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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    What planet are you living on where the NHS has billions of spare change to spend on sustainability programs? Why are you completely avoiding responding to the points I'm making whilst making unhelpful sarcastic remarks?
    Its about priorities and choices. They have £120bn a year and decide not to be sustainable. Give them £10bn more and they'd use that on patient care keeping old folk alieve even longer rather than reducing their carbon footprint.

    Sarcastic? Are you finding your suggestion that the public sector silly when you actually think about it?

    I don't think you're raising any points. You said grads shouldn't go into IB/O&G but without saying what they should do with themselves instead.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    You just need to cut the repayment threshold. Can leave fees were they are.

    The Government has never made money on fees, They still end up paying an LEA top up.
    Changing the repayment terms is another option (I would argue payment levels also need to be increased a bit), but arguably it's unethical to change the repayment terms that people have already signed up to, and, as far as I'm aware the Conservatives are looking into this, but their suggestions currently aren't even close to solving the problem. To me, it's not about making money, but at least about stopping the system from collapsing.


    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Sorry about the lost post, happens to me too often too ):

    I've starting a degree in Earth Sciences. I'd argue that this is one of the most beneficial courses in existence since it specifically trains people to understand the planet and how it works, giving them a really excellent understanding of why it's so important to be sustainable and how to go about doing this. I personally cannot understand how so many people can spend years studying this beautiful planet and then go into a field that's as destructive as O&G (or as unhelpful as IB), but that's the fault of their consciences (or rather, the lack of it) rather than being the fault of the course. There are plenty of people in the Earth Sciences that do a lot of good with their degree. If you judge the usefulness of occupations, it should depend on what people actually do with their degrees rather than the title of the degree they took. Engineering, you're completely correct, is a very important area. Yet many top Engineering students also go into IB and O&G, as well as high-end engineering consultancies that serve the personal indulgences of the elite.

    And I know that the German healthcare system isn't exactly the same as the UK, but they also invest more money in areas that we invest less in so I do think the two countries are comparable. And I don't really see why countries with smaller populations are incomparable - they've still got the approximately same ratio of taxpayers to university students.
    Smaller countries aren't totally incomparable, obviously, and perhaps I'm wrong to totally dismiss their models, but there are different challenges for countries where the population is large, growing and in many cases infrastructure needs replacing or expanding. I don't really want to drag the thread too far off topic by going into this in great depth, though.

    Earth sciences is a good choice of degree, and I agree that it's one that can be used to benefit society greatly. I agree that looking at outcomes, rather than degree choice could be a good way of deciding which degrees to subsidise (if any).

    I do think looking at ways of making higher education free or much cheaper should be considered by the next government, but I also accept they will have other priorities- like sorting out the current issues with the NHS (and I do think the fact that we have the NHS in it's current model is really important and something we should try as hard as we can to save).

    TBH, if I could wave a magic wand, I'd abolish the armed forces, and spend the money spent on them on other things, including higher education, but in the real world, I do think what Labour are doing is a step in the right direction.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Its about priorities and choices. They have £120bn a year and decide not to be sustainable. Give them £10bn more and they'd use that on patient care keeping old folk alieve even longer rather than reducing their carbon footprint.

    Sarcastic? Are you finding your suggestion that the public sector silly when you actually think about it?

    I don't think you're raising any points. You said grads shouldn't go into IB/O&G but without saying what they should do with themselves instead.
    I'm not saying that we randomly give public bodies money. I'm saying we firstly need a huge amount of investment specifically into creating a new sustainable infrastructure. The NHS obviously is not going to help wean the UK off fossil fuels because it is a healthcare system, not an energy supplier, I don't see why you're implying that I said that. We need to stop fossil fuel subsidies and start subsidising community cooperative groups. That's precisely what has allowed countries like Germany and the Netherlands to improve their renewables infrastructure so quickly. If the energy is run by people, for people rather than having the primary purpose of putting money into the pockets of shareholders, people are much more willing to support renewable ventures.

    You also need to have very strict environmental regulations and put the resources in place to allow groups and people to comply.

    And there are so many other areas... graduates going into areas like O&G and IB are generally very intelligent, the world is their oyster. They can literally do anything they want as far as I'm concerned, as long as it doesn't destroy the planet.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I'm not saying that we randomly give public bodies money. I'm saying we firstly need a huge amount of investment specifically into creating a new sustainable infrastructure. The NHS obviously is not going to help wean the UK off fossil fuels because it is a healthcare system, not an energy supplier, I don't see why you're implying that I said that. We need to stop fossil fuel subsidies and start subsidising community cooperative groups. That's precisely what has allowed countries like Germany and the Netherlands to improve their renewables infrastructure so quickly. If the energy is run by people, for people rather than having the primary purpose of putting money into the pockets of shareholders, people are much more willing to support renewable ventures.

