We are constantly bombarded with information. So we don’t drown in this vast sea of data, we label each topic. 

A quick look, label applied and popped into the box of stuff with the same label. We don’t have time to rethink every bit of information. So long as we choose the right label we don’t have to. 

It becomes one more bit of information added to one of our labelled boxes or opinions, that we have already thought out.

“Green issues” is one such label worth looking at.

Global warming and climate change: a green issue? It’s a simple fact. It’s a human issue, an issue for every single one of us.

Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ): a green issue? It’s a public health issue. According to the government’s website, air pollution kills more than 24,000 people every year.

The way we measure the health and wellbeing of society: a green issue? I think it is the most important green issue. We use just one measure at the moment; Gross Domestic Product – GDP. So if the economy is growing everything is fine, regardless of how the wealth that is created is shared out. In terms of GDP, we are the fifth richest nation in the world. Yet we have millions of children living below the poverty line.

We need to measure aspects of our society other than money. Aspects that make us feel at ease with ourselves and happy with our society. We need to measure our wellbeing. 

Wealth is one aspect, a sustainable environment and a fair society are others.  If we make wellbeing our primary aim then the economy will be adjusted to achieve it.

At the moment fairness and a healthy environment are seen as expenses, not assets. As “green rubbish” holding back GDP. As something to get around. To carry on killing kids with polluted air, to subject them the misery and deprivation of poverty in a land of plenty, 

This mindset sees community taxes as something to be avoided. Not as a fair contribution to providing the communal services that increase our wellbeing. 

Keeping this communal contribution to an absolute minimum had been the East Hampshire Conservative Party’s prime objective when it controlled the district council.

There is a nature reserve right in the centre of Liss, the Riverside Walk. Most of it should be maintained and managed by East Hampshire District Council. At one time there were three meadows. Three areas of rich biodiversity. Meadows must be mown twice a year to maintain them as meadows.

They are meadows no more. Just patches of abandoned forlorn neglect. 

As far as I can see there has been little or no active management of the Riverside Walk nature reserve for the past five or so years. A valued community wellbeing asset degraded by a lack of properly-funded maintenance.

Let’s start generating wealth with a purpose of a happier, fairer and more sustainable society rather than simply for the sake of generating it.