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No Airports, No Imports–Welcome To Year Zero!

February 21, 2020

By Paul Homewood



I took a quick look at this story the other day, but have now had time to read the report it was based on:



To many people, “saving the planet” means little more than building wind farms, planting trees and using less plastic. However it is gradually beginning to dawn on the public that the impact on their lives will be substantial.

Even then though, things like scrapping gas boilers and moving to electric cars have been something that “won’t happen for decades, so why worry now?”

However a new study, sponsored by the UK Government, has warned that huge changes to our lifestyles will be necessary, and much sooner than we think, if zero emission targets are to be met.

The report by UK FIRES, called Absolute Zero, calls for all UK airports to be shut by 2050, because there are no practical alternatives for zero emission flight. But as part of this timetable, all airports other than Heathrow, Glasgow and Belfast must shut by 2030.

In a stroke, air travel will be effectively banned for most of the country, as Heathrow simply would not have the capacity to handle more than a small proportion of demand. (Heathrow currently carries a quarter of UK passengers).


But that is just one item on a long list of changes to be forced on the British public. The report concludes that we cannot bank on technological innovations coming to our rescue.

If you thought that we could simply rely on renewable energy, forget it. As UK FIRES points out, even with rapid growth of renewables, we will still need to cut our energy use by 40%, even before air travel and shipping are factored in. And all of this without accounting for the projected population increase.

So forget about electric cars being the solution, because we will not have enough electricity to power them. The recommendation from UK FIRES – have 40% less cars on the road. Their suggestion – use the train more, ignoring the sky high prices, the fact that railways offer very limited routes and how you are supposed to travel around when you get to your destination. The idea that we will all willingly give up our cars to travel by rail or bus is utterly naive.

The report also conveniently ignores the high carbon dioxide footprint in building electric cars in the first place.

Heating is another area where we must cut emissions. UK FIRES expect us to buy heat pumps, seemingly oblivious to the fact they will cost each household a good £10k more than our conventional boilers. They also don’t appear to realise that heat pumps are incapable of supplying the heat we need in the middle of winter, or that the power grid simply could not cope with that sort of spike in demand even if they could.

Or maybe they do! Their guidance includes using heating for less time, in fewer rooms and wearing warm clothes in winter.

Our diet does not escape either, as we will have to give up eating beef and lamb, not to mention frozen ready meals. While we are expected to rely on arable farming instead, they also want fertiliser use to be drastically reduced.

Meanwhile the construction industry is likely to grind to a halt, as cement is phased out. Unfortunately the actual making of cement releases emissions, regardless of the source of the energy used.

Forget about housebuilding, new hospitals and infrastructure, they want us to concentrate on retrofit and adaptation of existing buildings.

Ironically, as even the report admits, we don’t know how to install new renewables or make new energy efficient buildings without cement.

If all of this was not bad enough, they want to ban all imports by 2050, unless they can come via rail, which might be a problem given that we are an island! Of course, we don’t have zero emission freight ships at the moment, and are unlikely to in the foreseeable future.

Quite how we are expected to feed ourselves without importing food is a mystery, unless we return to 1940s style rationing. And you can forget about all of those other things get from abroad now.

What about, for instance, computers and electronics? We will quickly become an international backwater, without access to the latest technology. It would be like the country returning to 1990s style Nokia phones, VHS and floppy discs!

Some may be substituted by UK made goods, but it is hard to see how industrial capacity could be built back up with the restrictions planned on construction, energy use and industrial emissions.

But it is not only the emissions from shipping which concerns the authors. They also say we must be responsible for all emissions from the production of imported goods.

So how, you might ask, are we supposed to live in this glorious, emission free future?

UK FIRES says we must not worry! We can apparently carry on doing the things we enjoy most, totally emission free. Things like sports, social life, eating, hobbies, games,computing, reading, TV, radio, volunteering and sleeping! According to the report, “we can all do more of these without any impact on emissions.”

Indeed, with the economy and industry destroyed, most of us will have much more time on our hands for these pursuits! (Climate scientists and bureaucrats excluded, naturally).

Nowhere in this dismal little report is there any acknowledgement of the fact that the UK only generates 1% of global emissions. The report starts by stating:

We have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050: that’s what climate scientists tell us, it’s what social protesters are asking for and it’s now the law in the UK.

Wrecking the economy is not something we should do, just because a few eco-loon protestors are asking for it. And laws can, of course, be changed.

We must however thank the authors of this report for bringing home the very real and damaging effect that the mad rush to decarbonise will have on peoples’ lives.

