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The International Writers Magazine:January 2016 Editorial
A Very Strange Year ahead
2016 begin with floods here and much agonising about future insurance costs. Although my home was spared I did have one heart stopping moment driving my car down a hill in Lincolnshire and practically disappearing under a wave of water in a dip. Luckily my Fiat diesel engine didn’t even splutter and we emerged safe. But then got soaked helping the guy out of his stalled car behind me.
I read Sally Brompton’s stars for the year in The Globe and Mail and thoroughly depressed myself. Lots of surprises I won’t like ahead apparently. You could at least try to lie a little Sally. But then again I can’t actually recall a good year in living memory so nothing changed there.
One hundred years ago Europe was at war and 1916 was one of the worst years ever. 37,500 English and Commonwealth men would die in one day at the Battle of the Somme. 105,000 dead on the first day of the battle of Verdun, (793,000 in all) Hundreds of thousands would be dead by the end of the year and not a foot gained in battle. It would be the year that death technology advanced to poison gas, aerial bombardment, machine guns, the first tanks. Australians would learn the bitter lessons of war and the hopelessness of the generals and politicians leading it. Canadians would learn horrible lessons too. But was anything gained from that war? Certainly we still live with the consequences of the peace. Namely the redrawing of the maps and Syria was carved out of Middle East. Now it is back to haunt us.
In 2016 hypocrisy rules. ISIS beheads five people and all the headlines scream murder. Saudi Arabia executes 47 people on the same day and no one says anything much at all, except to complain that one of them was a cleric and he should have been spared. Saudis behead or shoot around one person a day on average (Source: Aljazeera). So that’s at least 350 people a year! Iran is generally perceived as the greater evil, aiming for around 750 hangings a year (but their population at 80 million is larger). Competing as to who can be the greater evil is like a game show in the Middle East. ISIS has a lot to catch up on but is quickly moving up the rankings.
So I have a solution for all of this. We need some brave political leaders in the UK, Europe and USA (fat chance of that I guess) to make a law now that says the petrol and diesel engine will be phased out by 2021. It will be mandatory for all cars and light trucks and SUV’s to be all-electric with a minimum range of 300 miles on one charge and a high speed recharge facility on all our highways and cities so that one can recharge in 20 mins max. Talk to Elton Musk at Tesla. This is possible now. Believe me, I was behind a Tesla the other day and it accelerated away from me at light speed. Very impressive. I realised we don’t have any politicians brave enough to do this at the moment, but perhaps the millennials will demand it? After all they have the vote. Yes, yes, we need more power stations and they too pollute, but let’s devote all the money that goes into weapon tech into battery tech and hey presto, we won’t need oil at all. Sorry frackers.
Dictators and Kings in the Middle East won’t have us over a barrel; we won’t be buying their barrels. They will have to educate their people to make things and grow food instead of importing it and we can eventually forget about them.
All it requires is political will. Tell President Trump he can make money out of electricity and maybe he’ll wake up and smell the coffee. Who knows?
I’m saving up for a Tesla. Only got £58,000 to go.
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