Skip to content

Majority of Brits unwilling to cut back to fight climate change, poll finds

May 3, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Polls continually show that most people want the government to “do something” about climate change.

Yet when it comes down affecting their lifestyle, it turns out they are not quite so keen after all!



The majority of Britons are unwilling to significantly reduce the amount they drive, fly and eat meat in order to combat climate change, a Sky Data poll reveals.

Just over half – 53% – say they would be unwilling even in principle to significantly reduce the amount they fly, while 28% say they would be willing to give up travelling by plane or reduce the amount they do so significantly (19% say they never fly anyway).

People responding to polls often overclaim their willingness to change their behaviour in ways considered socially desirable – but despite this some 52% say they would be unwilling to reduce the amount of meat they eat much (31%) or at all (21%) to help reduce global warming.

Four in ten say they would be willing to either reduce their meat consumption significantly (35%) or give it up entirely (five percent). A further eight percent do not eat meat.

52% of people would not be willing to eat significantly less meat

A report from the Committee on Climate Change called for people to reduce how much meat they eat and how often they fly.


It also called for the government to bring forward the planned ban on conventional car sales by ten years to 2030, encouraging people to switch to driving electric cars.

Only 28% of people would drive significantly less

Some 56% say they would be unwilling to drive significantly less to protect the environment, with 28% saying they would be willing to reduce the amount they drive significantly or give it up entirely (17% already do not drive).

  1. Immune to propaganda permalink
    May 3, 2019 10:52 am

    Climate change is natural. If the planet is ready to enter an ice age it will. Our politicians and anti capitalists are so conceited to think humans are in control. There is no thermostat!
    CO2 levels have been much higher than today during previous ICE ages. It’s just a tax and control scam.

    • May 3, 2019 12:43 pm

      If these “wizards of smart” want a real climate catastrophe, let’s have another ice age. Just how will they stop that?

      The good news is, that with all the water tied up in ice and the weight to the north tipping the crust, there should be a lot more of Florida. The bad news, however, is that there will be some half mile of ice over New York City. Maybe that is not such bad new after all.

  2. Adrian permalink
    May 3, 2019 11:23 am

    I adamantly refuse to eat less meat because of ‘climate change’.

    Well OK I’m veggie anyway but I’m almost prepared to start eating pig bums and sheep babies just to make a point.

    This is a turmoil, I find myself on the side of the loonies through no fault of my own. Mind you I guess it would be that way whatever I eat.

    • Roy permalink
      May 3, 2019 12:01 pm

      That’s the spirit, Adrian :0)

  3. Colin Brooks permalink
    May 3, 2019 11:31 am

    May I suggest a question to ask any alarmist whether (scientist or protester) to demonstrate their error?
    The question has 2 parts:
    First ask them to list every factor which has an influence on the climate.
    Second ask them to say what the effect of each factor will be and in which direction (i.e. warming or cooling) and then quantify each effect.

    The truth is that human scientific knowledge does not yet include a full understanding of our climate and without complete knowledge prediction is impossible.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      May 3, 2019 11:32 am


      Comparing all the answers should give hours of fun!

    • Roy permalink
      May 3, 2019 12:07 pm

      I recently had an online ‘discussion’ with a warmist and she insisted 100% of recent warming was due to AGW, I asked her a similar question and strangely enough went quiet.

  4. May 3, 2019 11:35 am

    I do everything i can to maximise my CO2 emissions to help green the planet (and my garden, fields and woodland).

    You can’t “fight” or “tackle” climate change as it is virtually all completely natural.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 3, 2019 1:42 pm

      Reminds me that I need to mix up some more 2-stroke to fuel my garden tools.

      • Joe Public permalink
        May 3, 2019 4:03 pm

        Dispense with the usual aftershave, go for something ‘exotic’:

      • angryscotonfragglerock permalink
        May 4, 2019 9:37 am

        I suppose the best way to gauge the public’s commitment to ‘saving the planet’ would be to insist that all lawnmowers, strimmers etc and all sport/pleasure/leasure boats/aircraft/cars and anything else that runs on ‘carbon’ should all be banned unless they had an electric motor. I would suggest that 97% of the UK would rebel! I suppose the savings, WRT the UK total emissions, would be the same as the UK to the ROW!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 4, 2019 4:08 pm

        A drop of Castrol R goes in the mower tank for that classic racing aroma.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      May 3, 2019 3:43 pm

      Phillip & Gerry,

      I prefer the practical approach.
      I don’t drive a large pickup truck to pick up a package of bacon.
      I drive a Subaru that gets better gas mileage and is easier to navigate in city traffic.

