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Climate change: Big lifestyle changes ‘needed to cut emissions’-DEFRA Chief Scientist

August 29, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Robin Guenier

 

Harrabin seems to be getting a bit unpopular with climate scientists these days, as he has begun highlighting how peoples’ current lifestyles are totally incompatible with our “climate change obligations”.

In which case, this latest report won’t help his cause!

 image

People must use less transport, eat less red meat and buy fewer clothes if the UK is to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the government’s chief environment scientist has warned.

Prof Sir Ian Boyd said the public had little idea of the scale of the challenge from the so-called Net Zero emissions target.

However, he said technology would help.

The conundrum facing the UK – and elsewhere – was how we shift ourselves away from consuming, he added.

In an interview with BBC News, Sir Ian warned that persuasive political leadership was needed to carry the public through the challenge.

Asked whether Boris Johnson would deliver that leadership, he declined to comment.

Mr Johnson has already been accused by environmentalists of talking up electric cars whilst reputedly planning a cut in driving taxes that would increase emissions and undermine the electric car market.

Sir Ian said polluting activities should incur more tax. He believes the Treasury should reform taxation policy to reward people with low-carbon lifestyles and nudge heavy consumers into more frugal patterns of behaviour.

It was vital, he said, for the changes to be fair to all parts of society.

He also believes Net Zero won’t happen unless the government creates a Net Zero ministry to vet the policies of all government departments in the way the Brexit ministry vets Brexit-related decisions.

Emissions won’t be reduced to Net Zero while ministers are fixed on economic growth measured by GDP, instead of other measures such as environmental security and a relatively stable climate, he argued.

Asked why the UK should take the lead when China’s emissions are so high, he answered that the Chinese government was very worried about the climate and was taking it very seriously.

Sir Ian, a polar expert with a chair in biology at St Andrews University, suggested that the UK was in a good position to show the world how to achieve Net Zero. But he agreed that similar radical action was ultimately needed by all nations.

He said that on broader issues the government had produced (or was in the process of producing) impressive strategies on the environment, waste, air pollution, marine and food.

Some ministers were enthusiastic to translate these into firm strategies, but they needed support from the public, he said. He confessed that he was not optimistic about the future of the planet because so many systems of government needed to change in a short time.

Sir Ian, who leaves Defra on Thursday after seven years in post, said: "The way we live our lives is generally not good for the environment.

"We like to consume things, but the more we consume the more we absorb the resources of the planet.

"That means we have to grow those resources or we have to mine them – and in doing that we generate waste. And consumption is going up all the time.

"(There’s) a conundrum – how do we shift ourselves from consuming? We need to do more about learning to live sustainably. We talk about sustainability but we don’t really know what it means.

"We need to make major technological advances in the way we use and reuse materials but we (also) need to reduce demand overall – and that means we need to change our behaviours and change our lifestyles.

"We certainly won’t be able to travel so much as we have in the past, so we have to get used to using modern communications methods.

"Moving material round the planet will be more difficult so we’ll have to do more with 3D printing; that sort of thing.

"We’ve got to reduce demand to a much greater extent than we have in the past, and if we don’t reduce demand we’re not going to reduce emissions.

"Emissions are a symptom of consumption and unless we reduce consumption we’ll not reduce emissions.

"It will very rarely come down to a direct message like ‘sorry, you can’t buy that but you can buy this’. But there will be stronger messages within the (tax) system that make one thing more attractive than the other."

Richard Black, from the think tank Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said Sir Ian’s words were "somewhat surprising".

He added: "They appear to contradict the mass of evidence assembled on getting to Net Zero, including the major report from the government’s statutory adviser the Committee on Climate Change."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49499521?

Note that Harrabin’s chum, Richard Black, still persists with the lie that all we have to do is flood the country with wind mills, drive EVs etc, and the planet will be saved. This has been the official message all along.

Sir Ian Boyd has lifted the lid on the reality of the programme. We will all have to accept big lifestyle changes – travel less, eat less, consume less.

And forget about cheap imports from Asia, because these simply offshore emissions.

As Sir Ian points out, this is likely to mean much higher taxes on sinful consumption. Of course, this won’t matter to Elton John and co, who can afford to pay for their indulgencies.

