jun '17 - 11:27am

    The planet will survive just fine. Human beings, maybe not so much.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 15th Jun '17 - 1:51pm

    Sir Ed ‘s opening pitch in the election ?!

    When Corbyn brings Owen Smith to the team, he’s praised as strong, May does it with Gove, weak .

    There is what is wrong with our politics today.

    No sense of balance or proportion. A rush to judge or define.

    I like Ed and would vote for him if he could convince me he is not going to just score points in a severe untelegenic way, from a very good communicator it would be a shame.

    But I agree with the article big time !

  • Peter Watson 15th Jun '17 - 2:31pm

    Somebody ought to inform the BBC ( and i ( … they don’t realise that Ed Davey single-handedly saved climate change on the Geography curriculum. 😉
    Thank goodness that somebody was able to rescue us from the sort of cad who said only a couple of days ago, “I think that we need international co-operation in order to deal with climate change. … The only way in which you can deal with this challenge, the only way in which we can enhance the environment to pass on to our children in a better state is by working across borders.”
    If this is indeed “Sir Ed ‘s opening pitch in the election ?!” then I fear for the party 🙁

  • Peter Watson 15th Jun '17 - 2:33pm
  • We know he has a natural inclination to reduce regulation.

    I imagine Gladstone and John Stuart Mill would have approved.

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '17 - 3:26pm

    We should assume that France, and therefore the EU27, will want to maintain Appellation Controlee status on Bresse chickens in the UK after Brexit.
    Heston Blumenthal (D. Sc. Reading) goes to Bresse for his book In Search of Perfection,
    [ISBN 0-7475-8409-5] + BBC camera crew.
    having established that even cinema popcorn tastes better eaten in groups with friends, this busy chef says that his favourite meal is roast chicken and roast potatoes on a Sunday evening with family. Chickens should be female because the males get extra exercise chasing the females around the farmyard, which toughens their meat. Potatoes could be Maris Piper. There is more about potatoes in the chapters about fish and chips and sausage and mash.
    The best beefsteak in the world (not Australian) was tasted in a Penthouse Club in New York, dry-aged for much longer periods in stock than others.
    He also covers Black Forest Gateau, the cocoa farms being co-owned by the chef) but for me the perfect meal needs to include fresh Kentish strawberries in season au naturel, so why bother to cook?

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '17 - 5:58pm

    3 star chef

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