  5. Phil permalink
    May 3, 2019 12:11 pm

    Here’s a question every climate scientist should answer. How much of your pension are you willing to bet on temperatures rising x degrees by the year y? The deal being that if you are right your money is doubled, but if you are wrong you lose the lot.

    100%? 97%? 50%? 20%? 5%?

  6. Dave Ward permalink
    May 3, 2019 12:21 pm

    Isn’t it a bit odd (or just utterly hypocritical) that Gummer advocates reducing meat consumption, yet he was the pillock who famously made his daughter eat a beefburger on TV when the BSE crisis was in full swing…

    • Emrys Jones permalink
      May 3, 2019 12:39 pm

      I don’t like Gummer but I detest this notion that because someone did/said something 20 years they must forever be held to it. I change a fair percentage of my views over a 10 year period, and I would most certainly not want to be reminded of many of the things I did/said as a student.

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        May 3, 2019 1:37 pm

        But unfortunately it goes further than that, it would appear that having a peerage and now is head of the Climate Committee he is taking paybacks from those whom he provides with contracts. Not my Idea of a “noble Lord”

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 3, 2019 1:48 pm

        All the evidence points to Gummer being the same tosser now as he was 20 years ago.

      • Joe Public permalink
        May 3, 2019 4:05 pm

        “I would most certainly not want to be reminded of many of the things I did/said as a student.”

        But Gummer wasn’t a student when he pulled that stunt, he was agriculture minister.

  7. Gerry, England permalink
    May 3, 2019 1:52 pm

    Has any honest survey ever found that the majority are willing to pay more or reduce their lifestyle?

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 3, 2019 2:35 pm

    I’m trying to figure out how, in law, the government of the day in 2030 intends to start closing down car factories and dealerships (of new cars) that don’t have access to sales of electric cars. How many people are they prepared to throw on the dole?

    Note: There were 2.37 million new car registrations in the UK during 2018 – down by just under 6.8 per cent on 2017. But just under 60,000 EVs were sold in the same period.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 4, 2019 4:10 pm

      Ford sold more Fiestas than EVs sold – puts a bit of perspective on it especially when they cherry-pick the percentage change in EV sales to mask the tiny numbers.

  9. buchanlad permalink
    May 3, 2019 2:36 pm

    Electric cars ? Emissions not smart at all if you include all the costs . Both diesel and petrol much cleaner ( except in cities agreed ).
    Where I live big mileages are inevitable and few reliable trains , it seems years – if ever – before electric cars can compete .
    Wind ? Dont start me . The big one 550 meters away has made me ill , I consciously try and spend less time in my own house and the garden is often impossible .
    Biomass ? Just a shocking scam . Very few seem to work properly .
    Meat ? We grow beef and lamb on grass that cannot be cropped or produce products for non meat eaters . It seems vegans et al do not consider their requirements to import food threaten both more rainforest and other people’s existing food demands . Its called displacement and is another example of the selfish , naive and greedy behaviour that seems to distinguish modern virtue signalling fashion and lifestyle .

    • dave permalink
      May 4, 2019 9:03 am

      The high cost of producing meat is mainly the (biological and energetic) cost of producing the (necessary-to-human-health) protein and vitamins of the animal. If we only needed calories, a cup of sugar twice a day would indeed suffice.

      As Primates, we come from omnivores with a leaning to plant food; but, as Hominids, we have more recently evolved a leaning to animal food. And we have developed what is almost a compulsion, to consume food and drink ten times a day as a social ritual. I know we often eat alone, but that is generally a failure to find a companion.

      For us, a pound of starch will NOT substitute for a pound of beef. And, in addition, there is the fact that starch and sugar already are in gross excess in our diet.