But eventually some form of compulsion or rationing will be necessary, if climate targets are to be met.

The Science and Technology Select Committee let the cat out of the bag last week, when they officially announced “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation”.

 

So far, the government has got away with the costs of decarbonisation by blaming the energy companies for high energy costs, which their own policies have been responsible for.

However, most of the cherries have been picked from that particular tree. Soon, the public will be directly affected, for instance when their central heating boilers and cars have to be replaced by expensive and impractical alternatives.

When they ultimately find themselves being told what they can and cannot consume, where they can travel and what foods they are allowed to eat, they will be furious about the way they have been misled.

47 Comments
  1. swan101 permalink
    August 29, 2019 5:47 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

    • Michael Adams permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:43 pm

      I’ve blogged this before but it is very apt here.

      “Increasingly people don’t believe in God and therefore don’t adhere to a religion. Since the basic object of organised religion is to exert power and control over the people, the “elite” need a new religion to reinstate that power/control and that everybody can subscribe to. The new religion is called the Climate Change Emergency. It has all the hallmarks of a religion; scaring people in to believing they are doomed if they don’t change their ways, offering them salvation, as the one true religion, if they agree to change their ways and giving them an organisation that will take over the thinking process to come up with ways to said salvation. The last piece of the puzzle is to brand non-believers as evil idiots who are trying to subvert that salvation, such wickedness. What a neat power grab.”

      Even if you adhere to this new religion it won’t be long before the original principles will be corrupted in to something ever more controlling and warped. Just look at the main religions of the world. Blind faith will be demanded as it has started to be with this one.

      • Ken Warren permalink
        August 31, 2019 12:39 am

        Quite so! Moreover it was perhaps inevitable that the Church of Global Warming, having been modelled on Mediaeval Christianity (transgression and retribution, sin and atonement etc), would adopt the principle of indulgences, whereby a sinner rich enough could buy time off purgatory. So it was that Elton John defended his funding of Harry and Meghan’s trip by private jet by virtue of his payment to an organization who promise to offset its carbon footprint.

        Indulgences were a total rip-off of course, purgatory having no basis in scripture, and the “offsetting” charade is similarly baseless. CO2 feeds the plants that feed the world, and emitting it is not a sin.

  2. August 29, 2019 5:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

  3. Martin Burlin permalink
    August 29, 2019 5:57 pm

    And the lights will still go out

  4. DevonCamel permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:06 pm

    The creation of a Net Zero ministry. Words fail.

  5. Joe Public permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:08 pm

    Harrabin’s a pathetic, sycophantic interviewer who allowed this false claim to be made unchallenged:

    “Asked why the UK should take the lead when China’s emissions are so high, (Prof Sir Ian Boyd ) answered that the Chinese government was very worried about the climate and was taking it very seriously.”

    If Harrabin read your blog he’d realise how ludicrous Boyd’s claim was.

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/china-still-expanding-coal-power-capacity/

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/chinas-thermal-generation-rose-7-2-in-2018/

    Or maybe he read just the headline:

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/chinas-emissions-could-peak-10-years-earlier-than-paris-climate-pledge-claim-carbon-brief/

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      August 30, 2019 8:10 am

      Well said Joe – that’s the main reason I drew this report to Paul’s attention.

      Day after day the media is full of people telling us about the sacrifices we must make to reduce our emissions – and thereby save the planet – while completely ignoring the reality that economies that are the source of 70% of emissions are carrying on regardless.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      August 31, 2019 9:24 am

      Joe,
      It’s my view that Harrabin, McGrath and the rest do read this blog, and WUWT, GWPF and perhaps even RealClimateScience; not the comments are read though. I base this on the fact that woven into Harrabin’s reports are “responses” to points raise on sceptical websites. I’m not sure if he reads anything too technical.
      It always strikes me what a sharp dresser he is even when reporting from a helicopter over some remote piece of somewhere on the other side of the world and how at odds with concern for conservation that all is.

  6. sassycoupleok permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:14 pm

    Net Zero leading the UK back to the stone age where people will starve and freeze to death.

