2012 has been a pretty miserable year with freakish weather on both sides of the Atlantic, in the U.K the highest rainfall since records began saw people washed out of house and home and businesses ruined. In the USA Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast and several lives were lost, homes ruined & businesses destroyed.
Scandal followed scandal in the world of banking, PPI miss-selling, Libor fixing, Rogue traders etc etc
As austerity measures bite, wages decline & the economy bumps along the bottom like a flat baloon.
OK, so that was 2012, what do we want from 2013:-
- Less emphasis on GDP and more on sustainability. The current system based on mass consumption, Consumerism & unsustainable growth fed by mountains of debt is bust ! We need to replace it with a more responsible, ecologically sound system based on managing the worlds scarce resources more effectively and equitably.
- We need to take environmental change seriously. Whether there is a direct link between recent extreme weather & man made global warming is up for debate but there is irrefutable Scientific evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are having a direct impact on average global temperature. The long term consequences could be cataclysmic.
- More People Power – the disaffection with the banks has led to huge defection to “community” banks like the Co-operative bank. Long may this continue. We are the mass consumers and we can have a massive impact by promoting ethical business practice & behavior.
- Reduce our thirst for Oil – despite most of the Western world being in recession (or near) the price of Oil remains stubbornly around $100 a barrel. There are a number of factors at work here but there is little doubt we have reached “peak oil” where future supplies will gradually decline and the price rise. We need to break the cycle by urgently seeking alternative energy sources AND reducing consumption. The Automotive industry has made great strides in recent years but nowhere near enough. Much more Innovation is needed in this area.
- A flatter playing field – whilst workers real wages & salaries have reduced year after year the income of Senior Management & Board members has continued to rise. The gap between rich & poor gets larger every year. This defies rational thought. It is up to us to change things by greater political action, workers representatives on company boards, greater shareholder influence on remuneration committees etc etc. There is NOTHING inevitable about allowing this obscene poverty gap to continue increasing.
So there are some of our wishes for 2013. Whether they come true is up to me and you. All the best.