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If I ruled the world

The problem is not immigration, it’s the way we deal with it

If I ruled the world, the first thing I would do is tackle environmental issues. There is interest in exploring drilling opportunities in the Arctic which is, as far as I can see, completely unnecessary. An accident could ruin one of the last untouched areas in the world. I’m from Norway and so I feel very emotional about this. In fact, I would stop drilling for oil full stop. The whole idea of an oil-driven society is a bad one.

In addition, I would ban all cars and airplanes—there would be trains and bikes, and that’s it. Maybe some people would say we would be moving backwards, but that’s not necessarily the case: it would help us to stop climate change. When I’ve said things like this before, people have accused me of being reactionary—to which I say, “Yes, I am reactionary.” But my nostalgia doesn’t go back just to the 18th and 19th centuries; it goes back thousands of years. All these species are disappearing, the rainforest is being cut down, the human world is dominating even more, and I feel an instinctive sorrow about that.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: Simon Taylor and Bronwen Maddox on why Hinkley Point C is an expensive gamble that might not pay off. Philip Collins examines Iain Duncan Smith’s tenure as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Lionel Shriver reveals why she stopped fighting being female. Alan Rusbridger responds to last month’s piece on the Guardian by Stephen Glover. Also in this issue: Nicholas Soames says there’s no such thing as "Project Fear” and Howard Davies reviews Melvyn King’s new book and suggests that we are vulnerable to another financial crisis. Plus Ruth Dudley Edwards examines the fading myths of the Easter Rising and Owen Hatherley suggests it’s time to look for a Plan B to solve London’s housing issues.