Britain’s Brexit Dilemma

It is often said that it is arrogance that proves to be the downfall of all nations. A period of unchecked growth and little oversight leads to a situation, where the ruling class becomes decadent and incapable of tending the country at large. Gone are the days of human development, replaced by the idea of individual success and monetary gain.

Here represented, is a nation of regression rather than progression, powered simply by the idea of unyielding hubris and a sense of nostalgia. Such is the path that the United Kingdom has opted to follow, and from which it won’t likely return.

Next week’s votes will ultimately decide whether this kingdom shall indeed stay united in the years to come, however, the apparent deadlock of the government support the pessimist sentiment. With prime minister Theresa May’s deal unlikely to pass, it will come down to the votes on Wednesday and Thursday, to determine Britain’s future on the world stage.

Wednesday’s vote will most likely lead to a resounding no from the House of Commons regarding a no-deal Brexit but forecasting the results of the Thursday’s vote on a second referendum, is far more difficult. Ultimately, a people’s vote would not bring any solution to UK’s Brexit dilemma, as remain would most likely only win by a very small margin leading to even greater division in British society.

The European Union has clearly stated that for the Article 25 deadline to be extended, Britain must have concrete plans on, how to mend the Brexit schism. With the negotiations approaching their 33rd unilateral round, many EU members are starting to suffer fatigue, and would rather just see Britain go than continue this charade any further.

The approaching EU elections in May also make a case against an extension, as the Union wants to quell any unnecessary anti-federalist populism from both the left and the right. And even if the EU were to allow an extension of article 25, it would come at a great compromise to the UK to which the Brits would never concede to.

Theresa May’s Brexit plan aptly proves, how a soft exit from the European Union is impossible. It leaves both the remain and leave camps unhappy, only satisfying a quarter of the population. A no deal or a no Brexit-solution would, however, allow the politicians to claim to have followed their constituent’s literal will.

As easy as it would be to blame the failure of the Brexit negotiations on the rushed approach of the UK government or uncompromising attitude of the EU officials, the truth is that the British have been on track to leave the Union for decades. They have consistently been the problem child that have prevented further EU co-operation and internal reform.

Ironically, it is the Brits’ nostalgia for empire and queen and country that are leading them to ruin. Whether the British can swallow their pride and save their now very disunited kingdom, remains to be seen. Withal, an eleventh-hour solution to Britain’s Brexit dilemma seems unlikely and with the ides of March approaching, it seems the UK will walk away empty handed from this game of double or nothing.

The Paris Null Agreement

The capital of France is known for its beautiful scenery, romantic setting and of course the Eiffel tower, however, in 2015 it briefly became the capital of something other than just love. As world premiers gathered in the city to discuss all things climate change, the mood was most opportune. Ultimately, a consensus was reached and the nations of the world all agreed to limit the rise in temperature to two degrees centigrade sparing our blue marble from the most drastic effects of climate change.

Withal, no matter how promising the original outcome, the writing on the wall was there right from the beginning. This agreement – like many of its predecessors – was shaky at best and left the signatory countries without sanctions, were they go against its goals and boundaries on CO2 emissions.

The first real set back was the American presidential election and the utter farce that followed. Trump’s new regime quickly pulled out of the Paris agreement citing it being in their best interests to better the lives of people in Pittsburgh rather than those in France. This new approach hardly surprised anyone, but many of Trump’s cabinet and environmental nominations did.

Among others, Trump’s picks for the Secretary of Energy and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency proved the man’s general disdain towards global warming as both nominees actively held opinions that the phenomenon was anything but real.

Fortunately, Trump’s actions did not spur on any wider dissent, and the US remains the only country to withdraw from the agreement. Nevertheless, it is unclear, whether the agreement has lead to any meaningful progress as we enter the third year following the signing.

Worrisome news was heard from Kittilä, Finland just this week when several prominent climatologists gathered to discuss climate change. Never before have scientist been so unsure of what the effects of global warming are going to be. In the most cataclysmic scenarios, many scientists are proposing that the melting Arctic might raise the sea levels as much as two meters, whereas already suffering areas like the Horn of Africa, would face even worse spouts of drought and famine.

Global warming is without question the greatest threat facing human kind in the 21st century. If left unattended, it could lead to kinds of human suffering, migration and starvation never seen before and leave much of the globe as we know it uninhabitable. Drastic solutions like carbon tax and minimized spending are needed to reach any sensible result.

However, as much as the change comes from the singular, it must also emanate from the society at large. Radical reforms in our economic systems, means of transportation and habits as consumers are required to save our sorry asses. Otherwise, we might as easily find ourselves in a zero-sum game, where global warming will leave our planet dead in its wake.