Build Back Connections (BBC)
It’s time to wake up and listen to more than the dawn chorus. Listening to the BBC News last night, I am struck by way the editors continue to isolate coverage of the environment. We can hear more songbirds in our cities now that there is less air pollution: a chirpy, feel-good story to end the programme. But why does it end there? Where is the primetime coverage about how integral the environment is to the spread of COVID-19? That many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of future pandemics? About our hopes and dependency on the environment for our economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis? One of the stark reminders from the current pandemic is that “the environment” never existed in a silo, separated in the storytelling from stories about our health or the economy. No matter how hard we try, we cannot hive off nature or partition the atmosphere from how we might prosper as a society. Neither can we afford to ignore the opportunities of a green new deal, restarting the economy by providing new jobs in different sectors, under a reshaped industrial policy that is conditional on environmental sustainability. So let’s hear more about the economy from the BBC’s environment correspondent, and vice versa. Let’s hear the health correspondent talk about our under-staffed Natural Health Service as well as our under-resourced NHS. Let’s connect these dots, so that during this time of radical uncertainty we hear a more convincing story about our collective safety and future resilience.