Tag Archives: future

Extinction Confusion

Groups of self-styled activists have picked up the issue of man-made climate change and are loudly demanding governments act to stop it; immediately.

Clearly this issue is far from new – and there are known solutions. And even though the protesters are seemingly fully committed to the cause, the implications of their radical demands are far-reaching and quite literally life-changing.

Eliminating the use of fossil-fuels would stop all commercial flights, ships, trucks and most personal transport; except for electric trains, bicycles and the limited number of fully electric cars. This move alone would spell not just the end of overseas holidays but also stop most of our essential services. With so much shipped in, out and around every day – everything from clothes to cans of beans could not be made or delivered to the shops. Foraging in the fields for edible vegetables could replace food banks. And actually growing crops without the use of diesel-power would cut productivity levels to near zero. Fighting for food would be the new norm – the young, the old and the weak would soon perish.

But the chances that this scenario would happen are near zero – since governments have shown themselves to be too ineffective to carry through such unpopular measures.

AccountDoctor160

Another approach to reducing the damage to the environment by human activity – is to control the human population. And not just by reducing the rate of population increase but actually reducing the number of people!

Since capital punishment seems unlikely to return in the short term the excess of people may have to be tackled by voluntary euthanasia. It would of course need to be a far bigger scale than those in present day Switzerland and Belgium. However nature may well assist – on a potentially massive scale – through drug resistant bacteria, exotic fatal diseases – and of course – climate change itself.

But as long as governments are in control of the situation they are not going to legislate for reductions in population. They need expanding populations to keep paying more and more in taxes to prop-up the currency and debt mountains.

So those protesters who really believe in their slogans face either a life in a pre-industrial landscape or volunteering to die for their cause.

But even after these extreme measures the Earth’s climate will continue to change. And the idea of flying-off to another planet to start again will be shown to be just a Dr Strangelove fantasy. Truly a dystopian future …

More Statistics

While the names behind various groups hoping to block the UK’s attempts to leave the EU seem more likely to help than hinder the independence cause, it is the immigration figures that will be a more direct influence.

Borat-160The next set of Government statistics are due out on Thursday and will, most probably, show a slight slowing in net migration. A change that some will try to spin as a disaster for farming, the NHS and everything else down to hand car wash services. Yet the previous figures showed a net migration of 230,000 for the year and even a slight fall would still leave the net total at unsupportable levels.

And while the headline figure is a 230,000 increase the actual arrivals for the year were a more worrying 572,000. And worrying not because of disliking foreigners but because no one is providing the necessary infrastructure required to cope with the growing population. Note it is the whole infrastructure not just housing that is needed – schools, hospitals, GPs, dentists, police, fire, ambulance, roads, railways, shops – and even cemeteries!

A few years ago Grandad proposed that the Government buy up the whole town of Redcar (see Oct 2015) and use it to accommodate the next batch of new arrivals. A solution more desirable than squeezing them into converted garages and garden sheds in some declining London suburb. And if the pro-immigration lobbies are correct then this would not be prohibitively expensive as the migrants are guaranteed to generate more wealth than they require in Government support. The trouble is a town like Redcar could only accommodate around 40,000 people at its present occupation levels. So all the available space in the town would be taken up by new arrivals in just 26 days.

Cunning_Plan_160No worries .. the Government could keep buying up towns – ideally ones in coastal locations that have been in decline for years. This fresh start would convert an under utilised resource into a net contributer to our national GDP. However they would need to purchase at least 16 towns the size of Redcar each year and hope that the present town occupants either left the country, downsized or died-off …

But I guess that we should be grateful that so many see the UK as a desirable place to move to. And despite the economic disaster predictions of the EUrologists it seems that people from around the world are voting with their feet and heading to the UK for a better future … As a result EU figures predict that the UK could overtake Germany in total population before 2050 – but that’s one for the grandchildren to sort out.

A Great Leap Forward?

Being that day in the calendar that only comes around every four years did raise the question – how will things have changed for Grandads in Britain by 29 Feb 2020?

DBR_MerkelHere is one correspondent’s view. In politics the 2016 EU Referendum will be long since passed and Britain will have been a regional province of Europa for over a year. However the target of complete financial union of all the former countries will have slipped out to 2028. But at least the German Europa Projekt will, by 2020, have achieved some of its objectives. Certainly the expansion further east will have progressed to include Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and, the big one, Turkey. Thus completing another cultural objective by incorporating the former Constantinople within the EU; thus recreating its position within the Roman Empire. However this will be tragically ironic as it will be in Turkey that President Merkel is assassinated. An act carried out by refugees from the on-going fighting in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. And one which will lead to a tense face-off between the EU Army and Russia on the Eastern Front. It also means that the EU Army does not respond to a second Argentine invasion of the Falklands. An attack which is followed by all the surviving islanders being removed to camps in Argentina and two thousand Argentine nationals being shipped in to take over. Just three months later a referendum is called on the islands with the predictable result. A move that will gain UN approval since Britain’s place on the Security Council will have been assigned to Europa.

