Published by Western Morning News 15th August 2016
I write in an open letter because I believe the important matters I raise are best dealt with in the open. I have four particular points to make.
President Ronald Reagan, on several occasions, including in a speech to the UN General Assembly, said “In our obsessions with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognise the common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world”.
Although it comes from within rather than as an alien hazard, climate change and other global threats to the commons exert such a unifying pressure: but the evidence is that your predecessors and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council have been, and remain, willing to risk future generations being saddled with climate problems exceeding man’s capability to resolve. Without doubt, some of the foreseeable difficulties can much more easily be dealt with now (by reducing emissions, including of the super pollutants, which must otherwise be compensated for later by the costly process of sucking CO2 from the air and burying it).
These countries need to take the lead and will not do so until you all realise that climate change is more important (and more urgent) than all your other problems and ‘antagonisms of the moment’.
It follows that you personally, and this applies equally to the leaders of France, China, Russia and the USA, must always have in mind in all your dealings the imperative need to build bridges with each other. This is the first particular point.
However, taking account of a potential adversary’s point of view when you actually think he or she is acting selfishly, inappropriately (or perhaps is just trying it on), is obviously very difficult. So you (all) will need a catalyst, a judicial coordinator to help.
WASG (World Auditors of Sustainable Growth) is that catalyst. This is the second point. WASG’s rolling annual Audit would report annually to the UN and the world. Any nation whose present actions and outlook threatened the future would become open to WASG criticism now. Mr Ban Ki-moon will not act without a request from yourself and other national leaders. Please get your closest advisors to study my reports at wasg.co.uk
WASG, which I should perhaps emphasise, is not a Western but a global entity, will not only guide the way to effective action on the Climate problems, but will solve, or at least help with most of your other problems which you understandably but wrongly find more urgent. As President Reagan stated, our differences could quickly vanish. If this all seems utopian, consider how much further we have to go in eliminating differences to get proper climate and capitalist action started: and once started, cooperation will continue as a result. This is my third point.
We are looking for better governance, which is even more important in the developed world than in the developing. When we stop money buying power we will achieve a better balance (over years and decades) between rich and poor, within and between nations.
Action (more often, lack of actions) on these matters has come from a status of denial, among both leaders and led, and among politicians, companies, academia and the media. Those who should have known better have referred to the Brexit decision on which we have now voted as the most important for generations past and to come: but Brexit is hardly in the same league as climate change which is a threat to our very civilization and/or could cause the sixth extinction of species. We now desperately need WASG, which you could help set up quite easily: but you could do without being diverted to Brexit as well.
It would be good if you felt Brexit could properly be put off for several years and that this would accord with our democratic tradition of the executive acting through Parliament. This my fourth point.