Imagine Jersey 2035

Imagine Jersey 2035 was an excellent concept in principle and an approach we should repeat properly. But it was doomed as a consultation exercise by prejudicing the outcomes and failing to put the essential context around the event. In taking a one dimensional view of the specific problem of paying future pension commitments the outcomes of the event are not generally valid. The proper approach would have to consider the impacts of global factors like climate change and peak oil on Jersey society in 2035 before overlaying the pension payment issue and being open to wider solutions. Artificially inflating the population figures, as the consultation outcomes suggest, must increase our carbon emissions both directly and indirectly. The more people we have the more resources we need to import to maintain those people and the more pollution we necessarily produce. This is all in direct conflict with the state of the world as most see it in 2035.

Change is coming: global forces are at work that we cannot avoid. The only real choice the States has is to face those challenges and prepare the population now, or defer the tough decisions and risk real social upheaval and perhaps even unrest when emergency measures become inevitable. We need a model of how life will be in 2035 if we are to prepare ourselves. This is no easy task: there is no credible ‘dolce vita’ option on offer. Here’s a few scenario examples of changes some seriously minded people think will have hit by 2035.

  • Inflation will be a problem. If commodities are in short supply, and global population and living standards are growing, then any society like ours that is an importer of essential goods faces stiff competition to buy those basics. It is an external driver that the Government cannot manage. The only way to avert spiralling costs will be to avoiding having to buy these things in. That means becoming much more self reliant on basics like food and energy

  • Air travel will have all but ceased. Even if we had surplus oil to burn by 2035 our CO2 emissions targets would make air travel a social taboo. A flight from Jersey to the USA would emit as much C02 as the target yearly emissions for that person.

  • Manufactured goods and especially electronic entertainments and gadgets would be highly questionable. Not only would the materials and energy of production be very expensive, but also the power consumption would be unacceptable. How will people fill their time if not playing ipods, using games machines, watching tv and DVDs or even blogging on the net?

  • Energy Generation. By 2035 we should have implemented a programme of tidal energy generation, backed up by a widespread microgeneration. This is a significant capital investment, but a far more useful one than the Waterfront development.

  • Food will be a critical part of our economy. We will no longer be exporting significantly, but will have adapted to a more market garden style growing for a local market.

  • The trauma that accompanies abuse, especially childhood abuse, can last a lifetime. In 2035 we will still be dealing with the after effects, and assisting some of the victims and survivors of historic abuse to cope. It is a long-term commitment that is required on the part of society

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