Grandadz_OldMan2Domestically Prime Minister Corbyn will be setting out his government’s plans to terminate the reign of the House of Windsor before the next coronation. However the 94 year old Queen Elizabeth is showing no signs of ill-health and has already won her case in the European Supreme Court for protection against unfair dismissal. Also the Palace of Westminster will be no longer be the home of Parliament. The building being in the middle of conversion into a tourist attraction funded by China. Instead the English regional parliament meetings will be held at the Great Dragon Building; constructed by the Shanghai Development Corp on what was Victoria Tower Gardens.

But the big issues affecting Grandads will be the massive failures in infrastructure – as everything from power supplies to health care become overloaded by the population boom. The pressure on housing becoming so acute that all retirees will, by 2022, have to either sell their homes and move to state-funded dormitories or loose their pensions. Domestic gas will have become unaffordable for most as the provincial government struggles to meet its carbon targets. And electricity tariffs that vary hour by hour will mean that pensioners have resorted to cooking and washing over night to save money. However the newly created Europarl Ministry of Plenty will declare that all provinces will achieve the desired standards of living within just four years – in 2024.

In sport the big event of the year will be Olympic Games in Tokyo where Europa will field a combined team for the first time. And even though Europa will have extra places in many events the total number of athletes will be much reduced compared to Rio. The merger of over thirty countries into just one meaning that many former nations have no representatives which in turn leads to a big drop in public interest and cutbacks by advertisers in Europe. Only the continued growth of China saves the day for the organisers.

But that’s enough of 2020 when we still have to get through the rest of 2016. And with the Daily Express predicting terrible weather for Easter, then summer, then autumn, etc it’s going to be an uninspiring year.

Look At Me

BBC_Selfie_121aIt’s been happening for years but now it seems have become the norm – as almost every reporter feels the need to put themselves between their subject and their audience.

For many TV stations – not just the BBC – the reporter’s aim seems to be give top priority to their words to camera even if it means blocking out the sounds and images of the intended subjects. In sports events this goes even further; as groups of pundits speak over the award ceremonies or chat live to camera while the actual sport continues out of shot. Here the really BBC excels – for example repeatedly showing recorded British successes while live events involving other nations continue off camera. If someone was allocated to talk over these presenters pieces to camera they would soon get the message.

These days reporters, news readers and presenters have become personalities in their own right. And many programme producers have got into a rut of established formats. So perpetuating an increasingly tired style of output. But wait! Things may change sooner than these stars of TV and radio think.

Some overseas channels already limit reporters and news readers to voice-over roles. Weather reports are handled the same way – and are prerecorded for showing repeatedly on news channels; instead of having live presenters stand into front of a blue-screen and repeat the same script.

Auto_cue_1But in the near future a broadcast-quality version of Siri or Cortana could easily read an auto-cue just as well as a human. Many newsroom cameras have already gone unmanned – and news readers could follow the former cameramen very soon.

But if a studio with a news reader was still felt necessary for some broadcasts then there are already some effective alternatives to those, increasing expensive, humans. Life-like robots are already being deployed in commerce – and ones programmed for multi-lingual speech could front TV broadcasts to regions with many different languages; for example Europe.

So how soon before that 1980’s presenter prediction Max Headroom becomes a TV reality? Too soon for some ..

Railway Transformers

As any Grandads following the high speed railway project to run north from London (HS2) will have worked out the scheme has become an unstoppable political necessity. And despite the fact that no commercial backers are confident enough to put their own funds behind it, the project will roll on as long as the Exchequer keeps paying the bills; despite serious calls to take a different approach.

HS2_Design_260And the bills keep growing; some in rather unexpected areas. For example last week there was this glowing press release – HS2 Design Panel Chair, Sadie Morgan, has begun recruiting experts from many different design disciplines to the Panel that will oversee the design development of High Speed Two. To be a catalyst for growth across Britain and enhance the lives of future generations HS2 Ltd published its Design Vision in March 2015 to embed design excellence in all aspects of HS2. The Design Panel, led by Sadie Morgan will be a critical friend to HS2, ensuring that as it develops its designs it delivers on the HS2 Design Vision.

So this seems to say that the Exchequer will be funding a panel not to design anything but to check that someone else’s designs meet the Design Vision.

Back in March the government released the relevant Design Vision documentDeveloped with the input of leading UK designers, the HS2 Design Vision aims to ensure that all aspects of HS2 will add up to create one transformational experience and that design is used effectively to achieve the ambitious social, economic and environmental goals for the nation.

So the document developed with leading designers will be checked for compliance by leading designers – for a substantial fee no doubt. How different to the old fashioned way of doing it. Then the person hired to be the chief designer would be responsible and accountable themselves. But at least it is reassuring to know that experts selecting the right font and colour palette will convert this 20 year long, multi-billion pound gamble into a transformational experience. Be prepared to be transformed – hopefully in a good way!

p.s. Our Phrases for Future Eurocitizens slot has been terminated to comply with EU restrictions on sarcasm – and because we have all lost interest …