Skip to main content

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit

The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  

Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  

There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow all the concerns will appear to have been unwarranted. After all, Britain is great!  

There is no plan for Brexit.  There never was.  Yet, debate has been shut down.  Politicians appear as if in a straight jacket.  The 'will of the people' trumps all.  Let's not question Brexit!. 

No Brexit idealism

Some good might have come out of Brexit.  It certainly challenges the cosy mythologies of global trade and growth.  But without a plan for trade, Britain is likely to sign up to trade deals that are more polluting and more damaging to the planet than those it is already signed up to.  

Brexit would be good if it genuinely challenged the neoliberal mythologies of the inherent goodness of growth and free trade.   But it doesn't.  We are more likely to sign up to trade deals that are worse for the planet.   

Bad trade will kill the planet

That is not to say that our current trade is good.  It isn't.  It is bad.  We import goods thousands of miles.  Our government proudly boasts that the UK is meeting targets on emissions.  Yet, it is based on our exporting our pollution.   Exporting pollution doesn't help the planet.  It blinds us to its realities.  

Hundreds of thousands of children die globally from the pollution of the air they breath.  Pollution that comes in some part from the production of the goods we import.  

We need a new deal.  A recent report showed that pollution was responsible for 1 in 5 infant deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The  children of our planet need a new deal - a deal that provides a better future.   Brexit is not only a distraction, it is more likely than not to promote worse trade deals as regulations slips.

Britain, post-Brexit, is more likely to prostitute itself in the markets of world trade as it scurries around trying to salvage something out of the lunacy of leaving the EU without a plan.

Brexit provides no solution, and could make it worse as we seek new deals predicated on more pollution.   Brexit won't save the planet.

If you like this article, please help us by subscribing and getting the latest updates through the link above.

Listen to our podcast: 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

Noise pollution puts nature at risk

 "I just want a bit of peace and quiet!" Let's get away from all the hustle and bustle; the sound of endless traffic on the roads, of the trains on the railway, and the planes in the sky; the incessant drone; the noise. We live in a world of man-made noise; screeching, bellowing, on-and-on in an unmelodious cacophony.  This constant background noise has now become a significant health hazard.   With average background levels of 60 decibels, those who live in cities are often exposed to noise over 85 decibels, enough to cause significant hearing loss over time.  It causes stress, high blood pressure, headache and loss of sleep and poor health and well-being.   In nature, noise has content and significance.  From the roar of the lion, the laughing of a hyena,  communication is essential for life; as the warning of danger, for bonding as a group or a pair, finding a mate, or for establishing a position in a hierarchy - chattering works.  Staying in touch is vital to working

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno