Hope II

File:Pandora and The Forbidden Box.jpgThe world is heading for disasters.

The natural rate of extinction is 1-5 species each year. Now dozens go extinct each day. Thousands go extinct each year. Humans emitted 4.5 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2012. The rate of increase was 1.4%. Undertakings to reduce carbon emissions were not kept. More than half the world’s rainforest has been destroyed. Often it is simply burned. 12m hectares of arable land are lost to drought and desertification each year. Collapsing fish stocks create ecological dead zones in the oceans.

Even democratically elected governments are a conspiracy against the people. The UK government will pass all publicly owned land to a “Homes and Communities Agency”. Rights of way will be ended. The Infrastructure Bill allows the government to sell that land off. The government whittles away our means-tested benefits system. Benefits are not increased at the rate of inflation. People confined to wheelchairs are found fit for work. People mentally incapable of independent living are found fit to work. Government policies inflate housing costs. Housing benefit to pay rent decreases in real terms.

Private firms take over public services. Private companies run prisons, schools and hospitals. Outsourced hospital cleaning caused job cuts and lowered standards. This increased hospital-acquired infections. Direct public ownership is cheaper than “Private Finance Initiatives”. The public still bears the risk of failure of these schemes. Profit goes to the private sector.

File:Opened up a Pandora's box.jpgGovernments conspire to make public or environmental protection legislation illegal. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiated between the US and EU will introduce investor-state dispute settlement. This means Australia is unable to require plain packaging of cigarettes. Germany is unable to phase out nuclear power.

Kinnock was right. I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.

The wealth of the richest doubled in ten years. Their charitable giving decreased. 85 people own the same amount as half the world’s population. The income of the poorest reduces. Conservatives argue this gives them incentives to work harder. Those incentives are born of desperation.

Fear of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union has decreased. Fear of nuclear or terrorist attack funded by Islamic states has increased. Fear increases. People are controlled by fear.

Government spies on the people. Automated facial recognition, monitoring of internet use and keyword recognition in emails and phone calls make this spying complete.

Each of us will die. Our bodies wear out. Muscles recover more slowly. Our beauty fades.

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I remember being told that metal cannot be used in a microwave oven. I was warned not even to put a cup decorated with a thin metallic line round the rim in there, as it would produce spectacular firework effects and the microwave would cease to work. This morning by oversight I put a spoon in the microwave, and there were no fireworks- and the food heated.

Ah, progress. There is some, slight hope.

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