And, as they have rightly stated, these changes will have to start being put into practice very soon, certainly during this decade.

For too long, the impact and cost of the Climate Change Act has been deliberately hidden from the public. Partly this has been the result of a political conspiracy between all of the major political parties and establishment in general. It has also been aided and abetted by all of the media, with a handful of notable exceptions.

But their dirty little secret cannot be covered up for much longer.

  1. February 21, 2020 7:34 pm

    I am unable to write a comment because it increases my carbon footprint.

    • February 21, 2020 9:07 pm

      Don’t forget breathing! That must be banned too if we are to meet our targets.

      • Sean permalink
        February 21, 2020 9:52 pm

        I’m still wondering how long it’s going to be before we see someone trying to justify “removing their carbon footprint to save the planet” as a defense in a murder trial.

        I’m reminded of the old fortune-file entry “/earth is 97% full. Please delete anyone you can.”

  2. jack broughton permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:35 pm

    The lack of journalists challenging these idiotic policies is obvious and reflects the lack of real investigative writers who can challenge the establishment. The BBC is wed to the madness from top to bottom, but why has the ITV followed the same line?

  3. Simon Kelly permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:39 pm

    Thank heavens for Melanie Phillips. An oasis of journalistic sense.

  4. The Man at the Back permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:41 pm

    If you are dumb enough suggest some of these ridiculous strategies for the UK, while the rest of the world carries on regardless, you must really be on the Kool-Aid.

    Such deep believe will cause many a brain to implode in the coming decades as it becomes obvious that the whole CO2 scam is literally that.

    I have been a lukewarmer for ever and day, having absorbed and taught the GH Effect over the last half century or so. If one has an open mind and views the available science – rather than making an assumption, it increasingly looks as though CO2 has little or no effect on global temperature and thus no effect on climate.

    Just recently –

    “The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery Is Not Ignorance—It Is the Illusion of Knowledge”

  5. Broadlands permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:46 pm

    “But it is not only the emissions from shipping which concerns the authors. They also say we must be responsible for all emissions from the production of imported goods.”

    What about the emissions from the Horse-and-Buggy ‘renewables’ on the roads without concrete or asphalt. Compost fertilizer?

    • Adrian Johnson permalink
      February 25, 2020 4:50 pm

      Many years ago there was a clever invention involving recycled glass into “glassfalt” as road paving, which used no petroleum products; and lasted 10 time longer that current asphalt.
      Time to recycle this idea.

  6. Pancho Plail permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:50 pm

    I am struggling how unilaterally closing UK airports is going to work, with the rest of the world still continuing to fly. The rest of the world would simply bypass the UK and quite frankly laugh at the stupid virtue signalling Brits.

  7. Pancho Plail permalink
    February 21, 2020 7:51 pm

    My comment should obviously have started with “I am struggling to see how…”

    • Mack permalink
      February 21, 2020 9:51 pm

      I’m just struggling mate! Any government minister advocating this nonsense should be sectioned immediately.

  8. Will davis permalink
    February 21, 2020 8:32 pm

    If only the media were made to published the UHA satellite/baloon data every month in MSM/BBC along with a graph showing the CO2 increase over the years, then perhapps our politcians will take notice. The relationship between the two will clearly show that CO2 has very little influence on world temperatures. The UK’s contribution is minuscule withor without the CCA. If the data is easily available then the public will realise that they have been mislead.

  9. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 21, 2020 8:47 pm

    On a DT comments thread: “BoJo is Cambodian slang for Pol Pot.”
    Shame. It would have been more honest for me to vote Lucas. (spit)

  10. geoh777 permalink
    February 21, 2020 8:58 pm

    “… beginning to dawn on the public that the impact on their lives will be substantial.”

    That is a gross understatement. Most people in the temperate zones would die of malnutrition or winter cold. Speaking for the US and Canada, the only people who would survive would be the “first white settler type,” the very wealthy who could prepare, or those who stay in or relocate to or near the equatorial zone.

  11. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 21, 2020 9:04 pm

    I haven’t read this WUWT article in detail yet but it is the blatant truth of the matter:-

    “In the context of the massive expansion of CO2 emissions from the Underdeveloped world, any CO2 reduction efforts in the EU(28) or just in the UK alone would be acts of massive self-harm and clearly futile.”

    Our politicians have gone insane and Boris will be another Macron.

