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Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

We’re fast becoming a nation of political junkies: wired into 24-hour political news culture, the armchair activism of social media, a background hum of Br*x*t and now it seems, we can no longer stay away from a polling booth.

A fourth UK general election in 10 years is unlikely to give any answer as convincingly as the preceding four, which spanned the course of 18 years. The political landscape has become considerably more complex in the last decade, which has seen the outcomes of the Great Recession play out, the maturation of social media and the fracturing of the two-party system. …

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Human-induced warming reached approximately 1°C (likely between 0.8°C and 1.2°C) above pre-industrial levels in 2017, increasing at 0.2°C (likely between 0.1°C and 0.3°C) per decade (high confidence). — UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018)

It’s difficult to escape the grim news surrounding environmentalism. Each week there are streams of reports that suggest we are making our planet one big landfill site. The oceans are full of plastic waste, species are on the brink of extinction and the rainforests are being burned to ashes.

I’ve written this to become better informed of the ‘bigger picture’. I am not a scientist, I am a writer with an interest in environmental issues keen to understand how environmental issues are presented by the media. …

The story of how we came to be in such a predicament in the current state in western democracies is one of loaded ideological cunning. It’s clear that we’re now entering a third phase of neoliberalism and the results of the fall-out are baffling.

Globalization, so much a term that is used to blame for the current ills, is on the face it, a process of inevitability like crow’s feet around aging eyes, or the leaves falling from the trees as the season turns; it is of course, only partly true. …

Desperate people do desperate things. We know this from the history books, and it’s a painful lesson we’re learning again. Most people are keen to avoid a situation in which angry mobs storm the streets, with pitchforks in hand; history has also shown us that this recourse seldom has any real effect in the long run. Revolutions produce the same old results, and the same old elites.

2016 has been a a year of huge political shifts. How did we reach a point where Brexit and President Trump were even possible?

The causes of the current malaise, are of course myriad, but with each new rupture — a war, an economic recession, or government corruption, people become ever more concerned about the world around them and helplessness ensues. …

The press is significantly more than a purveyor of of information and opinion. It may not be successful in telling its readers what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about. — Bernhard Cohen, 1963.

If we were to take the political discourse we’ve heard over the past few days at face value, it would appear that politicians are reacting to public opinion and its priorities. That it is a response to an agenda set some time ago, is conveniently glossed over.

Few would disagree that the June referendum has had a profound effect on the country, regardless of which side of the fence they’re on. What Theresa May today called ‘a quiet revolution’, is as good a term as any to describe how it seems that public opinion is now the political driver. …


Emil Blake

Journalist, copywriter, PR. Talks about politics, environment and travel. Commissions:

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