Don’t Forget The Climate

With politics being so horrendous at the moment, I do worry that some of the BIG issues are taking a backseat. Liz Truss has stepped down and we yet again have a vacancy for a new Prime Minister. All of this squabbling is stopping us progressing with many important matters, including global warming.

Energy is widely spoken about as expensive but we need to remember that current sources of energy are largely polluting. We must ensure that our concentration turns in the direction of making us energy efficient and self-sufficient.

At the same time, high temperatures of around 18 degrees in October is definitely unusual. Daily averages used to be around 10 degrees but we are now seeing warmer, wetter days. All we see on the News is bickering. What we should be seeing on the News is discussion about how we are going to reverse global warming.

This was just a quick reminder that CLIMATE CHANGE is still happening. While leaders argue over tax for millionaires, the world is in trouble.

Polar bears and seals are losing their habitats. People in Pakistan have lost their homes in floods. Forest fires have wreaked havoc once again in America. The situation is definitely worsening.

I hope that we can soon get back to dealing with the things that really matter.

Global Warming Affects Our Lives – Fact!

The Climate Change Collective of bloggers

I had a political morning today, meeting one of the UK Prime Minister candidates, where I was able to ask him about environmental policies. Just as I left that meeting, I was happy to see the first post from our brand new ‘Climate Change Collective’ group of bloggers. Brilliant!

Michelle and I originally had a conversation about creating a group for bloggers who wanted to write about climate change from our different perspectives and ensure it remained at the top of readers’ minds. It is great to see we already have a buzzing group willing to get involved and I cannot wait to see what each writer has to say.

Here is the very first article which focusses on how climate change is gradually affecting our daily lives:

Welcome To The Climate Change Collective:

My thoughts…

For me, as a geographer, I have always found it hard to convince people that global warming should matter to them and their lives. Michelle has cleverly outlined how it will specifically affect the retirement industry and discussed the impact air pollution is already having on health.

I look at the very flat Fenland area of agricultural land and market towns that is near where I live and worry about its vulnerability. Britain had a record 40 degrees C day in July, which was predicted to happen in twenty years or so. Meteorologists suggest that their initial timeline is redundant as warming has happened much faster than predicted.

If glacial melting is increasing in a feedback loop which is quite unstable, then the Fens could be under water within the next 30 years, as they were centuries ago, prior to drainage. This would destroy homes and demolish one of the largest arable farming patches in Europe.

That would have a massive impact on my life and the lives of many others. There are so many complex aspects to discuss but I do think people have woken up more to climate education, especially after recent turbulent weather occurrences around the world and a drought in the UK. Let’s hope we can bring environmental concerns to the top of government interests.

We can make a difference by urging politicians to invest in renewable energy and make the transport infrastructure much better. I hope that you have time to check out Michelle’s first post and join in with the conversation about climate change and how it is affecting all of us.

Are We A Take, Take, Take Society?

A nice picture of Amsterdam to take away the seriousness of my article.

There is a lot of News about income today. It is a very controversial topic that I have often found myself tiptoeing around. People are being bombarded with assertions about tax cuts, average earnings and shortfalls in household incomes. It is an interesting issue which can be very polarising but the basics are straight forward.

This article is about challenging the popular belief that:

“Society Owes Us”

I try to be optimistic and so will aim to represent my thoughts on this in a positive way. I have read articles and heard conversations recently where people have asserted that society owes us money.

Generally when people say this, it feels as though the speakers want everything on a plate and free. I regularly hear things like:

‘Benefits should be raised.’

‘We don’t get enough financial support.’

‘We are taxed way too much.’

‘If we go to work we lose some of our benefits. Let’s stay at home.’

OK I am paraphrasing but these are the general ideas that seem to be floating around.

I spoke to some university students about how they afford their studies and they have talked about loans and funding but rarely do I hear, ‘I work a part time job.’ In fact I have outright asked why students don’t work and they say they prefer to enjoy their spare time. Fair enough. Maybe.

Perhaps society has moved away from ‘Work Hard, Reap the Rewards’ but I really liked that work ethic.

Am I right to express my concern?

Hard to tell. I like people being comfortable and living their lives to the full. I also like fairness and equality. More than anything, I believe that hard work is important and fulfilling and should be something to aspire to.

So governments can’t win. If they raise taxes they can fund the NHS, education, environmental improvements and so on. If they cut taxes, they seem to have their fingers on the pulse but end up borrowing and causing the whole country to suffer. For me a tax cut would be great! However, is it going to lead to cuts in other services? Probably. Luxembourg has higher taxes than the UK but wonderful national provision for health, business and transport (free buses and trains). Their average wages are higher too.

When I was young…

I suppose it is just my personal experience but I welcomed my mum for teaching me the value of hard work. I had a chart on the fridge and every time I did a job (wash the car, hoover the stairs etc) I got 20p. These all added up to make my pocket money.

As soon as I was 13 I got a paper round and enjoyed earning money by delivering Sunday newspapers and weekly ones later as well. At 16 I started earning by working in the supermarket on Friday evenings, Saturdays and eventually Sundays too (until then shops were not allowed to open Sundays so when the Sunday trading laws came out I soaked up the double time wage).

Throughout my A-Levels I worked extra hours in the shop as much as I could and during the holidays. At Uni this carried on and I loved knowing that I was paying my own way. Nobody helped me. Where has that drive to work and earn and give something to society gone?

I also volunteered for charity roughly ten hours a week. But I am not showing off. Many of my friends and colleagues did as well. We paid our way and never expected any freebies. Heck- we even paid tax on our hard earned wages.

So anyway…

I suppose my point is this…

Yes people have disabilities which prevent them from working and health issues that make it more difficult. They should be fully supported by the system. But let’s face it there are thousands of people who choose not to work. They decided they are better off taking money from the state. I know this is true and research suggests it is widespread.

Recent data suggests over one million job vacancies in the UK. One million! Yet there are people out there who could be making a difference by filling these positions.

Where is my positivity?

I believe if we adopt a more GIVE than TAKE attitude to society we will prosper and our country will feel better. Work promotes health, mental wellbeing, feeling needed, accomplishment, wealth, happiness and achievement.

I feel like opening the floodgates now… What do you think about the subject?