Why I’m voting Remain

Photo 03-06-2016, 18 31 59

It’s rare that I mention politics on this site, but the issues at stake in the upcoming EU referendum are too important to ignore.

If anyone I know is seriously considering voting Leave, take a moment to think about the things that actually matter in this world. Despite what the media tells you, immigration and the state of the economy are not the most important things affecting your life. The economy goes up and down all the time. This is a country founded on immigration, and if you stifle free movement of people you end up with inward-facing, isolationist nations that regard each other with suspicion and hostility. Right-wing, selfish thinking is on the rise today and it’s being encouraged by biased media which plays on the insecurities of ordinary people who just want the best for themselves and their families.

But let’s talk about the real issues at play in the 21st century. There’s a disturbing tendency for human beings to stick their heads in the sand regarding climate change, but this is the real wolf at the door, it’s happening now, and it is far more important to every single person alive on Earth at this moment than temporary worries about immigration or whether or not the pound will lose a bit of value.

Wake up and smell the ashes, humans.

We are not inhabitants of Britain or Europe, we’re inhabitants of Earth. I’m not talking metaphorically here. This is the only planet we have and the only one we’re likely to get for a good long time. Only by uniting and working together, at least trying to set aside the ignorance and prejudices of past centuries, will we even have a hope of building a better world.

Perhaps I’m an idealist, but I do know that civilisations burn themselves out all the time. Climate change is our sign that the Visigoths are at the gate and we have been given a warning to change. What are we doing with the time we have? Working together as a species to solve this problem and make Earth inhabitable for all forms of life, or building forts and jealously guarding our resources against the invaders?

So when you’re thinking about how to vote, don’t think about what the papers tell you. Don’t worry about immigration or the economy, because these things come and go. Worry about what you want the world to look like in a hundred or two hundred years, and instead of making a move back towards the isolationist and selfish behaviour that started the problem in the first place, maybe make a move towards cooperation, unification, and the future.

Even if remaining in Europe would make me worse off, I would still vote Remain. As a species, we don’t have a hope unless we work together.

By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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