    • buxtond permalink
      August 30, 2019 8:47 am

      Yes, now that comment really does make sense. Can a government actually kill its own People, is ther not a Health’n safety thingy somwhere??

      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 30, 2019 9:09 am

        Lots of communist or socialist governments have killed millions of their own people.

      • sassycoupleok permalink
        August 30, 2019 1:31 pm

        Exactly right, it’s their DNA !! Control the population and the wealth.

  7. jack broughton permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:17 pm

    The media / chatterati are almost becoming hysterical in their hyperbole about their doom forecasts. Almost any weather event or even article about aliens has to include some clap-trap about the impending global warming disaster.

    The “i” today had the usual Tom Bawden drivel about approaching doom due to increased rainfall in the UK!

    They do not seem to be actually getting through to the majority of people,who are more concerned with maintaining their rapidly deteriorating lifestyles than tilting at dragons.

    Fortunately, the man on the clapham bus has more sense than the “saviours of the world” realise.

  8. markl permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:22 pm

    You go first or shut up.

  9. Ariane permalink
    August 29, 2019 6:36 pm

    It has always been about change of lifestyle and promoting alarm, fear and poverty. The very first director of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, talked about it. The point of punishing the emissions of CO2 was to close down industrial life and reduce economic growth for ordinary folk. In the olden days the rich maintained power over the poor via religion. ‘God is watching you. Be very afraid.’ Now when gods are believed in less, the rich continue to try to dominate the rest of us by promoting global warming and climate alarm and via current so-called environmentalism.

    • Phillip Bratby permalink
      August 29, 2019 6:45 pm

      The first chairman was British, namely Sir Robert Watson (if my memory serves me well).

      • Ariane permalink
        August 30, 2019 11:38 am

        Phillip Bratby, yes, IPCC leaders: first chair was Bert Bolin (a Swedish atmospheric physicist), second Sir Robert Watson (scientist an outspoken advocate of environmental causes) and third Rajendra Pachauri (railroad engineer.) See Michael Hart’s ‘Hubris.’

    • August 29, 2019 7:03 pm

      I had the privilege of asking Bob Watson at a Guardian climate debate hosted by George Monbiot -.- Needless to say he could not answer my question so he blustered and Moonbat would not allow me a follow up. Interestingly Jeremy Corbin’s brother was in the audience but when he tried to speak in support of my question Monbiot told him to shut up or he would be thrown out ^.^

      • August 29, 2019 7:04 pm

        asking a question Doh!

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        August 29, 2019 7:29 pm

        Moonbat shutting down debate? Never!

      • Ariane permalink
        August 30, 2019 11:41 am

        Colin, there you have it: the fear they have to be shown up for the ideologues and non-scientists they are. Piers Corbyn, brilliant, so has to be kept out of ‘debate’ or he’ll prove them publicly to be what they are.

  10. August 29, 2019 7:02 pm

    It is so sad to see otherwise intelligent men pushing for tyranny and loss of freedoms because of a still unproven premise of man caused global warming. As always, china is the big enemy here with massive pollution and energy consumption and over population, yet Sir Ian Boyd thinks harming the U.K. is the way to proceed into the future with what, perhaps a 2% maximum impact by the U.K.? I would certainly like to see him prove that carbon dioxide in even double levels of current CO2 is harmful for the world.

  11. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    August 29, 2019 7:28 pm

    Dept. For the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs used to be a joke…….

    • August 29, 2019 8:11 pm

      I knew it as the Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Activities. That was in the days of Blair, who hated the countryside and farming, and said we should import all our food.

      • john cooknell permalink
        August 29, 2019 9:03 pm

        Any evidence for this clain

  12. cajwbroomhill permalink
    August 29, 2019 8:24 pm

    Every snakeoil sales person must be asked “Why are you telling me this”?
    Theirs is the onus of proof.

  13. Up2snuff permalink
    August 29, 2019 8:37 pm

    I like the (mis) use of the word ‘virtually’ nineteen words into Harrabin’s article.

    If I plug an exotic PC into the mains and use some fancy electronic goggles, I can halt all the greenhouse gas emissions in the world while carrying on with my life normally, then, eh Roger? Fantastic! How much will the kit cost me?