  12. GeoffB permalink
    February 21, 2020 9:32 pm

    As I said before on this topic. Lets make sure it makes the front page of every MSM. It will get the “man on the clapham omnibus” aware of the consequences of implementing The Climate Change Act. My dream would be for protests at COP26 from ordinary people to stop all this zero carbon rubbish.It happened in Chile for COP25.

    • Ariane permalink
      February 22, 2020 10:58 am

      An alternative version of COP26 is being planned and I agree it would be great to have people with banners and posters protesting outside COP26. A banner could read: ‘More CO2 emissions for economic growth!’ Then you’d see who really understood what the ban on CO2 is actually all about.

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 21, 2020 9:49 pm

    With data only up to the 20th, we already have a record month for wind farm constraint payments. Undoubtedly more to come over the next few days.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      February 21, 2020 10:41 pm

      So far this year they have racked up almost 50% of the most expensive previous year and we aren’t 2 months in yet. The costs appear to be ramping up like an IPCC temperature model output.

  14. David permalink
    February 21, 2020 9:55 pm

    It’s quite understandable that Mr & Ms average are falling for the GW rubbish because there is virtually no departure from it by any of the media. Surely if Boris sits down for a think for ten minutes the truth must dawn on him. Is he just too scared of being hounded out of office by pointing out the urgent need for an about turn? Apparently Donald has seen the light!

    • StephenP permalink
      February 22, 2020 8:54 am

      He’s probably more worried about being kicked out of bed.

    • Ariane permalink
      February 22, 2020 11:02 am

      Who is Donald?

  15. M E permalink
    February 21, 2020 10:07 pm

    If CO 2 is not what causes the global temperature to vary there is no point in stopping emissions of a normal atmospheric gas.
    This programme of cutting down on producing this gas will only provide wotk for a class of people who have no other skills except typing on a computer and following directives from above.

    They will not be the ones weeding the fields of grain. The roads will need new cobbles in town and new gravel out of town. So manual quarrying will need to resume…. and so on.
    Government department will grow!

    Lack of Critical Thinking in past education,perhaps.

    Yet Jordan Peterson is popular as is Thomas Sowell on the internet. so there is hope!

  16. Joe Public permalink
    February 21, 2020 10:08 pm

    Those activists have absolutely no comprehension of the misery and hardship their actions will cause.

  17. Dave Ward permalink
    February 21, 2020 10:22 pm

    “Their guidance includes using heating for less time, in fewer rooms and wearing warm clothes in winter”

    Hasn’t it occurred to these clowns that many of us already do…

  18. Alan Davidson permalink
    February 22, 2020 12:26 am

    There are two fundamental questions that needed to be conclusively answered before the government ever should have got involved in plans and policies that will be absolutely devastating to the UK population.
    1. Is there a real warming temperature trend globally and in UK?
    There are increasing examples of regions where the actual reported unadjusted temperature trend is flat or cooling. There are also numerous examples all over the world of adjustment, manipulation, infilling, homogenization, of reported temperatures to produce a ficticious or exagerrated warming temperature trend.

    2. Is atmospheric CO2 with absolute certainty the sole cause of a measurable increased temperature (if there is one) and with absolute certainty is a controlling element of Earth’s climate? Is the UN/IPCC science of atmospheric CO2 IR absorption and emission correct?
    Again there are increasing numbers of published scientific papers and other analyses concluding that atmospheric CO2 is not the sole cause of either of these. One analysis by Geraint Hughes includes videos of demonstrations that CO2 has no IR downwelling effect that causes a temperature increase, see

    These two points still need to be conclusively answered before any furthe draconian “climate change” policies are adopted by the government.

    • Ariane permalink
      February 22, 2020 11:09 am

      The UK Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 and the Scottish CCA in 2009. The UK one set up the Climate Change Committee each member of which earns a lot of money doing a job that will impoverish the rest of us. The CCC’s job, using 4-yearly ‘Carbon Budgets’ to be followed by governments, is to get our CO2 emissions reduced by 80% from 1990 levels. Without repealing the CCAs, this legislation will continue to be carried out.

  19. bobn permalink
    February 22, 2020 12:56 am

    Their guidance includes using heating for less time, in fewer rooms and wearing warm clothes in winter.
    So why dont the BBC and other media use less heating and wear warm clothes in winter? I’m fed up with seeing the media ecoloons wearing summer frocks in studios in mid winter. The weather girl should wear a parka if we are to believe any of these planks are sincere. Newsreaders in woolly jumpers please; but of course not, because they’re all hypocrites.

