What we learned this week

The Archbishop of Canterbury has backed housebuilding on Church of England land. The church’s vast land holdings are one of Britain’s many medieval anachronisms, and putting it into service is absolutely the right thing to do. Here’s hoping they’re zero carbon and genuinely affordable.

Speaking of land, this week saw the confirmation of the biggest ever private donation of conservation land to the public. The two new national parks of Pumalin and Patagonia have been created in Chile. It’s part of the legacy of the outdoor clothing brands The North Face and Patagonia, and the friends that started them in the 1960s after hiking together in Chile. (The politics of a couple coming to own a million acres of a foreign country in the first place is another question.)

“Why fight it?” writes Janice Turner about Extinction Rebellion in The Times. “Why not, for once, be open to new ideas, to make Britain a world-leader in opposing climate change.” That’s one of several articles over the last couple of weeks showing a softening of the climate rhetoric of Britain’s papers, though silliness remains. Carbon Brief has been tracking the positions expressed in their editorials.

I keep hearing about the Labour party declaring a climate emergency. The only evidence of this I’ve seen is this one tweet. Can anyone point me to an official document, web page or statement from leadership? Or is this declaration largely mythical? That’s a serious question – if it is real, I want to hold my local Labour party to it over their airport expansion plans.

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