    You also need to have very strict environmental regulations and put the resources in place to allow groups and people to comply.

    And there are so many other areas... graduates going into areas like O&G and IB are generally very intelligent, the world is their oyster. They can literally do anything they want as far as I'm concerned, as long as it doesn't destroy the planet.
    They could use sustainable energy and procure equipment that is carbon neutral/negative. That is within their control just as it is within yours and mine - if anything, with their buying power its easier for them.

    Ironically the subsidies come from DECC - part of the public sector...

    Sure, I was just asking what work didn't do that.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Smaller countries aren't totally incomparable, obviously, and perhaps I'm wrong to totally dismiss their models, but there are different challenges for countries where the population is large, growing and in many cases infrastructure needs replacing or expanding. I don't really want to drag the thread too far off topic by going into this in great depth, though.

    Earth sciences is a good choice of degree, and I agree that it's one that can be used to benefit society greatly. I agree that looking at outcomes, rather than degree choice could be a good way of deciding which degrees to subsidise (if any).

    I do think looking at ways of making higher education free or much cheaper should be considered by the next government, but I also accept they will have other priorities- like sorting out the current issues with the NHS (and I do think the fact that we have the NHS in it's current model is really important and something we should try as hard as we can to save).

    TBH, if I could wave a magic wand, I'd abolish the armed forces, and spend the money spent on them on other things, including higher education, but in the real world, I do think what Labour are doing is a step in the right direction.
    I completely agree that what Labour is planning is less terrible than the status quo. But I'm just fed up with defeatist people crawling over to the "least terrible realistic option" rather than going for something that actually will bring about the change we need. This is particularly important with environmentalists. So many environmentalists have despaired at the lack of change in the world and have basically "given up" fighting for the changes they need for the cause they love. Instead, they start trying to work with the system in the vain hope that they can control the damage by trying to push for slightly less harmful technologies like nuclear energy, or working with corporations to make them slightly less harmful (in return for lots of PR opportunities). This really frustrates me because the environmental movement is losing so much momentum because of these defeatists. The solution for the environment isn't going to come from a capitalist system because as long as you've got companies that operate for profit rather than for good, they're going to work at the expense of the environment. Labour may have their heart in the right place but the solutions we need are not going to come from that system. I'm fine to admit that I'm an idealist but the environment is too important to make compromises with.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    My view is that the current student loans system is basically unsustainable. The average student who studies for a 3 year undergraduate degree and borrows an average amount of maintenance loan (i.e. not the increased London rate) will need to earn £35,000 or more every year for 30 years in order to pay back what they've borrowed. This means no time out to have/look after children, no time unemployed or in a low wage job or having a sabbatical, no time out for injury or illness. I would not expect the majority of loans to get paid back in full. I know that real terms interest was introduced to combat this, but high earners will pay back their loans more quickly and may pay off extra lump sums. I don't think this is enough to make up the short fall in the current loan system.

    Due to this, I think something will have to be changed. I'm not sure I'd rely on any political party to keep their promises, but any party which suggests that things can keep going as they are, and that the current funding system is fine are either misinformed or lying. The system does need to be changed.

    Labours sums may not add up, but the sums surrounding the current system don't either.
    Why does it matter if not everybody pays it off? The government makes up the difference, as they would have to do anyway if fees were cut.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    They could use sustainable energy and procure equipment that is carbon neutral/negative. That is within their control just as it is within yours and mine - if anything, with their buying power its easier for them.

    Ironically the subsidies come from DECC - part of the public sector...

    Sure, I was just asking what work didn't do that.
    That's absurd. The NHS is already under enough financial strain as it is, without being forced to personally finance a mass renewables program. The infrastructure doesn't exist. That's not a problem the NHS can solve, it's a healthcare body. It can't implement a nationwide renewables and energy storage array, even if it had the financial resources.

    The public sector has been completely corrupted by corporate involvement, as you well know. If DECC is providing fossil fuel subsidies (which wouldn't surprise me, they're useless and have been gutted by the current government) then that just shows what a terrible influence the fossil fuel lobby has already had.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    That's absurd. The NHS is already under enough financial strain as it is, without being forced to personally finance a mass renewables program. The infrastructure doesn't exist. That's not a problem the NHS can solve, it's a healthcare body. It can't implement a nationwide renewables and energy storage array, even if it had the financial resources.

