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Better Project Fear than Project Too High Risk

My friend Robert, a resolute Leaver, has sent me Daniel Hannan's book What Next, an intelligent presentation of the Brexit case which I've read with great interest. What Hannah wants is just what I want - part of a European free trade area but not part of the poltical integration project. I found it interesting that he thinks Farage and Ukip were a handicap to the Leave campaign but most interesting of all his claim that Owen's proposal for a 2 speed Europe was increasingly acceptable to the integrators until Cameron called the referendum. I think that is what...

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Dear Jake…

Letter to my local MP. Dear Jake. I enclose a copy of my book 'Our Terrible/Wonderful Future'. Please don't write back as I don't want another of the bland, evasive letters that MP's are so skilled in writing. Yes the Government is doing something about climate change. Yes Michael Gove is trying to do something about plastic. But it's not nearly enough. Humanity is now faced with the greatest crisis in its history, and these are the last years in which we may be able to avert it. What we need above all is leadership. But is saving the...

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a world with much less work

from The Guardian's A Long Read 26 i 18 In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz, then a well-known American journalist, published Breaktime: Living Without Work in a Nine to Five World, a book based on interviews with 100 people who had given up their jobs. He found a former architect who tinkered with houseboats and bartered; an ex-reporter who canned his own tomatoes and listened to a lot of opera; and a former cleaner who enjoyed lie-ins and a sundeck overlooking the Pacific. Many of the interviewees were living in California, and despite moments of drift and doubt, they reported new feelings...

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Thanks to everybody who has joined our facebook page Twenty Years so far. Please spread word. The thing that interests me is why when you meet people, except complete dotties, nobody thinks climate change isn't a great threat or that automation won't decimate the workforce or that we couldn't have another 2008 crash or that half the world's species is not going to be lost, but they won't do anything about it while there is still time, even though it is their children who will inherit all this. Yet most reasonable people aren't stupid, they're not completely selfish, they...

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eat less meat

from The Guardian When it comes to farm animal numbers, the statistics are frightening. The world’s average stock of chickens is almost 20bn, or three per person. Cattle are the next most populous breed of farm animal at 1.4bn, with sheep and pigs not far behind at around 1bn each. And farm animals that are raised intensively require a staggering amount of animal feed and water. Soya production, mainly for animal feed, has devastated ecosystems in Latin America. All in all, livestock production occupies the vast majority of agricultural land and is the main reason why 50% of the wildlife...

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Disabled cooling mechanism don’t just cease to cool

from my book 97% There is another point to all this, however, which it is even more important to grasp.  When these cooling factors are disabled they don’t just cease to cool.  They go into reverse and start actually warming the planet more than ever.  Every tree that catches fire not only ceases to store carbon.  It releases into the atmosphere the carbon it has already stored, thus making the planet that much warmer so that next year even more trees will catch fire.  When phytoplankton die they poison the ocean so even more plankton die from carbon poisoning, thus...

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The seven mega trends that can beat global warming: there is hope

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/08/seven-megatrends-that-could-beat-global-warming-climate-change?CMP=share_btn_link

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Let’s do it

Back cover of my new book Our Terrible/Wonderful Future Recent papers in Nature argued that, even with Paris, we only have a 5% chance of keeping temperature increase under 2 degrees.  The scientists say we need to do far more. The world is losing 30 soccer pitches of top soil every minute. The F.A.O. forecast that soil loss is so bad the world only has sixty years of farming left. Automation will cause massive unemployment, in white collar as well as blue collar jobs. Capitalism nearly crashed in 2008.  Eight people now own as much wealth as half the world’s population.  How can an...

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