The bedrock of our hope in 2021 and beyond must be political engagement | Paul Daley

We must go into the new year impelled by hope, because to dwell on 2020 and all its terrors and anxieties is to surrender to darkness

Those whose rhythms align with the Gregorian calendar are counting down the last weeks and days of December and putting pen, actual or figurative, to next year’s planner.

I bought my 2021 diary (I keep a paper and virtual versions) in September. That’s a measure of how keen I’ve been to be done with this bastard of a year, how eager to ink plans into the forthcoming, and ... how filled with an illogical assumption that the next block of a dozen months holds brighter prospects.

Related: We are witnessing a critical time in history. You should keep a diary | Paul Daley

Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.

It is wrong for the most fortunate to look away from the plight of the less so, and to take smug solace in our own fortune

Their devastating impact is closely related to climate change. The expansion of the human population, combined with the pressure to make more land available for food production, destroys the habitat of many animals and brings them physically closer to us, as a resource, with all their viruses attached ... Europe, Canada and New Zealand understand the connection between climate change and the threat to critical resources, and China does too, up to a point. The United States, India, Brazil and Australia do not. In Australia’s case ... the commonwealth refuses to act because ... of the corrupting power of vested interests.”

Related: Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change | Richard Denniss

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