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Will our planet survive? - Time to focus on the really important issues.

Time to get really selfish and brave and put our long-term survival first.

We need leadership that is going to progress and encourage the idea that we need to be kinder to each other and our world. Our world and all the bountiful resource it provides, much of which we squander, is finite. It will run-out. Just as animals go extinct. And I know what you are thinking - "But not in my lifetime" - the trouble with that - is one day you will be wrong!

Instead of thinking about growth and how much more we can get - perhaps we should be thinking more about what we need and limiting what we take? What is really important to life? We obsess about economic growth to the detriment of peoples, places and our planet's future health. These are not mutually exclusive.

We as individuals need to get serious about consuming less, recycling more and preserving life on this planet. We need to act for our fellow animals who we share this planet with but who can't speak for themselves, who don't have a voice.

This is about changing our viewpoint and thus our behaviour, most of which is habit. As Aristotle observed over two century's ago, 95% of what we do is down to habit. In our case, - bad habits. But we can change our habits if we decide to. Ultimately, we are talking about our long-term survival.

There are a significant number of intelligent people who are in denial. They refuse to acknowledge the facts that are laid bare before us all - alas, more and more so as each day passes.

It seems that we, as a species, have lost our perspective of life and thus - our way. We have become fixated with the wrong aspirations and in the process have inadvertently set off a chain of events that we urgently need to reverse.

I suspect that science will catch up eventually, - meanwhile, we are causing possibly - irreparable damage to our future and the place we live - Earth.

Does anybody actually think people are happier now and smile more than they did a hundred years ago? Yes, we live longer, and we have gaming consoles, mobile devices, streamed TV, electric windows in cars and cars, - all of which today's generations take for granted. We have much better and far more medical remedies, inexpensive travel and international trade, which allows the first world to access consumables on the cheap. But are people happier? I doubt it.

In the UK we discard 40% of all the food we buy and yet there are millions of people in our world who die from not having enough to eat. Out of sight, out of mind. When looked at in those terms, it is utterly shameful.

There are thousands of refugees in various parts of the world who only want to be safe - have a chance at a life where they can contribute. And yet in spite of their suffering, these "Trumpian" type regimes around the world prevent this. Why? Perhaps Trumpian type leaders personal greed and vanity, political dogma, inept governance and fear. The underlying cowardly selfish fear "that if I help you, I may make myself worse off" - if you are born on the wrong side of the tracks - tough!

No-one in their right mind would encourage anyone to smoke or breath in asbestos dust. We know that causes longterm irreparable damage and kills the body prematurely. But right now we are doing the same kind of thing to our world. We are destroying our rain forests which suck up and absorb the CO2 in our atmosphere and give out pure oxygen. And get this - much of the virgin jungle cleared is for cattle grazing. This, in turn, puts even more CO2 from the methane that cattle exude, thus further destroying the atmosphere - so it is a double blow - hugely detrimental.

This is the latest action of the New regime ruling Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro; encouraging the clearance of virgin jungle to line the pockets of a few, now clearing four acres of forest every hour. We should pay Brazil and all the other countries who have rain forests - we should pay counties to keep their jungles pristine and untouched. It is in all our best interest.

Clearing tropical rain forests despite the massive long-term damage to the complex eco-systems are the actions of the "Trumpians" of our world. Greed, short-term gain for the few. These people are Not leaders, rather mafioso type characters who have grabbed power and play on peoples fear and greed. They appeal to the lowest part of human nature and their own. These "Trumpians" are not interested in what is best for everyone. They are not seeking the best long-term solutions to preserve the diversity of the planet. They are not interested in protecting the animals and plants, thus nurturing the life cycles that preserve life on Earth.

These "Trumpians" justify their actions as bringing economic growth to the masses. But that is not true. It is a lie and perpetuated by more lies - so we as a population are driven to believe that economic growth is essential for a good life - and it isn't.

We need politicians to stand up and shout from the roof-tops - "don't be afraid - we are going to change, and all will be well, providing we get on and do it". We need a revised plan on how we are going to live and govern ourselves. We need fresh thinking, new science, an open mind and a determination driven by a dream and optimism for our future.

We need to think differently. We need to clearly understand what the really important things in life are, and the difference between what may appear important, but on the face of it is quite trivial.

We need to consider our future, the future we are bequeathing our children and future generations. I am not a profit of doom - nor am I an eco-lefty. But it is not good enough that our leaders are not taking the systematic destruction of our world seriously enough. We should vote for people who will guard our present and nurture our future.  It is time to act, to do something. It is time for us as individuals to get involved - where ever we live, to at least hold our representatives to account. Richard Summers - Suffolk UK - 10th August 2019

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