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The big decision!

Crested-black macaque looking surprised or astonished?
Crested-black macaque looking surprised or astonished?

Just 9 days to go to the UK’s EU referendum. Voters are being asked to vote on whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. It’s a big decision which will affect the lives of ourselves and our descendants for generations to come. Many people – bombarded by seemingly contradictory information and so-called facts – are undecided.

Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) fortunatley they do not have to vote!
Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) fortunately they do not have to vote!

Give us the facts they cry! But there are no hard and fast facts. We are being asked to choose the outcome of two possible futures. No one can predict the future. All we can do is shape possible scenarios or outcomes, and compare and contrast them.

lar or white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) looking pensive.
lar or white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) looking pensive.

Better in or out? Who knows! Why are you asking me say some people. Others are confused and fed up with having to decide something so difficult and momentous.

Agile or black-handed gibbon (Hylobates agilis) looking fed up in Chiang Mai zoo.
Agile or black-handed gibbon (Hylobates agilis) looking fed up in Chiang Mai zoo.

If you want my opinion – which you probably don’t but here it is anyway! – leaving is probably a bigger gamble than staying. At least from a short to medium term perspective. Short term gains – keeping the money we pay to the EC (8 billion) – might be outweighed by the losses (a contracting economy).

But it’s not just about jobs and the economy, it’s also about who we are and what we aspire to be. Since I take the view that we would be better off with no national borders or boundaries at all on earth – at least in theory! – I can understand the motives of people wanting to forge a unified Europe. Even though getting there will not be easy. Secondly, in such a precarious and rapidly changing world that we now live in, I think we would be better forming alliances and unions with our friends and allies, not fragmenting. This argument was well put by a fellow blogger I follow: A C Stark (1).


rcannon992 View All

I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.

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