  20. Steve permalink
    February 22, 2020 7:31 am

    In London the gas main in the main arterial road near my bird’s house is being replaced. This is odd because they only dug it up and renewed it about ten years ago. Remember that they replaced gas mains all over the country at great expense and this went on the bill.
    I had a look down the hole and the new pipes are large diameter yellow plastic. Now it has apparently been decided that the government accepts that the CCC agenda is to be put into operation and this includes converting all natural gas into hydrogen, separating the CO2 out and pumping it under the North Sea. This is bound to be very costly and has not been tried and tested yet, though there are plans to try it out in Leeds.
    My suspicious mind tells me that the National Grid may be embarked on another costly monopolistic project to make the whole gas grid hydrogen ready. This will inevitably put gas prices up, to say nothing about the cost of replacing or modification of new boilers.
    The blokes doing the work seem to be unwilling to say what the work is for. Perhaps someone would be willing to help anonymously.

    • Steve permalink
      February 25, 2020 2:16 pm

      Just found a bloke who was putting the new gas pipes in. He says that they put in a new high pressure main in ten years ago and the new large diameter main is for medium pressure. This would, presumably, suit hydrogen ,which needs to be pumped in greater quantity, as it has lower calorific value.

  21. Auralay permalink
    February 22, 2020 8:09 am

    bobn. In fairness to the Beeb, all that electronics and lighting probably has a massive heat output. The problem will be cooling, not heating. The total carbon footprint, power plus air conditioning, must be massive – I don’t see them ever surviving on renewables and batteries. It would be nice to see them try to set an example.

  22. Ian P permalink
    February 22, 2020 4:05 pm

    We must all study the evidence to show how this climate change crisis has been deliberately fabricated over decades via the UN agencies, to frighten the world’s peoples into accepting the forced degradation of modern society and socialist rule by the UN. There’s plenty of this about when you begin to search UN Climate change Agenda 21 Agenda 30 The Green New Deal Maurice Strong. Then start sending the background around to everyone you can think of, to awaken public opinion to the massive lies which have been used to create this panic.

    • Ariane permalink
      February 23, 2020 11:10 am

      Ian P
      Exactly. But rather than ‘socialist rule’, I would call it neo-fascist rule; state control of the means of production. (Socialism a stage towards communism where the workers control the means of production.) Means of production = energy policy and use.

  23. Robin Guenier permalink
    February 22, 2020 5:06 pm

    Two key (and interesting) aspects of this report:

    1. It suggests that the 2009 Climate Change Act, in referring to ‘net’ emissions, is resorting to ‘political trickery’ because, as it says (correctly), ‘ shutting factories in the UK doesn’t make any change to global emissions, and may make them worse if we import goods from countries with less efficient processes.’ Therefore it goes much further that the CCA by assuming that (a) the target of zero emissions is absolute – no negative emission options, no ‘carbon offsets’ and (b) ‘the UK is responsible for all emissions caused by its purchasing, including imported goods, international flights and shipping.

    2. As Paul notes, it rejects any suggestion that ‘breakthrough technologies’ will deliver zero emissions by 2050. It assumes that can be achieved only by using today’s technologies with incremental change. Therefore it ignores for example cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, ‘small’ modular nuclear reactors, tidal and wave power, electric planes and, in particular, carbon capture and storage.

    In other words, it’s setting the bar – already hopelessly high – even higher. As I said in my comment on Paul’s earlier note on this report:

    I think they’ve published a report that’s intended to show the Government that it’s making an absurd mistake. (And if that wasn’t their intention, it’s certainly what the report does).

  24. Ariane permalink
    February 23, 2020 11:14 am

    Robin Guernier
    If the report authors thought the Government is making an absurd mistake and were being funded by the Gov, they would have put it down in black and white that the Gov is making an absurd mistake. Why wouldn’t they? I think that the authors fully intended to promote ‘zero emissions’ as THE policy.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      February 23, 2020 12:04 pm

      Why wouldn’t they?

      Because in the ridiculous world we live in today – and it’s especially true of academia – anyone in an established position not expressing orthodox views on climate change can be singled for career-damaging vilification. Therefore the only way left for intelligent people is to try to get their message over obliquely.

      Here’s a list of UK airports: Is it really likely that the authors of this report (senior people from top UK universities) believe that closing all these – except for Heathrow, Glasgow and Belfast – within the next nine years is a practical proposition?

