There’s not much time to save the planet, according to a few young friends of mine! For me, I’ll be content with saving Thanet! Here’s my vision for what it might be like in ten years time when I’ll be in my mid eighties.
We old stickies will have personal drones to get about – basically a chair with a hover mechanism – no more worrying about uneven pavements, cars parked in the wrong place, dropped kerbs in the wrong place, potholes – we’ll just float above it all!
We’ll be powered by renewable energy. Every building will have solar panels, the wind farms will be locally owned and maintained and the energy comes to us first. Wave power will back it all up.
And there’ll be lots of energy for my hover chair because all buildings will be heavily insulated and we won’t be using energy for stupid things like heating outdoor restaurants, neon lights advertising stuff we shouldn’t eat or buy, commuting to jobs miles away from where we live, making stuff nobody wants like plastic toys with hamburgers – hamburgers! Shipping food around the world, importing veg we grow in Thanet, like cauliflowers, from somewhere else…..
If we save enough energy maybe we can afford to fly the odd aeroplane – vertical take-off, solar powered, from the centre of the Manston allotment complex.
But mostly we’ll be going on our hols on fast trains and luxurious sail and solar powered ferries.
Or staying at home because it’s so lovely here with our clean beaches, all-weather leisure centres, locally sourced food in non-chain cafes, music festivals, all publicly funded, theatres and cinemas, free fast broadband so we can watch tv from all over the world, or skype our grandchildren in Australia.
The newly planted West Wood will attract eco-tourists to study how forest food growing works. And in the centre will be a nature reserve where you observe the wildlife and see what new species have been attracted in as the trees get bigger. And we’ll swim in solar heated pools all year round, in the tropical ecodomes that used to be Thanet Earth.
Even more trees will be growing around our expanded hospital and in the gardens of its outreach centres which will bring services such as physiotherapy and mental health clinics to each town. GP practices will be expanded and doctors and nurses will be working on such attractive contracts that there’ll be no shortages of medical staff.
We’ll be travelling by trams everywhere – so good that the empty roads only have private (electric) cars for the seriously disabled or very young families.
There’ll be frequent buses for more rural parts of Thanet and a cable car to the top of West Downs, the new mountain built over Westwood Cross when the redundant shopping centre is demolished and the high streets filled with small shops again, selling whatever we can’t grow or make for ourselves.
The schools will be non-selective, all education will be free from nursery to old age, the Turner will be full of local art, Ramsgate port thriving with cross channel ferries, Broadstairs University will be world famous for its alternative technology research, farmers will employ local people on high wages, and rising sea levels will be filling the Wantsum again.
But we won’t mind because we live on an island Paradise!