Plan for post-Brexit Cornwall
It is hopefully understood by everybody that the greatest threat to ourselves, indeed to the whole of human civilisation is Climate Change which is rapidly developing into a full blown Climate Chaos. This is a far greater danger than anything else on the horizon. I hope there is no need to explain that further.
Therefore the steps we need to take are those that address Climate Change, help with mitigation and adaptation. Brexit can be helpful in this respect, but only if make use of the opportunities it offers to help attack the main problem.
Cornwall needs to become over the next couple decades much more resilient, self-sufficient and sustainable.
That means welcoming import/ export tariffs and the lower Pound. These make imported goods more expensive and thus provide an incentive for local producers to substitute local products. Export tariffs (by other countries) serve as incentives to redirect production towards domestic consumption.
We currently import some 50% of our food from abroad. That's utterly unsustainable and dangerous in an unstable world, where food exporting countries may not be keen to keep feeding us. We must largely feed ourselves.
We need to take back control of our fishing grounds by imposing a 200-mile fishing exclusion zone and manage that sustainably.
We must encourage rapid growth in domestic manufacture of basics
We must produce 100% of our own energy, electricity, heating and transport and we have to direct each of these sectors towards the type of energy we can produce ourselves: Renewables, both land and marine based, geothermal, massive energy storage capacity, such as pumped, chemical, heat, cooled air, hydrogen - all powered by excess energy, later released to balance the Cornish grid.
We need to stop sheep farming on moors and instead re-forest them for construction material, fuel source and wildlife.
We must completely reverse the scandal of empty second homes in Cornwall - ban purchase of homes except for permanent occupation and over a few years force the sale of any homes that do not comply.
We should aim for economic and population de-growth. England has become the most overpopulated major country in Europe (with higher population density than even Holland) and we don't want Cornwall to head in the same direction. Policies need to be in place to encourage smaller then replacement size families.
Similarly, we obviously cannot continue to consume the equivalent of 2 planets worth of resources, so economic de-growth is inevitable. The only question is: voluntary and planned or forced by nature and catastrophic.
I wish we had leaders who can see a little bit further ahead than their own nose!
Of course, all that also requires a much greater level of devolution. If that means instituting the office of a Mayor, then we should do so.
If that's not possible, then we should consider Cornish Independence.
If Iceland can run itself as an independent nation, why is Cornwall so scared to aim for the same result?
Whilst Iceland has a population of about 300,000, and very few natural resources, apart from fish and geothermal energy, they are a proud independent nation holding its own and able to decide its own destiny.
Cornwall has a bigger population, more resources, better geographical position, and lots of unwelcome interference in its affairs by its neighbour, England. Yet the idea of Independence frightens the Cornish Nation. The only thing we have to fear from Independence is fear itself.
We have fish, we have agriculture, we have food processing industry, we have minerals and other natural resources, we can feed our whole population, we can generate all the power we need from renewables, we have some basic manufacturing, which can be expanded, we have a thriving tourism industry - and yet we are so timid.
Lets start making waves!