Crunch time for the environment

plant talkAs financial systems around the world grind to a halt, what does this mean for the conservation movement?

The IUCN World Conservation Congress is well underway in Barcelona and the new Red List of threatened species has been unveiled. We all know about global biodiversity loss and it's inconceivable that this year will show anything other than another bucket load of species dumped in the extinction waiting room.

But will the noise of these few thousand species finding their way onto the critical list even register with a media and public that are perversely fascinated with this global financial meltdown and the, seemingly never-ending, tedium of the US elections?

It's doubtful.

But it might not be all bad. With small chinks in our financial systems turning into gaping chasms and the realisation that we can't take such huge risks, perhaps we've finally grasped that the pyramid selling fantasy of perpetual growth just isn't possible. This might make our leaders realise that we must protect our precious natural resources too in order to better protect our silly financial games.

This is testing ground for an environment movement that is struggling to find one clear voice. But now's the right time to find that voice, because everyone else is losing theirs.