Two developments over the past week or so demonstrate how serious is the existential crisis we now face, by virtue of the damage we are doing to our planet, and how far away we are from facing up to our responsibilities.

First, was the UN report on the millions of plant and animal species that have been, or are about to be, lost for good as a consequence of human activity over the greater part of the Earth's surface.

And secondly, and disappointingly, was the Government's publication of its environmental targets, which fell far short of anything, especially with reference