  14. Up2snuff permalink
    August 29, 2019 8:55 pm

    I rather doubt Professor Sir Ian Boyd’s credentials after this: “”Moving material round the planet will be more difficult so we’ll have to do more with 3D printing; that sort of thing.”

    Aside from the electricity to build and power the PC & printer (let alone all the power used when designing the software & specifying the designs) I will let you take the last seat (of 66) in the 3-D printed bus, Professor, before it drives over the 3-D printed river bridge for the 35,000th time in bad weather on a dark night.

    I’ll cross over elsewhere and if you have been kind enough to allow me to buy a decent, up-to-date mobile phone, maybe I will see enough and be quick enough to be the one to call the emergency services out.

    • mikewaite permalink
      August 29, 2019 10:33 pm

      And they will cycle, as quickly as their protein deficient legs can manage, to the Prof’s rescue.

  15. john cooknell permalink
    August 29, 2019 9:32 pm

    Sir Ian says “We talk about sustainability but we don’t really know what it means.”

    Well I agree with him on that, nobody knows.

    Most of the world is governed by gangsters, I have travelled the world and seen abject poverty, and the effects of famine, racial and religious conflict and war. Places where parents carry their dead children up the streets in sacks every afternoon, I have wept at unbelievable sights of desperate humanity that will not leave my brain. However I never saw anybody die of Climate Change, and I suspect I never will.

    In all these places I met the UN, Charities, World Bank etc etc and met very few of them who were actually helping. Occasionally military men were actually useful and did actually try to turn things around. I was at times grateful for a trustworthy soldier with a gun.

    Sir Ian is fortunate to live in a civilised State where he can pontificate his hypocritical views without fear, I suggest he goes to any 3rd world country and try to convince himself he knows what he is talking about.

  16. Pancho Plail permalink
    August 29, 2019 9:42 pm

    And for comparison, what changes in our lifestyle would be necessary as a result of a rise in average temperatures of a degree or two?

    • Ariane permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:02 pm

      Pancho, exactly. So here you see that it’s not really the warming that’s the problem; it’s the fact that we are wealthy and industrialized. The campaign to get us to believe that a ‘change in lifestyle’ is needed is actually a campaign to make us believe we should be poor. The rest is scientists huffing and puffing in order to keep their funds coming in and media trying to sell their stuff by making the read alarming.

  17. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    August 29, 2019 11:16 pm

    No doubt Sir Ian is a splendid chap and brilliant zoologist but he has a condition common to moralising preachers viz. nosism: “… from the Latin nos, “we”, is the practice of using the pronoun “we” to refer to oneself when expressing a personal opinion …” (Wiki).
    There were about 30 ‘we’s in the quote of about 360 words.
    When they use ‘we’, that means you.

  18. martinbrumby permalink
    August 29, 2019 11:25 pm

    “Prof” Sir Ian, when you leave DEFRA on Thursday, we all hope the door doesn’t swing and hit your @rse.

    But, no doubt DEFRA will have scoured the planet to find someone even more dopey to replace you.

  19. HotScot permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:26 am

    Well, there is one certain way of killing the climate ‘debate’ stone dead, settled science or otherwise, and that is to threaten corporations by telling the public they should buy and consume less.

    Everything on this planet is funded by consumerism. So, as the saying goes, when your opponent is making a mistake, don’t interrupt him. (paraphrasing)

  20. Broadlands permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:29 am

    “Emissions are a symptom of consumption and unless we reduce consumption we’ll not reduce emissions.”

    (1) “We” includes all those who are procreating more consumers with “carbon feet” in need of energy.
    (2) Lowering emissions does not lower CO2 already in the atmosphere. And while “we” are lowering it more will have to be added until “we” reach zero. In how many years?….please. The carbon spigot cannot be turned off in an instant.

  21. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 30, 2019 9:00 am

    I think there need to be big lifestyle changes at DEFRA. A clearout of extremist greens, and finding some real scientists would be a good start.

    • Ariane permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:15 pm

      It doesn’t add up, tell your MP to make it happen or you won’t vote for him/her.

