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Climate Change Poses Biggest Threat To UK Health–NHS Chief

November 8, 2020

By Paul Homewood


If anything shows how our ruling elite have completely lost the plot, then surely it’s this message from the head of the NHS:




Whatever your views about about the Wuhan virus, the idea that climate change poses any sort of threat to the nation’s health is nonsensical.

Even if you accept the most pessimistic projections put forward by the climate lobby, and even if these impact other countries, there is nothing to suggest that the UK will be any the worse off from global warming.

Here, it is cold weather that kills, not warm. That is why the ONS record “Excess winter deaths” every year. In contrast, summer months see the lowest death rates.

And while floods and storms make for dramatic TV coverage, they actually only impact a very small number of people in reality. Thanks to floods defences and better forecasting, that number is much smaller than in the past.


As a country, agricultural productivity continues to steadily climb. (The dip in 2001, by the way, is, I presume, linked to foot and mouth):




And far from the impression given by Simon Stevens of people collapsing in the street through heatstroke, life expectancy has increased substantially:




Whatever the reason, it is plain that the health of the nation is better now than it has ever been.


So how can Stevens’ doom mongering be reconciled? Below is the NHS news bulletin he refers to:



And it includes this section:


The NHS has today adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.

The commitment comes amid growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and aims to save thousands of lives and hospitalisations across the country.

Air pollution is linked to killer conditions like heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, and academics have linked high pollution days with hundreds of extra out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and hospital admissions for stroke and asthma.

The changing climate is leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events such as flooding, including the potential spread of infectious diseases to the UK. Almost 900 people were killed by last summer’s heatwaves while nearly 18 million patients go to a GP practice in an area that exceeds the World Health Organisation’s air pollution limit.

Scientists believe perhaps a third of new asthma cases might be avoided by cutting emissions, while Lyme Disease and encephalitis are among conditions expected to become more common as temperatures rise.

Notice how he conflates air pollution with climate change!

Then he makes the false claim that there are more extreme weather events, and the totally unevidenced claim of the spread of infectious diseases.

He then quite ridiculously references claims that 900 were killed by last summer’s heatwaves. Yet he is strangely reticent about the 23,200 excess winter deaths last year:



As for Lyme Disease and encephalitis, this is no more than disgraceful scaremongering.

As the NHS website points out, tick borne encephalitis is exceptionally rare, and the ticks that spread it are already found in England. Similarly, ticks that can cause Lyme Disease are already found all over the UK, notably in the Scottish Highlands, which does not exactly have a Mediterranean climate!


As with all of these carbon reduction strategies, there will be thousands of jobs created up and down the country, to manage the programme. Most will doubtlessly be highly paid. There will be lots of glossy brochures, foreign travel, conferences and opportunities to grandstand.

Meanwhile millions of man hours will be wasted amongst all of the workers trying to actually keep the NHS going, as they are forced to attend presentations and training workshops, prepare reports and all of the other things beloved of our bureaucratic masters.


The new NHS Net Zero Plan is to be run by Dr Nick Watts, previously Executive Director of The Lancet Countdown. He will be given the princely title of NHS Chief Sustainability Officer. I wonder what the going rate for one of these is then!

He will head up an army of bureaucrats at the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, including the usual Deputy Directors, Strategy Advisors, Programme Managers, PR bods and other hangers on.

As is often the case, the Sustainable Development Unit is going to be rebranded as the Greener NHS team, in order to reflect its new, expanded role.

And it does not end there. Individual NHS organisations up and down the country will have to name senior sustainability leads as well. I doubt whether they will be doing much medical work in future!

And all of this waste and bureaucracy is for what? To save 4% of the nation’s emissions!

The crazies really have taken over.


My old boss was Chair of the local NHS Ambulance Authority for a few years in the early 2000s.

He often used to tell me that their Board Meetings spent most of the time discussing diversity targets, sustainability, equal opportunity malarkey and all of the other PC obsessions. The actual operational performance of the team was considered of marginal interest, not out of their own wishes but to fulfil the requirements of the mandarins in London.

