The Green Matters column with Barry Crossland: A few gloomy predictions for the year ahead

Prediction: The use of food banks will continue to increase.
Prediction: The use of food banks will continue to increase.

I do not wish to spread doom and gloom but, in my opinion, prospects for 2020 are not rosy. Here are my predictions and proposed actions:

○ Carbon dioxide levels will reach a new record high, resulting enhanced global warming and more severe climatic events.

○ The average global temperature for 2020 will be in the top ten hottest years.

○ The Chancellor will fail to balance the books, making it 10 out of 10 for dumping debt on future generations.

○ Student loan debt will increase to a new record.

○ The use of food banks will continue to increase.

○ There will be 40,000 premature deaths, plus unknown health damage to millions, in the UK due to air pollution.

○ The shortage of housing and affordability for the majority of youngsters will continue.

○ The ill-thought out flood prevention strategy of Calderdale MBC will continue.

I covered my strategy in a previous article.

○ The NHS will continue to be short of doctors and nurses.

○ The will be a further loss of wildlife and habitat in the UK and the World.

All of the above problems are the result of political decisions. I notice the huge effort that people put into bringing up children and grandchildren. I am confident that the vast majority of people care about their families and society.

However, when it comes to politics huge numbers avoid politics or take no interest.

Lots of organisations want to protect the environment and wildlife. The National Trust, of which I am a life member, has five million members. Other charities help the homeless or starving.

One of the features unique to human beings is that they will spend time or money on helping less fortunate people who may be thousands of miles away.

However, most of these organisations choose to remain non-political.

I think that many of these organisations would benefit from being more politically active, even if they did not support any political party.

The reality is that we did not need food banks before the Conservative Government introduced austerity.

Our Prime Ministers all benefited from free university education and maintenance, but deny these benefits to today’s youngsters. When Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister 300,000 houses were built, including over 100,000 council houses. One may hear the moan of “Where’s the money coming from?”.

Billions of pounds have been wasted in Afghanistan. £7 billion has been spent on aircraft carriers which the Russians could easily sink. £100 billion on HS2 could be used. Taxing aviation and marine fuel, presently zero rated, could provide billions.

Brexit is a worry although I do not think that it will effect any of my predictions for 2020. However, the latest withdrawal agreement knocks out EU environmental and employment safeguards.

Although my predictions are gloomy I will battle away to provide a better future for my grandchildren. Acting Green is always work in progress. I already have a well insulated home with solar panels, make compost to grow my fruit and vegetables, and have milk delivered in glass bottles.

For 2020, I intend to cut my car mileage by 20%, move to a more vegetarian diet and cut out long haul flights.

Everyone can do something to provide a better future.

The Green Party has detailed policies to cover most of our nation’s problems and these can be viewed on the party’s website.