A sinister report conducted by Oxford University and Imperial College London for the UK government has outlined some drastic measures that may need to be taken in order to achieve the legal commitment of zero emissions by 2050.
According to the report, all airports in the UK, with the exception of Heathrow, Glasgow, and Belfast, will be required to close between 2020 and 2029.
These three airports will only be allowed to remain open if all transfers to and from the airport are done via rail. All remaining airports must then close between 2030 and 2049. In order to meet this legal commitment, the report states that every citizen of the United Kingdom will need to “stop using aeroplanes” for a significant period of time.
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In addition to the closure of airports, the report also states that in order to comply with the Climate Change Act, the public will need to stop doing anything that causes emissions, regardless of the energy source.
This means that the consumption of beef and lamb will need to be drastically reduced. The report suggests that national consumption of these meats will need to drop by 50% between 2020 and 2029, and then be “phased out” entirely between 2030 and 2049.
Furthermore, the report notes that the construction of new buildings will not be permitted in order to meet the zero emissions goal.
The underlying point is that any asset which uses carbon will have essentially zero value in 2050. This in turn may encourage greater use in the run up to 2050 – for example, putting up new buildings at a much faster rate for the next 30 years, knowing that construction must then halt.
The report was released in November 2019 and was authored by ‘UK Fires’, a collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and Imperial College London – the home of Professor Neil Ferguson.
Entitled ‘Absolute Zero’, the report is a research collaboration in which the authors reveal what the UK must do to meet its legal requirement to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and it makes for harrowing reading.
However, these measures may be accelerated due to a new legal target set by the UK government in April 2021 to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035.
The authors of the report state the key messages are as follows –
In addition to reducing our energy demand, delivering zero emissions with today’s technologies requires the phasing out of flying, shipping, lamb and beef, blast-furnace steel and cement.
They also state this on jobs and location –
There are two key implications for how we live our lives: first, buildings will become much more expensive because the restrictions on buildings which generate substantial scarcities; second, transport will become much more expensive because the limits on air travel will generate excess demand for other forms of transport.
Those who are starting secondary school now, in 2019, will be 43 in 2050. Thinking about what education is appropriate for a very different set of industries is a key question. Should we still be training aeroplane pilots? Or aeronautical engineers?
And they state this on the implementation of the requirements –
The changes in behaviour to achieve Absolute Zero are clearly substantial. In principle, these changes could be induced through changing prices and thus providing clear incentives for behaviour to change. The alternative is that the government prohibits certain types of behaviour and regulates on production processes.
It is worth noting that the travel industry has already been greatly affected by the alleged coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown measures implemented by the government. Some may argue that the real purpose of the lockdown was to meet the government’s emission reduction targets, as suggested by the “Absolute Zero” report.
The report also recommends that the government use psychological manipulation and coercion to gain public support for these measures.
This has been a tactic used by the government in the past, such as during the coronavirus pandemic when strict lockdown measures were implemented under the guise of protecting the NHS and saving lives.
These measures have had a devastating impact on small businesses and have limited personal freedoms. It is likely that the government will use similar tactics to gain support for the measures outlined in the “Absolute Zero” report based on the recommendations made by Oxford University & Imperial College London –
Social norms and individual behaviours:
There is a misalignment between the scale of actions recommended by government (e.g. energy conservation) and those most commonly performed by individuals (e.g. recycling). Actions which can have a big effect, such as better insulation in houses and not flying, are being ignored in favour of small, high profile actions, such as not using plastic straws. This is enabling individuals to feel satisfied that they are ‘doing their bit’ without actually making the lifestyle changes required to meet the zero emissions target. If large scale social change is to be successful a new approach is needed.
Whilst the thought of society taking radical, meaningful steps to meet zero emission targets could be criticised for being idealistic, we can learn from historical cultural changes. Not long ago, smoking cigarettes was encouraged and considered to be acceptable in public spaces that children frequented, drink-driving was practiced with such regularity that it killed 1000 people per year in the UK, and discrimination based on sexual orientation was written into law. These behaviours now seem reprehensible, showing society is capable acknowledging the negative consequences of certain behaviours and socially outlawing their practice. Focus should therefore be centred on expediting the evolution of new social norms with confidence that change can happen.
Evidence from behavioural science, and the long experience in public health of changing behaviours around smoking and alcohol, shows that information alone is not enough to change behaviour. To make the types of changes described in this report, we will have to think more broadly on the economic and physical contexts in which designers, engineers and members of the public make decisions that determine carbon emissions.
At the same time, clear, accurate and transparent information on problems and the efficacy of proposed solutions is essential for maintaining public support for policy interventions. The phrasing of communication is also important. Messages framed about fear and climate crisis have been found to be ineffective at motivating change.
The longevity of the challenge of reducing emissions, and the lack of immediate or even apparent consequences of small individual actions mean it is challenging to link to them to the large-scale climate crisis. This allows individuals to make decisions which contrast with their desire to reduce emissions.
Scientific description is not always the most effective means of communication, and language used to promote zero emissions should no longer focus on an ‘ecofriendly’ and ‘green’ lexicon, but rather candid descriptions of actions that appeal to human fulfilment. Evidence from time-use studies shows that human fulfilment does not strictly depend on using energy – the activities we enjoy the most are the ones with the lowest energy requirements.
Consumers can be satisfied in a zero emissions landscape.
But they will also get the support they need by conditioning and indoctrinating your children in schools –
‘Starting with the difficult decisions, an educational setting should provide a timeline for actions to be taken by humanity in order to ensure that we hit our carbon reduction targets by 2050. By working backwards from 2050, and sequentially working out the order and timing in which key mitigation actions need to be taken, a roadmap for the necessary restraint can be established.
Across the secondary school system, this roadmap is essential in eliciting the questions which will inevitably come from the school children. This will enable an exploration of real change in the mind sets of those who will need to embrace change more than ever before later in their lives.
Huge questions will emerge, such as: will internal-combustion engines disappear, will aeroplanes disappear, will meat and-dairy agriculture disappear, and will we need to stop building things? By empowering school children to realise that asking the huge questions is appropriate, we will enable change to be embraced through education.
All of this will be done to allegedly reduce carbon emissions due to the alleged danger of global warming.
The average carbon footprint per person in the UK, per year, is 12.7 tonnes CO2e.
- Your heating would need to be going full blast for 80 days straight to produce 12.7 tonne CO2e.
- You would need to drive 23,000 miles in the average car to emit 12.7 tonnes of CO2e (that’s once around the world).
- You’d have to eat over 1,000 beef steaks to produce 12.7 tonnes CO2e.
In terms of global annual carbon emissions of ca. 38,000 megatonnes CO2e, 12.7 tonnes doesn’t sound like much. But when you consider a population of 68 million people in the UK alone, nearing 8 billion worldwide, all of a sudden it sounds like in order to meet a target which is enshrined in UK law and must be legally met, it may just be easier to reduce the population of the United Kingdom?
The past two and a half years have seen several lockdowns and other measures implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
These measures have had a major impact on small businesses and the aviation industry, and there have been concerns about the treatment of the elderly and vulnerable in care homes and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic response on disabled people.
Additionally, the experimental vaccination program has resulted in millions of reported adverse reactions and thousands of deaths.
It is important to read the “Absolute Zero” report and consider the underlying motives behind these measures. It is possible that the events of the past two and half years are part of a larger, more sinister agenda that is only just beginning.
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