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With Brexit dominating the political Agenda, what other issues need to be addressed urgently in 2019?

January 31, 2019 5:00 PM
By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

Gary FullerIt's clear Brexit issue is coming to a head, one way or another. There is another, even more vital, issue that's coming to a head, however. That issue is climate change, and it affects everyone. If we don't tackle climate change now, by slashing our usage of fossil fuels and drastically cutting our consumption of meat and dairy, there is a very good chance that there will be a global catastrophe within the next quarter of a century that dwarfs all but the most virulent pandemics.

Closer to home, we live in a nation that is becoming ever more divided when it comes to wealth. For too long we've bought into the concept that trickle-down economics occurs without intervention and that businesses and the extremely wealthy should be left to their own devices to "create wealth" for us all. It is patently obvious however that no one individual creates wealth and that, given the opportunity, we all accrue as much wealth as we can within our skills and expertise.

We can no longer afford to consume without consequence, or horde without thought for our fellow human beings. We need to accept that tackling climate change will leave us all with less, and that those most able to shoulder that burden should be expected to do so. The wealthiest are after all, where they are through luck of birth, ability, or situation, through the combination of genetics, environment, history and chance that makes us all unique.

The only merit of the wealthy is that they were born into a society that values something they've provided through a combination of chance events, genetic and environmental. What societies need to value now is a commitment to tackling climate change and ensuring the wellbeing of all people. That's the urgent issue we must tackle.