So you've got £76 billion to spare, and you're wondering how to spend it. The UK government wants to blow the lot on the ultimate box of boys' toys, our nuclear 'deterrent'. Just about everyone else thinks that's a crap idea, and would like to spend it on something useful.
An article in last Saturday's Guardian suggests that it might just possibly be a better idea to spend the money on fighting climate change. For the full text, click here.
£76 billion buys you new Trident missiles, new nuclear submarines and 30 years worth of running costs.
On the other hand, £76 billion spent on good stuff such as energy conservation, public transport and sustainable energy projects will reduce emissions by 60% over the next 25 years.
The UK government has stated repeatedly that climate change is the biggest single problem in the world today, yet spends less than £1 billion per year in addressing it. And emissions are still rising. The UK has also spent billions in waging a war which was 'justified' on the basis of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction, yet is determined not only to keep its own WMD but to update them.
It's time for governments everywhere, not just in the UK, to wake up to the realities of the world we live in today. Dump nukes, spend a bit of the resulting peace dividend on maintaining appropriate conventional forces if you must, but for God's sake DO SOMETHING about climate change.
There is an increasing amount of news out there, fed to us 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, less and less is 'investigative' journalism looking into the deeper reasons behind why things are happening. At The Coffee House we pick out some of the more controversial news stories for debate. Politics, economics, development and environment are our main focus. Grab a coffee (or tea!) and join us. Just don't be shy!