      • Ariane permalink
        February 23, 2020 1:54 pm

        Yes, many, particularly scientists who don’t tow the IPPC line, have had work rejected and careers ruined. And, of course, it is a bit silly to try to speculate about the real perspectives of anybody in influential and public positions like academics in, as you say, this ‘ridiculous world.’ I’d just say that, given how Oxford and Cambridge (as well as Edinburgh, East Anglia and other) Universities continue to promote the anti-CO2 alarmist agenda, it would not be surprising if the above report was a genuine – and not obliquely critical – expression of their opinions. The issue remains that vast numbers of wealthy and powerful people out there want, at a psychologically fundamental level, to reduce ‘ordinary’ people, ‘the masses’, whatever term you want, to poverty and want to deprive them/us/me of cheap energy and prevent development, economic growth and prosperity. Virtue signalling is only ever done by the wealthy.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        February 23, 2020 5:36 pm

        … it would not be surprising if the above report was a genuine…expression of their opinions.

        Perhaps not. But it’s hard to believe that these obviously intelligent people (professors at Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, etc.) truly think it would make sense for Britain to abandon all flying and shipping by 2049. And, assuming you’re right that, for some extraordinary reason, they really want to reduce the masses to abject poverty, you should bear in mind that it’s an objective that could be achieved only if they and their families suffered as well.

      • Ariane permalink
        February 23, 2020 6:14 pm

        Abject poverty for ‘the masses’, not for them and their families.
        Those controlling energy policy are too wealthy and secure to be afftected by the policy. Money was, and remains (as the fiasco develops arms and legs), the main reason why scientists, for example – including Ben Santer, the first IPCC scientist to design a computer model of a ‘human fingerprint’ showing that anthropogenic CO2 emissions cause ‘global warming’ – support the non-science of AGW. Santer and the IPCC in the 199os were losing influence to the neo-fascist environmentalists so to maintain authority and their funding, came up with that computer model.
        Nowadays, financial interests in renewables e.g. Al Gore, Lord Deben, electric car manufacturers to name a few work together with the neo-fascists ideologues to exploit consumers and make the rest as stupid and weak as possible.
        Journalists, the BBC and other media make money out of it also.
        That ‘Absolute Zero’ report is just another example of how they get away with it.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        February 23, 2020 7:47 pm

        Those controlling energy policy are too wealthy and secure to be affected by the policy.

        In a country where all import and export supplies are halted (remember no flying or shipping allowed), where fertiliser use is curtailed, where only scrap steel is allowed for construction (including construction of wind turbines etc.), where ‘emitting’ plastics are phased out, where concrete is phased out, where (nonetheless) all energy supply is non-emitting and where all fossil fuel use is completely abandoned, everyone – however wealthy – would suffer. No-one would be ‘secure’.

      • Ariane permalink
        February 24, 2020 9:55 am

        Of course, you are right about the extreme outcomes of the policy. Still the wealthy are well-cushioned and have huge assets. The Nazis top brass were comfy enough till they and their assets were physicallly obliterated. Ordinary Volk suffered all the way.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        February 24, 2020 12:12 pm

        A poor analogy.

  25. Russ Wood permalink
    February 23, 2020 4:53 pm

    Sorry for an ex-pat query, but who the *** are UK FIRES? It’s sounding like they are taking their brief from Harry Harrison’s “Make Room! Make Room!” (probably better known as the movie “Soylent Green”)

  26. Robin Guenier permalink
    February 23, 2020 7:57 pm

    Its website is here:

    The name is a clumsy attempt to be clever by claiming to be about locating “Resource Efficiency’ (the RE) at the heart of ‘Future Industrial Strategy’ (the FI…S) – hence FIRES. Geddit?

  27. grammarschoolman permalink
    February 23, 2020 8:22 pm

    Despite what they say, this means that most of the sport that people want will be impossible:

    No international football, no European club football, no international cricket, no rugby world cup, no Olympics. All of these depend on air travel, both for the players and the fans.

    This is not to mention all the arts and entertainment events that would also disappear, and the location filming for cinema and TV.

    Given that all that probably covers the leisure interests of 90% of the population, both working-class and middle-class, opposition to the net zero madness might fruitfully start by pointing this out very loudly and very clearly.

  28. cassio21 permalink
    February 24, 2020 9:38 am

    Adding insult to injury UK FIRES spends some of its funding from taxpayers on promoting and supporting climate activism:


    “We would like to support and amplify the voices of individuals and groups demonstrating and striking against climate change and fighting for radical climate mitigation.

    Are you a group or individual who would like to talk to us about combining forces to increase impact on industry, policy and public behaviour ? We’d love to hear from you !”

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