So, what does the year ahead hold?

For a whole programme of such endeavours that would take even more effort. And time. And either vast data storage capabilities and processing power housed in cooledcomputer farms, or rooms full of old school ring binders. Warehouses even.

Yet for parties in and seeking to come into government it seems like the back of envelopes are all that is needed. It is wearisome to see so little properly calculated about so much that needs to be done. Not enough numbers are crunched, and by those who did not come up through ranks of the numerate.

Economics was often studied instead. Ideas that can be mighty. And wrong. Or broadly sufficient. Whichever, they usually take quite a time to show their outcome. Longer periods of time that career politicians have to consider, or at least worry about. Their time-frames are mightily short, as is their theses. Back of the proverbial envelopes do seem to be sufficient, sadly.

No matter, perhaps, the deeper willingness there may be on the part of the individual, perhaps including the rare person who might come from a STEM way of thinking and experience. The way of doing things allows for big sums and large outcomes to be dealt with summarised, summary fashion. Without consequence, for another envelope will be along.

This is tough to see and hear from the spheres of mayfly politicians and their parties while engineers and those of a STEM persuasion have spent years understanding what needs to be done for long-term pay-offs – investment in education and in science, infrastructure and technology. The essentials to support every community, city, nation and, most practically, if not to be overreaching, civilisation. These should not be political footballs. But those with the envelopes get to also run with the ball.