Is there any good news after BREXIT and Trump?

I am not sure of my economics but I suspect there might just be a glow of light at the end of the tunnel. Taken together BREXIT and Trump’s election seem likely to put a damper on the world’s economic growth prospects. On the one hand my status as a pensioner leaves me thinking that might not be good news for my pension fund. On the other hand my position as a concerned citizen, worried about the rate at which we are using up the world’s limited resources gives me some cause for optimism.
Its all really complicated though. Just look at petrol prices. Since BREXIT the price of petrol at the pump has gone up because the international price is set in dollars and the pound has fallen by about 15%. Economists generally forecast that the impact of Trump’s isolationist policies and what looks like our exit from any form of trade agreement with Europe will result in an economic slowdown in many parts of the world. Lower growth means we will not be using as much of the world’s primary resources i.e. less fossil fuels, less primary forest destroyed, less mineral extraction etc etc. Higher fuel prices also mean more incentives to develop renewable energy sources. However it also makes fracking more cost effective (if you ignore the environmental costs as oil companies do).
Another upside to Trump’s isolationism is the probable abandonment of agreements like TTIP, the controversial trans-Atlantic treaty. If signed it would enable trans-national companies to sue governments if they feel government policies on things like environmental protection have infringed their ability to trade profitably. It could also force more privatisation of public services like health and justice.
I was amazed and devastated by the BREXIT vote and Trump’s election, so I am not pretending either of them are good for the environment. I am just looking for some signs of hope. Two more reasons for hope are that we have still not negotiated the deal that will replace our EU membership and the president of the US cannot do whatever he wants. He still has to work with Congress. Look how difficult Obama found that. Those signs of hope give us a reason to continue campaigning and trying to make a practical difference at a local level.

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