  22. August 30, 2019 9:02 am

    Turned on Sky news this morning only to be told that due to climate change we have to change our buying habits for clothes. No mention of how clothes are produced by child labour and sweat shops and even slave labour in India , china , Korea to name a few.
    So what is UK planning for Brexit Trade free ports. The whole of Africa is a free trade zone. So more goods can be imported with less checks on there source. Who cares if child and slave labour is used.
    They talk about the Climate killing us. The street kids in Manila walk among the busy streets and cars. Begging or selling what they can. If the cars don’t kill them the exhaust from the cars will. In Manila most can not afford catalytic converters the Jeepney’s (Jeeps converted into mini busses) and trisikad (motor cycles with sidecars) and old cars belch out black smoke. This car pollution and living on the street without enough food or shelter sanitation or clean drinking water will shorten anyone lives. Some turn to alcohol or drugs or sell there bodies to sex tourists.
    So worrying about the fashion industry its sustainability and contribution to the mythical climate change should not even be a topic let alone a priority.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      August 30, 2019 9:47 am

      The UK’s proportion of manmade CO2 release is negligible at 0.3 of 1% of theglobal t

    • Ariane permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:12 pm

      Bsides2015, the anti-CO2 lobby has never cared about poverty. it was always their actual aim to encourage poverty, to cause deindustrialization and to reduce economic growth. That is why the anti-CO2 lobby is fundamentally wicked.

  23. Cirrus de Lion permalink
    August 30, 2019 10:10 am

    Why doesn’t the BBC tell us that UK emits about one per cent of global CO2 and nothing we do can have any effect on year 2100. The magisterial BP annual energy analysis is a couple of clicks away on a BBC researcher’s PC – oh sorry, the BBC doesn’t do research any more.

  24. Michael Adams permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:41 pm

    I’ve blogged this before but it is very apt here.

    “Increasingly people don’t believe in God and therefore don’t adhere to a religion. Since the basic object of organised religion is to exert power and control over the people, the “elite” need a new religion to reinstate that power/control and that everybody can subscribe to. The new religion is called the Climate Change Emergency. It has all the hallmarks of a religion; scaring people in to believing they are doomed if they don’t change their ways, offering them salvation, as the one true religion, if they agree to change their ways and giving them an organisation that will take over the thinking process to come up with ways to said salvation. The last piece of the puzzle is to brand non-believers as evil idiots who are trying to subvert that salvation, such wickedness. What a neat power grab.”

    Even if you adhere to this new religion it won’t be long before the original principles will be corrupted in to something ever more controlling and warped. Just look at the main religions of the world. Blind faith will be demanded as it has started to be with this one.

    • Ariane permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:57 pm

      Michael Adams, absolutely. And the fear too. If we emit CO2 Greenland will melt and sea levels will rise and London and New York will sink for ever etc.

  25. Harry Passfield permalink
    August 30, 2019 1:18 pm

    Someone mentioned a ‘Net Zero Ministry’ An NZ ministry.
    Well, with a bit of ‘AI’ in the name (artificial intelligence?) they would aptly describe the proper name for such an organisation

  26. Ivan permalink
    August 30, 2019 1:25 pm

    Around 200 years ago, oysters and salmon were poor man’s food. Apprentices would have written into their contract that they would be fed something other than salmon at least one day a week. But we overfished them, and the price increase choked off demand. Recently we learned to farm salmon, and it isn’t so expensive any more, though still not the cheapest meat as it once was. Were we outraged? It happened gradually, and it was overwhelmed by other factors improving people’s overall wealth and lifestyle, so mainly it was the fishermen who were impacted by the change.

    We have brought in numerous quality and safety standards that we could never have afforded in the past, and which are still largely absent in very poor countries, because it would be too much of a burden on the poor – as 200 years ago most of us were – to be forced to buy items of this quality.

    Economic growth and the impact of technical change is now slower. There is still amazing technical change, but it doesn’t seem as impactful as the introduction of electricity, the agricultural revolution, etc.

    Making people use low carbon methods will inevitably increase cost of transport, heat, etc(claims otherwise are increasingly seen as over-optimistic.) Will this make us poorer, or will economic growth surpass the level of cost increase imposed, as it did with the things I mentioned above? Forecasting is difficult, especially about the future. It is unsurprising there are large disagreements and controversies about the net practical economic impact of these things.

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