  1. November 8, 2020 11:13 am

    Is it any wonder that the NHS needs protecting; from an incompetent, virtue signaling ‘leader’? Any half way decent leader would be paying more attention to things under their control.

    • ianprsy permalink
      November 8, 2020 1:13 pm

      It’s all public sector organisations that need a good shake up. Paul says:

      “As with all of these carbon reduction strategies, there will be thousands of jobs created up and down the country, to manage the programme. Most will doubtlessly be highly paid. There will be lots of glossy brochures, foreign travel, conferences and opportunities to grandstand.

      “Meanwhile millions of man hours will be wasted amongst all of the workers trying to actually keep the NHS going, as they are forced to attend presentations and training workshops, prepare reports and all of the other things beloved of our bureaucratic masters.”

      My own council has a “Carbon Management Group” and a “Positive Climate Partnership” already. They’re so smart that they think spending £425K on a few trees and hydrogen “research”(?) to achieve absolutely zero impact for decades is a great use of my money, but can’t afford to consider a park and ride system.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        November 8, 2020 1:55 pm

        If Stevens is right about pollution the P&R would make a lot more sense!

    • Lez permalink
      November 8, 2020 3:57 pm

      The NHS buries its mistakes.

    • November 10, 2020 8:59 am

      Biggest Threat To UK Health… is the NHS Chief Executive

  2. Robert Christopher permalink
    November 8, 2020 11:25 am

    I would think this plan will be a threat as well, especially as the implementation quality will be as expected! The best plan would be to add some reliable generation – and keep the other half of the National Grid, the gas (meaning Methane!) supply. Or do they mean splitting that off, so they can close it down? The ‘educationally rounded’, that is, the STEM unaware, are definitely in control! 🙂

    National Grid faces break-up threat in green drive

    Boris Johnson has promised to quadruple offshore wind capacity to “power every home”, as the energy industry is reshaped

    National Grid faces the looming prospect of a break-up as politicians and regulators reshape the energy industry to help reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions within thirty years …

    Thankfully, I can’t read the rest of the article because of a pay wall.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 8, 2020 11:40 am

      “Thankfully, I can’t read the rest of the article because of a pay wall”

      Disabling Javascript in your browser will get round that…

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 8, 2020 11:27 am

    If only he had come out saying the NHS would work for a net-zero excess deaths number.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 8, 2020 11:32 am

      PS: The risk to the NHS is that the new department will drain funds from essential NHS services. This will mean that Stevens will be responsible for more avoidable deaths than climate change itself.

  4. cajwbroomhill permalink
    November 8, 2020 11:37 am

    Simon Stevens has disregarded the maxim that prediction is difffcult, especially regarding the future! He seems to lack commonsense by making such public predictions irrelevant to his responsiblities as an NHS administrator.
    No-one on Earth is known to have succumbed to manmade climate change and there is no reason confidently to predict that such will happen. Nor is there empirical evidence supporting AGW, nor of any impact on climate of falls in atmospheric pO2, which cannot be reduced anyway, especially if only the nations curbing greenhouse gases continue such a (futile) policy.
    That policy is very likely to be fatal to many through failed heating, cold and poverty.
    Public disturbances in reaction to privation from the misspent £millions is inevitable, with likely fatalities.

    (HRH Prince William and fellow insomniacs because of CC worries should be sleeping soundly, and/or responding to the natural calls for bedtime tenderness by their beloveds!)

  5. Thomas Carr permalink
    November 8, 2020 11:43 am

    “undoubtedly” , don’t you admire the brass neck?
    At least he is chief exec. for NHS Improvement although there is no good reason for that not to be within the responsibilities of the chief exec. of NHS England. Seems like there has been an object lesson in self aggrandisement and job creation.

  6. Ian Simpson permalink
    November 8, 2020 11:52 am

    Life in the UK is being strangled by the slavish substitution of getting “things done” for adhering to what I call “the Process” and, in my personal experience, is endemic in the public sector (I am not anti Public Sector pers se). It does not matter, seemingly, that a course of action does not alleviate or even address a problem identified and acknowledged, as much as whether “processes have been followed and are robust”. IN the matter affecting me personally, that phrase has been used to justify decisions to NOT implement measures to curb traffic volumes; despite these decision makers understanding and publicly admitting that “traffic” IS a problem; so no measures adopted, and noise, vibration, dangerous driving and pollution are, effectively, officially sanctioned by a lack of effective action.

    The NHS continues to “kill ” people day in , day out; mistakes and errors in treatment and transmission of viruses being just two examples; no NHS Trust nor clinician does this “deliberately” but certainly “consciously” in my view. It defies belief that otherwise intelligent people can believe that they can control the “climate” in the way they claim but seem unable to address hospital cleanliness, eradicating superbugs, inadequate clinician training …which would seem to be a great deal more immediately important.

    And in a recent development, the NHS appears to be introducing it’s own tiered lockdown/isolating regime for it’s own employees; a key component to decide if someone shouid self isolate, apart from having the virus, on FULL pay, is whether they are “obese”; NHS staff being overweight is a known issue for decades; I am tempted to ask what measures NHS senior management have instigated to address this issue or have they been too busy trying to sort “climate change” type issues – doubtless they will have followed a process robustly to do …..nothing?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 8, 2020 12:37 pm

      The public sector is extremely good at confusing – and thus, substituting – movement for action.

  7. Geoff B permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:04 pm

    another law from Parkinson….
    Law of triviality is C. Northcote Parkinson’s 1957 argument that people within an organization commonly or typically give disproportionate weight to trivial issues.[1] Parkinson provides the example of a fictional committee whose job was to approve the plans for a nuclear power plant spending the majority of its time on discussions about relatively minor but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike shed, while neglecting the proposed design of the plant itself, which is far more important and a far more difficult and complex task.

  8. Up2snuff permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:12 pm

    Global Warming, significant warming should it ever occur, will actually benefit human and animal life. Cold is a big killer. The annual death statistics prove it. Every winter now, we hear how our NHS is overwhelmed and struggling to cope in the UK. Vaccinations – at great expense – have to be offered to elderly people against a prevalent winter disease. Extra money is given to pensioners in the UK to help them with their heating bills in order to try to prevent health problems.

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:14 pm

    Simon Stevens has been most notable for his absence from the arena during the epidemic. Perhaps now we know why. It is evident he should be screened for dementia. Perhaps time in a care home might focus his mind on more relevant matters.

    But it is quite evident that in a few days we will be hearing from Boris with his list of impositions on us all in pursuit of net zero, from dictating our diets through permission to travel and imposing unaffordable energy. This is just the warm up act before we ate consigned to cold oblivion.

  10. November 8, 2020 12:18 pm

    Climate change poses the most profound long term threat to the health of the nation and the longer the term gets the profounder the threat is. OMG OMG. And thank you for letting me use the word “profound”. I just love how important that sounds without really saying anything.

    • dave permalink
      November 8, 2020 12:50 pm

      “…”profound”…without really saying anything…”

      The etymology – ‘real’ meaning’ – is found as the combination of two Latin words

      PRO- = to bring forth and
      FUNDUS = bottom.

      That is – literally – pulled out of your bottom!

  11. Jackington permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:23 pm

    Simon Stevens’ top priority should be to ensure every hospital has a suitable diesel standby generator with an adequate supply of fossil fuel to provide back-up when National Grid collapses.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      November 8, 2020 2:11 pm

      Jackington, many already do have those generators, especially for theatre use. Even supermarkets do, these days. However, hospitals need other things that arrive from suppliers, some via the oil industry. Most hospitals no longer do their own laundry nor do they sterilise and prepare instrument trays for theatre and other uses in house. It is done off site by contractors and delivered daily. The delivery drivers need functioning fuel stations and a functioning banking industry both of which require reliable electricity supplies.

      The really crucial factor for the NHS – not just for hospitals but also medical centres and GP surgeries – is the supply of clean water and the removal of sewage by water companies. I have the idea that water companies and their treatment plants also require a reliable source of electricity. Once upon a time Water Treatment Plants and Pumping Stations had their own power source. I guess that that no longer applies in the majority of cases.

      There’s potential there for ‘having too many eggs in one basket’. As you correctly suggest, disaster beckons.

  12. November 8, 2020 12:27 pm

    1. As Paul has mentioned the death rate in the UK is lowest in the summer. It is lowest in the hottest months. Therefore a child could see that modest warming will not have any adverse effect on deaths. Nevertheless, everyone alive will die (sorry folks).

    2. Climate change might have a marginal effect on deaths – if it was in the other direction, if we returned to the winters of the past.

    3. There are no practical measures that the NHS can take to “fight” climate change. As a small percentage of a small percentage of human emissions, the NHS could disappear entirely tomorrow and the consequent temperature change in 2100 would not be measurable.

    4. It is far more likely that the measures taken to “fight” climate change will actually cause measurable harm to the UK population, because a) the masses are going to be poorer as a result and wealth correlates with health, b) energy is going to be more expensive, giving the poor a choice between “heating and eating”, c) there are likely to be power cuts, d) our freedoms are going to be reduced, with potential wellbeing knock-ons, e) high energy costs may increase unemployment, f) turning focus on this issue will inevitably squander resources that should have been spent on actual health issues.

    5. Stevens is a disgrace to the NHS.

  13. Mad Mike permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:37 pm

    Have you noticed that when an institution is failing, like the NHS, their fall back position is to blame CC. Rather than dredging the rivers and generally look after our waterways the Environment Agency hides behind CC to explain the flooding etc that we are experiencing. What a godsend the CC lark is for incompetent organisations.

  14. billbedford permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:41 pm

    There is a new interesting talk by Mark Blyth and Bret Christophers on youtube explaining why this sort of thing is happening, not just in the NHS but in the whole UK economy.

  15. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:48 pm

    This is enraging. The NHS is a huge badly-run monolith which needs some pragmatic leadership. To have a barmy at the top is a disaster. Unless you take the view that the NHS is a huge badly run monolith within which the levers of power are not connected to anything.

  16. David Parker permalink
    November 8, 2020 12:49 pm

    ” agricultural productivity continues to steadily climb. (The dip in 2001, by the way, is, I presume, linked to foot and mouth):” The main cause was the excessive rain in the 2 months of Sep and Oct 2000 preventing much of the drilling of the main arable crop winter wheat. Similar happened last year and in happening again this year (but not everywhere). No it is not CC but weather, the four years 1965 to 1968 produced four years on the bounce of wet Autumns.

  17. Broadlands permalink
    November 8, 2020 1:18 pm

    “The NHS has today adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.”

    Net zero carbon requires taking CO2 from the atmosphere, not just lowering emissions to zero. How will NHS pull that off? The pandemic travel lockdown has already shown them what happens to economies and people when CO2 emissions are rapidly lowered. And they want to continue that? To continue to “conflate air pollution with climate change!” Crazies indeed.

  18. Devoncamel permalink
    November 8, 2020 2:00 pm

    As for protecting the nation’s health, that comes later. Nice to see he has the right priority – more lip service to the bureaucracy of world domination.
    Forget all that expensive medical education and training, this is where the money is going.

  19. November 8, 2020 2:02 pm

    Well we do have a barnpot in charge of the army who thinks being diverse is more important than winning wars so who is surprised?

    I have often wondered taling £1 as a unit of measure, how much is left when that money finally reaches the front line which comprises of the facilities, equipment, medicines and personell needed to treat people? 10p`? I think I am probably being too generous.

    Given the tosh that Stevens most likely had to spout at his interview I am not surprised he did not also get onto diversity as a way to combat the challenges of the future in the NHS under climate change. Indeed I am waiting eagerly for his statement as to the threat of “Far Right Extremists” to the functioning of the NHS. Because as we all should know fresh from the indoctrination centre, an ethnically, religiously, sexually more diverse workforce is much more important for health than having the right people with the skills and qualifications needed to cure sick people. I mean. while we are at it let’s introduce backward practices based on religious ideology and backward imported ethnic habits rather than perform medical procedures to ever higher standards. Maybe he will hire a few shamans and witch doctors for good measure just to invent a few new boxes to tick while he is “embracing” the lie.

    My now deceased father, a doctor saw the onset of ta politically correct agenda being imposed on the health service. He predicted what would be the outcome of just a sexual bias being imposed in respect of places at medical school. He pointed out that the life of a physician is not an easy one with 80 hour weeks being the norm. He simply said “that is a commitment level for a very small number of driven female physicians some of whom locally were his friends and completely of the same view. The rest he said will quickly opt to work part time which is EXACTLY what we have. He ran a practice with an assistant on his own. That same practice with let us be generous and say 15 or 20 % more patients today is now run with 18 doctors, most of them female and most working part time. Those 18 doctors collectively do not provide anywhere near the service he provided for his patients… home visits, no working weekends, no hospital visits but they do provide the latest perversion, telephone appointments. He visited every one of his elderly patients at home by default as well as anyone who had come from hospital. He did not complain because he saw this as his job and he turned out day and night, summer and winter as he was expected to do. A final point. Part of the skill set of a physician is experience.IF during a working life a physician only amasses 50% of the normal experience of a full time physician, is not that one clear source of where mistakes come from?

    Back to Stevenset al. He and his ilk are the absolute worst people possible to have in such roles because they are born toadies and have no spine whatsoever. He says what he “thinks” has to be spouted by those who put him in the job regardless if he believes or even understand the garbage he is spouting. He will have a political advisor who will check his statements for the correct buzz words and who adds a few if they are lacking for good measure.

    In the BEST CASE SCENARIO this garbage will take even more desperately needed resources away from the already struggling front line tasked with healing the sick but hey, we can all die happy knowing we have been treated ( or not) in an NHS which understands the importance of the weasel claim of a Net Zero NHS

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 8, 2020 3:53 pm

      Plus many. Very moving post. Thanks.

  20. Phillip Bratby permalink
    November 8, 2020 3:00 pm

    Private Frazer was 100% correct. I fear for future generations with the woke cretins who are now in charge of all government (including local government) bodies and NGOs.

    Baby boomers had it good.

  21. Curious George permalink
    November 8, 2020 3:23 pm

    Climate change .. will a caricature of an Englishman always carrying an umbrella get two umbrellas, or lose the umbrella?

  22. Gamecock permalink
    November 8, 2020 4:04 pm

    “The commitment comes amid growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and aims to save thousands of lives and hospitalisations across the country.”

    Steve Milloy has shown that air pollution kills no one.

    “Growing evidence” is a marker of junk science. You have evidence, or you don’t.

    ‘Air pollution is linked to killer conditions like heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, and academics have linked high pollution days with hundreds of extra out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and hospital admissions for stroke and asthma.’

    Petitio principii.

    The NHS Sustainable Development Unit will be tasked with figuring out how to deliver medical care without electricity. Will they soldier on for years, or will they conclude at onset, “This is stupid”?

    • November 8, 2020 4:22 pm

      Oh and did you forget about also without plastic because of course that comes from nasty oil and gas and also medicine because so much of that based on benzine) comes also from hydrocarbons…… we can all sing and dance our way to oblivion while cankers and cancers grow a gogo!

    • November 8, 2020 4:28 pm

      Given the enormity of what America just did to it’s self and the world, ponder a while on the mindset of the future female president of the US a woman who dropped out of the race early because she is simply no good and no one likes her, for good reason. She now WILL become president. This very woman is on video whining on saying that covid treatment should be given out on the basis of ethnicity. I kid you not….just wait for more of the like minded liberal toadies in the UK to climb out of the midden where they currently hide and express the same clearly racist sentiments as mainstream policy ideas.

      • dave permalink
        November 10, 2020 9:06 am


        Any fule kno, that black people, away from Africa, become dangerously and chronically deficient in Vitamin D, precisely because they have melanin in their skin which filters out half the already scanty UV away from the Equator. And this condition is associated with a poorly regulated immune system. In Africa, the average village black man is outdoors so much that he has a high level all the time. And these people hardly suffer from Covid -19 at all. It is the more modern blacks of South Africa who are going down.

        All that is needed to make equality in this matter is a cheap, little capsule, once a week! It is something we all of us need. Well, two capsules, if like me you are ‘big-boned.’ My doctor said my Vitamin D was near toxic levels. I said that is exactly what I was aiming for.

        The autumnal second wave (or renewed first wave, or whatever) kicked off in the various European countries at varying latitude at different times, correlated with declining insolation:

        There is some small movement in the UK towards giving out some Vitamin D via the NHS. But it is too little, too late. It takes time to replenish the body, unless you go for a few 50,000 unit capsules.


        RSS Global “Temperatures”:

        October 2015 + 0.81 C
        October 2020 + 0.81 C

        I seem to live on a different planet from ‘97% of scientists’!

  23. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    November 8, 2020 5:28 pm

    Ian Simpson @ 11:52 wrote: “… a key component to decide if someone shouid self isolate, apart from having the virus, on FULL pay, is whether they are “obese”;

    Given a couple of weeks of rest & relaxation at home because of being “obese” seems a great way to increase one’s waistline.

    I can’t address the obesity problem in the UK, but in the USA one can see the severity of the issue via a trip to a public place. Insofar as we are to avoid public spaces, try a search (using images) for “fat people”.
    Do not do this while consuming food or drink. Your keyboard will thank you.

    Health agencies ought to publicize obesity as the biggest threat to health and ignore “carbon net zero” – the latter simultaneously being costly and useless.

  24. Is it just me? permalink
    November 9, 2020 6:25 am

    This is where I say to people – write to your M.P and tell them in no uncertain terms – that you wish for them to offer up and retain a national, accountable, sustainable SOVEREIGN government. All of the appointees everywhere now – in every aspect of life – in every sector – are working on behalf of the W.E.F, the W.H.O, the I.P.C.C, the E.U/E.C.B and the U.N. The objective? A one-world government architected by Klaus Schwab & all his sponsors and supporters (including Charles and other members of the UK royal family). It’s a massive take-over bid. It’s pretty much like how the mob ran America in the 1950’s. They ‘owned’ the system – the courts, the police, the unions, the transportation systems and hijacked and ransacked whatever they needed, whenever they needed it. This is really our last chance now. We are 95% there in terms of totalitarian planning. Time is running out.

  25. EyeSee permalink
    November 9, 2020 11:43 am

    Once upon a time bureaucrats such as this right indicator (winker – you get the idea), were useless and invisible. Now they have idiotic missions unrelated to their role, to proselytise about. And are useless. With outbreaks of being seriously dangerous (Stevens pushing for the second lockdown was dishonest and disgraceful).

  26. November 9, 2020 2:50 pm

    Climate action is a global project. There is no room here for national heroism and certainly not for individual departments of national governments. It’s global or nothing.

  27. EyeSee permalink
    November 9, 2020 4:50 pm

    In addition to my previous thought, I think he could be right to some degree. The NHS does waste an awful lot of our money buying pointless ‘carbon credits’.

  28. November 11, 2020 3:23 pm

    These managers plainly don’t have enough work to do. Sack them save money and suggest they find a job more related to their priorities.

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