    The public sector has been completely corrupted by corporate involvement, as you well know. If DECC is providing fossil fuel subsidies (which wouldn't surprise me, they're useless and have been gutted by the current government) then that just shows what a terrible influence the fossil fuel lobby has already had.
    So, going back to my original question:

    'Which industries genuinely operate for the good of mankind and the environment? Any organisations in particular?'

    Is your answer now, 'nowhere'?
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I completely agree that what Labour is planning is less terrible than the status quo. But I'm just fed up with defeatist people crawling over to the "least terrible realistic option" rather than going for something that actually will bring about the change we need. This is particularly important with environmentalists. So many environmentalists have despaired at the lack of change in the world and have basically "given up" fighting for the changes they need for the cause they love. Instead, they start trying to work with the system in the vain hope that they can control the damage by trying to push for slightly less harmful technologies like nuclear energy, or working with corporations to make them slightly less harmful (in return for lots of PR opportunities). This really frustrates me because the environmental movement is losing so much momentum because of these defeatists. The solution for the environment isn't going to come from a capitalist system because as long as you've got companies that operate for profit rather than for good, they're going to work at the expense of the environment. Labour may have their heart in the right place but the solutions we need are not going to come from that system. I'm fine to admit that I'm an idealist but the environment is too important to make compromises with.
    The thing is, you do have to operate in the real world. My main interest is animal welfare, and I do think this is an example of working slowly for change within the system ultimate does lead to improvements. It's research, done by people working inside the system that has brought about changes in the law such as banning battery chicken farming within the EU- the pace of change is slower than I'd like, but things are heading in the right direction.

    Whereas, people pushing for radical change such as the ALF have realistically done much more harm than good. Releasing mink from fur-farms has caused massive harm to native species and ecosystems, for example. Often this type of action has unforseen consequences.

    When I was 17/18, I was very idealistic too, and being idealistic is nice, but to actually affect change, you do normally have to work within the system that exists.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    So, going back to my original question:

    'Which industries genuinely operate for the good of mankind and the environment? Any organisations in particular?'

    Is your answer now, 'nowhere'?
    The public sector, in theory, operates for the good of mankind and the environment since it's directly owned by the people. The fact that this status has been eroded by capitalism doesn't change the fact that it's still the purpose of the public sector.

    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    The thing is, you do have to operate in the real world. My main interest is animal welfare, and I do think this is an example of working slowly for change within the system ultimate does lead to improvements. It's research, done by people working inside the system that has brought about changes in the law such as banning battery chicken farming within the EU- the pace of change is slower than I'd like, but things are heading in the right direction.

    Whereas, people pushing for radical change such as the ALF have realistically done much more harm than good. Releasing mink from fur-farms has caused massive harm to native species and ecosystems, for example. Often this type of action has unforseen consequences.

    When I was 17/18, I was very idealistic too, and being idealistic is nice, but to actually affect change, you do normally have to work within the system that exists.
    Radical environmental change is possible though, it is not a fantasy. Study after study has proven that it is possible so I don't see why we should be going for anything less. Animal welfare is important but in the grand scheme of things, environmental change is absolutely paramount. The changes that we are causing today are going to shape the next millennia on this Earth. That's a length of time that's completely unintelligible for many people but we have to understand that we are gambling with the livelihoods of billions upon billions of unborn people in the future. Conserving the environment isn't some lovely left-wing fantasy, it's literally about maintaining a habitable planet for future generations. If you've got stakes that high, you can't compromise. The kind of compromises Labour is making is not going to prevent catastrophic environmental change from happening. We don't have decades left any more. We had decades left decades ago, but we've left it too late. In order to prevent dangerous climate change by 2100, we literally have under 10 years to start dramatically (and I mean dramatically) cutting our carbon emissions. To say "that's not possible" is to condemn an unimaginable number of people to tremendous hardship and that's putting it very, very lightly.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    The public sector, in theory, operates for the good of mankind and the environment since it's directly owned by the people. The fact that this status has been eroded by capitalism doesn't change the fact that it's still the purpose of the public sector.
    The public sector is owned by the Crown and operates to provide what the people want.

    They so far haven't shown any interest in the UK being genuinely environmentally sustainable. If they did they wouldn't use trains let alone drive cars or eat bananas.
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    (Original post by james22)
    Why does it matter if not everybody pays it off? The government makes up the difference, as they would have to do anyway if fees were cut.
    The idea of the current system is that the government doesn't have to put any money in. It doesn't matter, as such, if they don't, but it's just pretty silly to say "Labour's sums don't add up" when neither do the Conservatives. Any money they do have to put in is not really included in their sums. The system was developed to be self sustaining, but, essentially, it's not.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    The public sector is owned by the Crown and operates to provide what the people want.

