Two storms, one solution

Two storms, one solution

Boris and Dorian tell us to beware of our infrastructures, to prepare for disruption by high winds or words and to learn that the future is not going to be more of the past but new. First the physical storm. Dorian has hit hard, menacingly and for a long time. Weather patterns of movement are not my speciality but I believe that slower moving foul weather is a feature of a disintegrating climate. When it’s not a storm, it’s a burning sun and 45C. You need very robust infrastructural support to withstand and deal with this. Keeping our cool suddenly takes on a new meaning.

Adam Tooze summed it all up perfectly in the Financial Times of 03Sep19:

“The compression of affluence and poverty in the archipelago of the Bahamas is no doubt extreme. So too is its vulnerability to climate change. But in miniature these are images of the world at large. On present trends of global warming, interconnectedness and mounting inequality, they are a foreboding of our future.”

Well said, Adam. This is a statement worth pinning on the refrigerator door. Each person’s individual contribution to climate change has got to equal US$35 a week if we are to win.

From D to B. It may be slightly personal but Mr Johnson should tell his hair attendant (that is what I assume he is) that his client’s hair has had many years of practice at being straw-strewn, and trying to make him look like Winston Churchill won’t be immediately effective. Another attendant, Cummings, has had his day and should be Goings by now. Prime Ministers should run their own shows. This is not the London Palladium whatever you may think. Anyway, Catch 22 has arrived so the General Election distraction is to be brought into play.

You couldn’t write it, as Rob Watson, BBC’s doughty, wise political commentator, says with increasing disbelief. He is right. Winston Churchill, descendent of the famous Winston Churchill, has crossed the floor of the House – moved to another party and deserted the Conservatives. Mind you, I remember Old Winston crossed the floor of the House a few times, too. The Liberal Democrats (LibDems) are surging in support – but support that comes from disenchantment with other parties rather than enlightened devotion to the LibDems.

Jo Swinson has taken on the Lib-Dem mantle from Vince Cable. So far the signs are good and her communication with her supporters far exceeds what Conservative or Labour can produce. Her emails are not called A Word from the Boss but they might well be. Just what’s needed. But she needs to ramp up her stature quickly if she is to have a chance to real power in a future Parliament. The House of Commons has too many people of barely average ability. Jo is well above that but she still needs the gravitas and clout of leadership.

The days are short and the nights are long in this climate and political upheaval. I think the two are connected with each other. The reason people argue is because they are frightened. Nothing is more frightening than climate change. Even if you are safe and warm, the pictures of devastation of poor people struggling to salvage the detritus from their meagre, wrecked homes is not  bearable without personal pain. You may give a few dollars and it will help. But you know in your heart that such devastation can never be without consequence for yourself and your family.

The mayhem in the Mother of Parliaments may be fun for a while but we depend on our representatives to legislate and rule properly, with discipline. Their behaviour needs to be orderly and polite or they frighten us that they may precipitate a war, possibly accidentally.

The discipline required to deal with both the ludicrous UK / EU situation and impending climate doom must emanate from the voters, from you and I. We can certainly enjoy our lives. At the same time, we must think about the lives of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They, and their unborn descendants, have rights to this planet, too. We should enjoy guaranteeing their rights by making our planet habitable for the future.

Humankind wants to build. Here is a first class opportunity to do so.

And to leave a legacy of of value.