Can you save Planet Earth by yourself?

Governments could do more to help protect The Only Planet… but governments need profitable economies.
For example Governments could outright ban plastic packaging… but this would negatively affect the economy, and may be unpopular.
Where major legislation has been implemented it has been successful.
for example
Clean Air
Cigarette Smoking
Landfill Tax

We could believe that legislation changes which drive individuals to change their behaviour are much more effective than the efforts of individuals alone to change their own behaviour.
To be honest I totally agree with this suggestion.

Thinking of the problems I wrote about ocean pollution…
there are some laws relating to protection of the UK coastal waters
but with no funding for the policing of these laws, they are weak.
In Europe and the developed world we may think that the environmental problems are not really there, but where there are affluent post industrial societies reaping the economic benefit of their industrial past, we will have exported the environmental problem to Asia, Africa and some parts of America, and Africa, where mining and heavy industry are prevalent.

Photo Courtesy of Newcastle Libraries Flickr

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The UK Economy

Here in the UK the economy is only expanding in two areas, as far as I can see looking around the local area, I see MoneyLenders, such as Pay Day loans, Gambling, and Property.
I read that the weak pound since the Brexit vote is fuelling a demand for exports. However I cannot see what we could be exporting, as manufacturing in the UK is not a strong nowadays, other than our key products, biscuits aka cookies, carrots, potato products, and offshore industry products such as cabling, wind turbines etc, and cars (mainly Nissan).
Everywhere I look I see buildings being demolished and new ones constructed. The construction industry does provide employment, but at a huge environmental cost. Raw materials for construction have to come from somewhere, that somewhere being Mining and Quarrying, and although there is some recycling going on, mainly demolished buildings are at best used for aggregate for yet another construction project… new roads! Construction is one of the most environmentally damaging of industries, yet who would dare to suggest we slow down the construction industry?

I have given up taking photos of new buildings or buildings being demolished because the novelty wore off. Its ubiquitous. Its everywhere. Everywhere a Crane, a Building site, a hard hat.

The massive environmental cost of the construction industry. The massive cost of the car industry. The massive cost of shipping. Shipping is massively polluting… cruise ships being the notorious worst offenders, yet in the UK we are reliant on imported foods, except for oats, dairy potatoes and carrots. Except for in late summer, when did you last eat any food that wasn’t made from imported ingredients?

Prevent Street Crime

Just recently I was visiting my Mum, and she gave me a box of memorabilia which she had found, dating back to the 1980s, 1990s and earlier. A large part of my youth experience was taking part in various political protests.
In the town where I grew up there was always a cause to join, a demo to go on, and I loved to spend time in radical bookshops, there was Alley Cat in Durham, another one in York on Walmgate, there were many such shops in many towns in those days, but with buses being cheap in those days youth could range far and wide in search of such things.
These bookshops were genuinely independent (often staffed by unpaid workers), and I had a fascination with them even though a lot of the contents of the books was beyond me.

There was always a notice board in these shops, advertising Causes, and a postcard and Radical Mags stands. Postcards were a form of direct action. We bought the postcards, and sent them via Royal Mail, thus radicalising the Royal Mail workforce, who could all read our message on the back of the card, and also “Get the Message” which the postcard artist was trying to convey. Of course postcards were a fun way of communicating with our friends, before the internet and mobile phones came along!
Back in the day Royal Mail was the only way to send mail, and there was a unionised workforce, decent working conditions, Royal Mail Night train, where the mail got sorted through the nights, arriving ready-sorted at the delivery offices, and TWO deliveries each day!

This card is a photo montage by Cath Tate, published by the independent press Leeds Postcards.

I thought it was worth a few words.

In those days The Conservative Party was the party of big business, homeowners and the rich, and held total power over the UK. The Labour Party was the party of the workers, tenants, and the anti- nuclear movement. The image in the photo shows Maggie sneakily stealing the welfare, symbolised by taking her purse, off an ordinary Mum.

Little did we realised that Thatcher, by the introduction of Right to Buy, which turned working class council tenants into aspirational Home Owners, and the total obliteration of large industries, creating a whole new class of “unemployable” families, whole towns where the main source of employment had ceased to exist, had ensured that the political landscape of the UK would never be the same again.

As we come close to the UK General Election, the choice is not like the choice we had before 1997, when we elected New labour, what choice do we have?
Its no longer about Left and Right.
Think carefully when choosing, we aren’t voting for Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. We have a representational democracy, we vote for a Member of Parliament to represent us in Parliament, we don’t vote for the Prime Minister.
We all need to vote for the Member of Parliament who we feel will represent us best, and the party whose policies we support. Read the manifestoes and make your choice.