    They so far haven't shown any interest in the UK being genuinely environmentally sustainable. If they did they wouldn't use trains let alone drive cars or eat bananas.
    Firstly, it doesn't operate to purely provide what people want. I think you know this perfectly well so I'm not going to dwell on that.
    Secondly, the fact that the public doesn't recognise the importance of environmental change (largely because of corporate involvement in the government) doesn't mean it's not in the public's best interest to conserve the environment.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    The public sector, in theory, operates for the good of mankind and the environment since it's directly owned by the people. The fact that this status has been eroded by capitalism doesn't change the fact that it's still the purpose of the public sector.



    Radical environmental change is possible though, it is not a fantasy. Study after study has proven that it is possible so I don't see why we should be going for anything less. Animal welfare is important but in the grand scheme of things, environmental change is absolutely paramount. The changes that we are causing today are going to shape the next millennia on this Earth. That's a length of time that's completely unintelligible for many people but we have to understand that we are gambling with the livelihoods of billions upon billions of unborn people in the future. Conserving the environment isn't some lovely left-wing fantasy, it's literally about maintaining a habitable planet for future generations. If you've got stakes that high, you can't compromise. The kind of compromises Labour is making is not going to prevent catastrophic environmental change from happening. We don't have decades left any more. We had decades left decades ago, but we've left it too late. In order to prevent dangerous climate change by 2100, we literally have under 10 years to start dramatically (and I mean dramatically) cutting our carbon emissions. To say "that's not possible" is to condemn an unimaginable number of people to tremendous hardship and that's putting it very, very lightly.
    In the nicest way possible, I have graduated from a degree that includes modules on conservation- I do understand why radical environmental change is important.

    However, people are ultimately selfish. Pretty much everyone alive today will be dead by 2100. A lot will be dead by 2050. These are problems for our grandchildren, other people's great-great grandchildren. They are never going to compromise their standard of living for something that most people just do not believe is going to happen. In twenty years time, when the effects are more obvious, they might be. Persuading people of this is the most important thing for the environmentalist movement, and you don't do that by talking down to people.

    Also, everyone believes their specific research interest is the most important and the most paramount.

    I also do feel that we are dragging this thread massively off topic, although it's something I'd be happy to discuss with you further, maybe via PM.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    The idea of the current system is that the government doesn't have to put any money in. It doesn't matter, as such, if they don't, but it's just pretty silly to say "Labour's sums don't add up" when neither do the Conservatives. Any money they do have to put in is not really included in their sums. The system was developed to be self sustaining, but, essentially, it's not.
    No it isn't. They just aren't putting it in directly. This way they pay much less than they would otherwise. It is sustaining so long as the government can afford it (like anything).
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    (Original post by james22)
    No it isn't. They just aren't putting it in directly. This way they pay much less than they would otherwise. It is sustaining so long as the government can afford it (like anything).
    If the system is working as intended, why are the government considering changing repayment terms because they've realised they'll get much less in the way of repayments than they predicted?

    When the fee changes were announced, the use of real terms interest was justified by the government as saying they were intending to make the system self sustaining. If they are happy to keep making up the shortfall, how are they now justifying this?
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Gimmick to try to woo the students , for how many months have we known this announcement was going to be made?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Anything to stop them (us) voting for the Greens!!
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    When i comment on the US i'd point out that they have the best university system in the world, a graduate tax would negate a lot of the issues while still allowing universities to do wonderful things with their money.
    Sarcasm..?
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    (Original post by CJKay)
    Sarcasm..?
    According to league tables.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    My view is that the current student loans system is basically unsustainable. The average student who studies for a 3 year undergraduate degree and borrows an average amount of maintenance loan (i.e. not the increased London rate) will need to earn £35,000 or more every year for 30 years in order to pay back what they've borrowed. This means no time out to have/look after children, no time unemployed or in a low wage job or having a sabbatical, no time out for injury or illness. I would not expect the majority of loans to get paid back in full. I know that real terms interest was introduced to combat this, but high earners will pay back their loans more quickly and may pay off extra lump sums. I don't think this is enough to make up the short fall in the current loan system.

    Due to this, I think something will have to be changed. I'm not sure I'd rely on any political party to keep their promises, but any party which suggests that things can keep going as they are, and that the current funding system is fine are either misinformed or lying. The system does need to be changed.

    Labours sums may not add up, but the sums surrounding the current system don't either.
    How much loan does an average student need to get for the three years of uni education?
 
 
 
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