We live in the most interesting of times, and i sometimes struggle to see the direction of our travel.
At times i think i follow; we have a growing movement or recognition about damage to the climate. Specialist advisers line up and tell us what this might mean. The younger generation certainly seem clear what it means, as they will inherit our legacy.
We are told the need to reduce carbon; less flights; less pollution; protect what nature we have left ; and plant more trees to re -green our land. The weather is changing and we are getting heavier downpours, rivers can often not cope, flooding occurs. The seas are rising and coastal areas are at risk. Our Environment Agency states its funding is restricted, on the Lincolnshire coast beach nourishment is capped and to stop in around 3 years, it has no long term budget. After that does the sea becomes the master again ? Do our coastal communities which are based on Tourism get sacrificed as we have no money to protect the coast and the Leisure industry. But we would have a lovely new train line, perhaps it can itself become a tourist attraction to those who its building will not help or leave even further behind economically.
We are told the creation of this folly will bring wealth to all areas. Its hard to see evidence of this , being an Accountant can be a blessing and a burden, it gives you too strong a sense of smell.
What happens to the fringe parts of the economy, the jobs, the people who live in them ? Its very confusing that on the Lincolnshire Coast two of its resorts are asked to apply for Town funding, an amount of up to £25 m, although if every town is successful, the overall fund cannot cover £25 m each.That aside, the concept seems to be to help the towns 'catch' up on what they have not had, which other areas have had.
We then see the folly of a High Speed Train project for 2040 has today received the ironically called 'green' light, and its budget , well its not the original £36 billion, but perhaps nearer the £100 billion.
I have not tried to work out how far £25 m would build of the new folly, but i suspect its measured in meters and not even miles...
This project will remove many square miles of valuable countryside, simply so Birmingham and London, in 20 years can travel by train quicker to each other. In 20 years will this be necessary given technology changes ?
If the climate changes are correct, by the time its functional, unless another 'money tree' is found our coastal communities and tourist centers on the coasts might not be as we knew them, as they have no such large scale investment to protect them.
We gain a train , and loss valuable countryside ( we must recall tourism is not simply in the historic centers; or the coastal areas; or fun parks; its very often the ancient wooded area within 20 miles of our houses, where we relax/bike/walk/admire the tress/ breath fresh air).
It seems to me the Leisure industry should rather than being side lined from the issues of the day, actually be putting itself at the very center of matters. . Coastal areas can be areas of relaxation and eco tourism; even our inland areas can be vital, our woods and forest become centers of outdoor sports/relaxation and guardians of the countryside. As a voice the industry seems less represented than say our farmers who perform similar aspects of an industry thriving but protecting our environment.
At present it seems the importance of the UK Leisure and Tourism industry and its years of land stewardship are simply not being recognized as a vital UK part of fighting climate change and being important to our nation, but a fast train gets the money and headlines, and even a dedicated Government Minister.
Strange times indeed, but then maybe its of our own making as an Industry or Community do we make enough noise of all the brilliant things we do ?