  10. bobn permalink
    May 3, 2019 4:59 pm

    Well the AGW nutters should be asking us to fly more. Jet exhausts condense the upper atmosphere into cirrus clouds (contrails) and provide particles to the atmosphere helping cloud formation (neucleation). High level cirrus clouds screen and reflect sunlight (albedo) reducing global warming while providing little insulation for radiation back from the surface far below. Hence Jet travel reduces natural global warming. (Note: low-level cumulus clouds appear to work opposite providing a net warming effect due to insulation close to the surface). So I propose that extinct rebels, greens and all the idiot MPs are launched into the upper atmosphere to circle in perpetuity in order to counter the warming that is terrifying them.

  11. May 3, 2019 5:02 pm

    This is what Pielke calls his “iron law” of climate policy.

    As I see it, if you ask someone if they are concerned about climate change they will say yes, as they know that is the “correct” answer. But when it comes to taking action, most won’t, showing that they aren’t really concerned at all.

  12. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    May 3, 2019 5:20 pm

    The final question of the survey should have been “are you willing to do all of the above”

    • May 3, 2019 6:57 pm

      Yes. I bet most of those who said they would cut back won’t in practice

  13. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 3, 2019 8:28 pm

    As I haven’t flown since the 1970’s, have never owned a car and can’t afford to eat much meat, I don’t think I can personally reduce these things.
    Yet many rich “climate change” proponents make dozens of flights a year, have several homes and cars and probable eat a lot of meat.
    But apparently if they cut down on those things they will consider themselves to have “saved the planet”,
    It seems to me that this will hit the poor much more than the rich.

  14. jack broughton permalink
    May 3, 2019 8:28 pm

    The media do not tell people what the real present and future costs of the CCA are. They emphasise the fear campaign and how everyone is following their INDCs.

    If people were told that they could spend £40b plus on virtue signals that will contribute barely a drop in the ocean to the world’s CO2 rather than on health, education etc, and simultaneously drive industry from the UK I think the answer would be shouted out!

    Maybe some reporter will take it on, but seems unlikely.

    The “i” have given their own Horrorbin,Tom Bawden, pages every day to stoke up the fear campaign.

  15. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 3, 2019 8:56 pm

    I heard a discussion on R4 in which it was said that you didn’t have to reduce the number of flights you took, as long as you offset them by planting trees.
    So again the rich will get away with it while the poor will actually have to reduce the number of flights.
    Apart from that, I doubt if there is enough free space to plant all the trees necessary to offset everyone’s flights.

  16. Mack permalink
    May 3, 2019 10:46 pm

    I would be willing to eat significantly less ‘Greens’ if that would help shut them up!

  17. Ian permalink
    May 4, 2019 11:12 am

    Just glanced through my Saturday paper. 28 pages of holiday adverts. Clearly, these people didn’t get the memo.

  18. tom0mason permalink
    May 4, 2019 12:59 pm

    Things that make me go “ah-humm”
    Sorry it’s a bit off topic but it is about Green policies and flying….

    The DLR, German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany, has just publish a piece about green electricity generation (Windfarms) and flying insects.

    ” For 25 years, Franz Trieb has worked in the Energy Systems Analysis Department of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). …
    … Trieb: First, we conducted extensive research, collecting and evaluating existing scientific data. Based on this data, we created our own model calculation. On the one hand, this model calculation is based on an average insect density of around three creatures per 1000 cubic metres of air at the level of the wind turbine rotors. This figure was based on regular insect catches over Schleswig Holstein by entomologists between 1998 and 2004[2]. On the other hand, for our model calculation, we extrapolated the volumetric flow, that is, the ‘air throughput’ of all the wind farms in Germany. Here, there are around 30,000 wind turbines with a total rotor area of around 160 square kilometres, which with a nominal wind speed of 50 kilometres per hour reach an average of 1000 nominal full load hours during the insect flying season from April to October. By simply multiplying these numbers, we calculated a seasonal air flow rate of about eight million cubic kilometres – that is more than 10 times the total German airspace up to a height of two kilometres. If one multiplies the insect density and airflow rate, then around 24,000 billion airborne insects fly through the rotors in Germany each year. …

    So the Greens enjoy flying but through their action will kill so many billions of flying insects.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: