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Tiny homes to fix the climate crisis, UN report suggests

November 19, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Patsy Lacey



Presumably this only applies to the peasants!!



People should move to "tiny homes" with less floor space to help fight climate change, a UN report has said.

The International Resource Panel, an international group of scientists, said that "trendy" smaller homes and group living could cut carbon emissions.

Lead author Edgar Hertwich, international chair in industrial ecology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: "Limiting the growth in the size of our homes, and sharing rides and vehicles turned out to be the most effective ways to reduce emissions."

The group’s analysis showed that reducing demand for domestic floor space by up to 20 per cent could lower greenhouse gas emissions from building materials by 73 per cent in 2050.

Policies making energy more expensive and larger houses less desirable could be one way of achieving this, the report said, as could policies encouraging downsizing such as stamp duty cuts.

While average home sizes have been growing, a "social movement" to encourage downsizing has emerged driven by concerns about resource use and efficiency, the authors added.

Homes as small as 20 square metres have been showcased by architects as solutions to the high cost of living space in some cities, though critics argue that they represent a step backwards for people’s quality of life.



As usual, this Telegraph article is behind a paywall. I cancelled my subscription months ago, but have found out that you can still download the articles simply by disabling javascript on your browser.

Disabling this, of course, is not a good idea normally, but as I never use Chrome, I have simply disabled it there.

Try it, it works!

  1. Joe Public permalink
    November 19, 2020 2:32 pm

    Perhaps the UN should practice what it preaches and downsize it’s offices “to fix the climate crisis”?

  2. JimW permalink
    November 19, 2020 2:36 pm

    It doesn’t just work for the Telegraph paywall.
    There is a very real risk that ‘scientists’ are going the same way as bankers and estate agents.

  3. November 19, 2020 2:40 pm

    All per Agenda 21!
    The future of the ‘non elites’ is all there, and it’s been signed up for by a huge part of the world.
    I’m glad I’m in the twilight of my life, but I fear for the younger generations walking blind into this lot!

  4. GeoffB permalink
    November 19, 2020 2:44 pm

    We will all be living in cardboard boxes on the street when the green loonies,aided by our inept politicians, close down our economy. Mission Accomplished.

    • Hivemind permalink
      November 20, 2020 3:31 am

      They can always move you to a smaller box.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 19, 2020 2:51 pm

    UN Agenda whatever has always proposed that the plebs be corralled in dense multi-home blocks/cities whilst the rest of the world is given over to re-wilding and White House style mansions and country estates for the ‘President Snows’. Single family housing zones are racist, apparently, and the answer is to sardine everyone.

    • Barbara permalink
      November 19, 2020 4:40 pm

      Do look here for some evocative photos of how the plebs have been housed in the recent past

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        November 19, 2020 4:59 pm

        Not sure of the relevance/your point, but yes, ‘they’ call their housing policies for the future progressive, but it’s not progress as we know it.
        But at least everyone outside the self-appointed elite will be equally miserable.

    • Sobaken permalink
      November 19, 2020 7:13 pm

      It’s nothing new, people are already “sardined” in many places around the world. Even some rather rich states, where there’s simply not enough land for the luxury of low-density housing. As someone who’s only ever lived in apartment blocks (since that’s the most common type of housing in my country), I’d say that It’s not as bad as one might think. Blocks are cheaper to heat and easier to connect to grids and communications, so bills are lower, everything is closer so travelling times are shorter, and public transport is more accessible. The only real problem is when they build high-density districts, but don’t build the infrastructure necessary to support them, which is the case for new districts in some rapidly expanding cities.
      Regardless, the authors of that report are likely hypocrites, who enjoy all luxuries they can get and aren’t intent on “stepping backwards for their quality of life”

  6. November 19, 2020 2:57 pm

    What bollocks. Home sizes in the UK have probably been decreasing for the last 50 years judging by the size of all the new builds where I live

    • Tonyb permalink
      November 19, 2020 6:55 pm

      Yes indeed, they are now some of the smallest in Europe and developers often manage special pleading in order to jam a couple of additional homes in to a site below the legal limit order to make a better profit.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      November 19, 2020 7:24 pm

      Think that’s more to do with cramming as many properties in the available plot. More rabbit hutches equals more profit.

  7. LeedsChris permalink
    November 19, 2020 3:00 pm

    I think we are about to learn that no nation automatically stays wealthy for ever. Stupidity, bad decisions, bad Governments and just turns of events can reduce wealthy nations to relative poverty. Just recently I started to think again of the relevance of the case of Argentina. At the start of the First World War Argentina was the fourth or fifth wealthiest country in the World (measured on a per head basis) – it was wealthier than France or Australia and much wealthier than Italy. Argentina was talked of as the new United States of the south. How it all went wrong. Economic mismanagement, poor politicians and poor choices scuppered its potential. A world depression in the ’30s, followed by the crazy spending and decisions of Peron and later politicians ‘locked in’ failure and Argentina slowly settled into life as a developing country and now ranks 69th in GDP per head….. It has repeatedly gone bankrupt and had to call in the IMF. People with sense bank in US dollars rather than Pesos. We need to beware – there is no reason that we could not also follow that route and the twin obsessions with Covid and Green Issues, with the madcap borrowing and spending could just push us into that trajectory.

  8. smbthomas permalink
    November 19, 2020 3:21 pm

    The trick of disabling JavaScript also works for the Speccie.

  9. November 19, 2020 3:49 pm

    Yes indeed. Let’s start with ex Prince Harry and his moll

  10. Penda100 permalink
    November 19, 2020 3:52 pm

    World beating Britain leads the way! New homes in the UK average size 76 square metres, in Germany a wasteful 91.8 square metres. I think this probably has more to do with developers profits than saving the Planet.

    • November 19, 2020 4:50 pm

      German homes are much more likely to have basements, presumably included in the calcs.

      • November 19, 2020 8:42 pm

        Oldbrew The German code specifies that cellars and storage space does not count as living accommodation so I would guess that the 91.8 sm average excludes cellars but I might be wrong.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 20, 2020 8:44 am

      Germany is bigger, far more decentralised and has totally different and much less restrictive planning laws. Nothing to do with evil profit, which seems to be everyone’s immediate, thoughtless go to these days.

  11. November 19, 2020 3:53 pm

    They are going to have few takers with ongoing Lockdowns. Another problem with tiny homes (I don’t suppose I could have mine in a few acres of private woodland?) is proximity to inevitably noisy neighbours an important issue planners pretend doesn’t exist. Of course the best thing to reduce carbon footprint etc is to not have any children. Fancy living in a bathroom size flat with one or more toddlers/teenagers? Also the idea seems to be a sanitised version of shanty town slums – their vision for our future. Altogether – no thanks.

  12. Dave Ward permalink
    November 19, 2020 3:57 pm

    “Disabling javascript on your browser”

    If you use Firefox there are several “Addons” which allow you to toggle Javascript with a toolbar button. Another suggestion is to to open a tab or window, enter about:config, accept the “Here Be Dragons” warning, then enter javascript.enabled in the search box. You can toggle it on of off by double clicking on the entry. Leave this tab/window open for as long as you need, so that you can switch back and forth.

  13. CheshireRed permalink
    November 19, 2020 4:06 pm

    I rang to cancel my Telegraph subs recently.
    They offered a BIG reduction to £4 p/m (for just the run of paper digital version, no extras) so I’m on that at the moment.
    Am already getting ticked off by their US election coverage, lefter-leaning views than they should be and a lack of BTL comments on royal and immigrant-related articles.
    Even at just £4 p/m my subs is on borrowed time.

    • Pete Reynolds permalink
      November 19, 2020 4:41 pm

      Look at your local library- here in Lincolnshire library members have online access to many uk and foreign newspapers for no charge. I used to subscribe to th DT but now read it for free be warned though it always shows the Observer as first choice 😎

    • JBW permalink
      November 19, 2020 5:13 pm

      I think you were conned – we were offered £3/month. Still didn’t take it.

    • ianprsy permalink
      November 19, 2020 5:45 pm

      I’m a subscriber and when I want to get an article to a non-subscriber all I have to do is hit print and select Save as PDF from the printer list.

  14. StephenP permalink
    November 19, 2020 4:06 pm

    Couldnt Gore, Gates and some others set a good example?

  15. Dave Ward permalink
    November 19, 2020 4:16 pm

    “While average home sizes have been growing, a “social movement” to encourage downsizing has emerged driven by concerns about resource use and efficiency, the authors added”

    I stumbled across this blog a year or two back:

    The author “built” (her boyfriend did most of the work) a “Tiny House” and spent a year traveling across the US at some horrendous fuel consumption figure – the all-up weight including tow truck was in the order of 7 tons, as I recall. At the end of this trek relations had become strained, and they split up. Despite doing lots to publicise the Tiny House movement, and living in it for a while longer, she’s met another guy, and (surprise, surprise) now spends most of her time living with him in a more conventional property!

    I guess A “social movement” to encourage downsizing is fine so long as you can bail out when you find it’s not the bed of roses you once thought …

  16. Harry Davidson permalink
    November 19, 2020 4:29 pm

    The DT managed to notice that Wales beat Finland last night, topping the group, getting promoted from the Bs to the As, and gaining a World Cup playoff spot, a competition we have not qualified for since 1958. Best night for Welsh football since we beat Belgium in the QF of the Euros.

    You could find the report, if you looked right down the Sports page, tagged on to the report of another abysmal failure by Scotland. Or success was just an afterthought.

    More often, they completely fail to notice that we exist, and when they do we get cliches backed up by total ignorance. The Times is as bad or worse.

  17. Mad Mike permalink
    November 19, 2020 5:23 pm

    Looks like a caravan to me. If I wanted to be traveller, I would have done it years ago.

  18. JCalvertN(UK) permalink
    November 19, 2020 5:38 pm

    The UN’s houses its staff with a scheme whereby the staff member pays a fixed amount per month. The UN then pays the rest – no matter how inappropriately swanky the house.
    This must benefit the local economy enormously, but I doubt if it could be considered good stewardship of public money.
    My staff received a fixed housing allowance. And then *they* paid the rest – no matter how inappropriately swanky the house.

  19. Neil Wilkinson permalink
    November 19, 2020 6:04 pm

    if you can’t read an article behind a paywall, copy the web page address to your clipboard,… usually right click and ‘copy’.

    Open a new page, and type this into the space…

    (Don’t Google it, because Google seems to want it kept hidden and puts a load of rubbish in the way and you just get lost, so it’s easier to type it, (or have it bookmarked).)

    Then, paste the web address from your clipboard into the spacebar…

    If the page has already been archived, it will ask whether you want to go to the archive or save a new one…It will take you there to read it, or if it hasn’t been archived, it will archive it for you in a minute or so and show the page when its done….

    If you want others to see it, just copy the archive link and paste it… job done.

    It is easier than it appears, I’ve used it successfully.

    Genesis covered the size issue in Get ‘Em Out By Friday , by reducing the size of humans

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      November 21, 2020 10:21 am

      Hi Neil,

      I posted the Get ‘Em Out By Friday link too – before I saw you beat me to it!

      This is an announcement from Genetic Control
      It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on
      Humanoid height

      I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the
      Properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold

      It’s said now that people will be shorter in height
      They can fit twice as many in the same building site
      They say it’s alright

      Beginning with the tenants of the town of Harlow
      In the interest of humanity, they’ve been told they must go
      Told they must go-go-go-go

  20. ianprsy permalink
    November 19, 2020 6:49 pm

    They clearly haven’t consulted Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, etc. These firms wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested in building for so little profit.

  21. SUSAN EWENS permalink
    November 19, 2020 6:54 pm

    Lead author Edgar Hertwich, international chair in industrial ecology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: “Limiting the growth in the size of our homes, and sharing rides and vehicles turned out to be the most effective ways to reduce emissions.”

    Better by far for the worriers to stop breeding, I would have thought. But that’s far too obvious.

  22. Old Grumpy permalink
    November 19, 2020 7:13 pm

    The obvious answer is to genetically engineer a race of half-size people.
    There is no evidence that small people have less fulfilling lives than large people, so total human well-being would not be affected.
    Cars could be much smaller and the average A road could easily be converted to a four-lane motorway.
    Ditto houses.
    And as machinery has replaced the pick and shovel, and other forms of physical labour, there would be no reduction in productivity

    • sixlittlerabbits permalink
      November 19, 2020 8:30 pm

      LOLROTF, thanks for my laugh of the day, which I sorely need. Love your advocacy of Lilliputians!

    • November 20, 2020 7:05 am

      Marvellous. As women are generally smaller than men we could do something – let’s call it smart reproduction and reduce the number of men. The main drivers of unnecessarily large cars for some psychological reason. Another saving. Oh – perhaps reduce the birth rate of Royalty, and rich people who tend to live in mansions. After all you can only live in one room at a time.

  23. stevejay permalink
    November 19, 2020 8:51 pm

    The world has gone stark, staring bonkers. People who are that desperate to save the planet should do us all a favour and stop breathing.

  24. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 19, 2020 10:42 pm

    Everybody go to Gapminder and spend some time on Dollar Street and be glad you live where you do where people can drivel on about Climate Chsngr and not have to crap in the jungle.

  25. November 20, 2020 7:06 am

    Thank you.
    Lesson learned.
    Now that we know that climate activists like Sir whatshisname tell outeight lies, their claims should be evaluated with the null hypothesis that they lies, i.e. it is a lie unless proven true beyond all reasonable doubt.

  26. November 20, 2020 7:45 am

    Joe Public hit the nail on the head.

    Thank you Mr. Big Fat Numnut UN Bureaucrat for this great climate action idea.
    You first.

  27. Phoenix44 permalink
    November 20, 2020 9:06 am

    Their figures have got to be nonsense. You can’t possibly reduce emissions by 73% by decreasing floor space by 20%. If your room is 5mx5m then reducing that to 20m2 means reducing the walls to 4.5m which is 10% on each of the walls. How can you get to 73% from there?

  28. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 20, 2020 11:48 am

    If anyone fancies wading through word porridge, check out some of the documents associated with “UN Habitat III”.

  29. ThinkingScientist permalink
    November 20, 2020 9:05 pm

    Get ’em out by Friday!

    (see Peter Gabriel and Genesis)

  30. November 22, 2020 10:51 pm

    “2020 British Journalist” : a person that takes activist NGO Public Relations material and cutsNpastes it
    .. and then adds a hyperbolic clickbait headline that has little connection to reality.

    There are a handful of exceptions as we remember Mr Booker etc.

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