Brief comments on various issues (4) 

 

See Comment 1Comment 2 and Comment 3 for earlier posts on a wide range of subjects

 

 

6/3/20

 

Big questions about climate change

 

And still it comes down as I look out of the window. I cannot recall so many storms and so much rain in such a short period of time. It is no surprise that last month was the wettest February on record. Although many of the fields nearby are waterlogged we have not had any flooding in the county of Somerset but I feel for all those who have recently had their homes inundated. It will have been an extremely distressing experience.

 

I am willing to be persuaded that the atrocious weather we have had in the past few weeks is a result of climate change as are abnormal weather events around the globe. However, it has been the rapid melting of the ice in the cold regions of the world that has convinced me that global warming is a reality and is happening all too quickly.

 

There has been a massive amount of discussion about climate change and a commitment by governments to take the necessary measures to control it. Many people, especially the younger members of society, have been vocal in their demands for more and faster action and there is an almost universal recognition that huge changes will need to be made for society to be fully functional.

 

But despite the extensive discussion taking place there are plenty of questions that can still be asked about the whole subject – big scientific and philosophical questions. Here are a few of mine, starting with science and followed by some which can be pondered in a more abstract way.

 

First of all, given that our planet, and I imagine billions of other planets in the universe, have been warming and cooling for hundreds of millions of years without the presence of human beings are we absolutely certain that the greenhouse gases produced by human activity are the only cause of climate change?

 

Second, as well as thinking about the climate on our planet should we spending an equal amount of time thinking about the sort of planet we wish to inhabit, one, perhaps, that is more equitable and less driven by mass consumption?

 

Third, how can we ensure that measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken by every country?

 

A fourth question is arguably the most crucial: should we be looking to find ways of reducing the global population that are voluntary and have full public support, such as financial incentives to have small families?

 

And finally, provided there is no human suffering involved in the process, should we be relaxed about our warming planet and simply let life forms adapt and evolve during the course of the millennia to come?

 

There is no question that climate change is happening and we urgently need to take action to reduce it. But simultaneously let us think about other big questions regarding our planet and society.

 

***************

 

6/1/20

 

Manifesto for the new decade

 

The extract below is from the Quercus Manifesto I wrote for the general election in December. It was based on a very similar manifesto I put together for the 2017 election and contains policies based on enduring precepts that have shaped human behaviour for a long time.

 

I am hopeful that if these precepts and policies were to form the basis of how society is organised in the coming decade we could make progress towards fulfilling the aim expressed on the title page: well-being for all in a caring and fair society.

 

Perhaps if you come across the manifesto you may be able to spare a few minutes to read through the whole document and carefully consider what it has to offer.

 

Extract:

 

Aims and aspirations 

 

We will strive to ensure the best possible mental and physical well-being for everyone irrespective of our varied human attributes such as age, gender, individual needs, ethnicity or beliefs.  We will do this in order to enable individuals and families to lead fulfilled and happy lives.

 

We will aspire to create a caring, compassionate society in which everyone is encouraged to be loving, kind, generous, unselfish, neighbourly, gentle, tolerant and respectful.

 

We will fully support those who need help in any way or for any reason. We will do this collectively through the machinery of the state and by supporting charitable organisations and individual action. 

 

We will aim to build a fairer society in terms of individual and household income.   

 

We will work to achieve a collective mindset where all jobs are seen to be worthwhile and contributing to the welfare of others …

 

For the manifesto in full click here.