Welcome to Issue 51

Hopefully 2019 has got off to a good start for you and will be a happy one, despite the fact that many in the media are predicting a bumpy ride ahead. Brexit will, undoubtedly, continue to dominate the headlines in the coming months but there are two global developments which threaten to usurp it.

Firstly, the Trump trade wars are leading to great volatility in the markets. This, combined with a number of other long term trends and short term developments, appears to be creating a situation similar to that which resulted in the last financial crash of 2008. The question this time around is, will the governments have sufficient resources to bail out the banks once again or will this crisis be severe enough to bring the whole financial system crashing down?

Secondly, as we know this will be another record breaking year for global temperatures we can expect that the planet will find new ways to express its discontent. All the signs are that the warnings given by our scientists have been on the conservative side and that the size and scale of the ‘natural’ disasters that occur will continue to grow exponentially.

Even if we do manage to avoid an economic collapse and continue to find ways to expand, the irony is that this will only exacerbate the second problem, since it is growth itself (powered by the burning of fossil fuels) which is causing the rise in temperatures as well as many other environmental problems. As I have argued several times in this publication, we are reaching the limits to growth and this is manifesting itself in many ways, of which a stalling economy and climate change are but two.

So are there any rays of sunlight to brighten up the prospects for the new year? Well, I continue to have great faith in the ability of humanity to adapt and achieve great things when we work together and for the good of all, particularly in adversity. For every problem that surfaces around the world, we can find examples of communities who are coming up with ingenious ways to tackle those problems. In an age in which information can be transmitted instantly across the globe, the potential to replicate and multiply good examples is greater than ever before.

Here in Hornsea, as in many other towns, we have been trying to come to terms with cuts to our services, the degeneration of the high street and the selling off of our public assets. Slowly but surely, however, we are beginning to find ways to respond and deal with the issues that are arising. So, for example, we have taken over our cultural events centre (the Floral Hall), created a Community First Aid Centre, and are providing a wonderful facility for people suffering from social isolation (Living Well). All of theses projects are shining examples of community action which can and will be replicated in other towns.

My prediction for 2019 is that we will see several more projects of this nature emerging in the town and we look forward to bringing you all the details about their development in the coming months. Despite the gloomy outlook I hope you have faith in your community and will get involved to make sure that we overcome all the challenges that we face with gusto and a smile on our faces.

On a different note, the paper will be benefiting from an input of fresh energy next month when I hand over the reins to Andrea Kirk. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed over the past four years and wish Andrea every success for the future. I am confident that she will do a great job and ensure that the paper continues to be a forum for the whole community.

Ed