One of Britain’s leading climate ‘experts’, Professor Kevin Anderson, has provided a valuable insight into the increasingly bizarre demands that surround the promotion of the collectivist Net Zero political project. Writing in the Conversation, he argues for Net Zero within 12 years, complete with a refit of U.K. housing stock, a withdrawal of all combustion engine cars in favour of expanded public transport, electrification of industry, the roll out of ‘zero-carbon’ energy, and the banning of all fossil fuel production. To achieve his aims, Anderson suggests mobilisation on the scale of the post-war European reconstruction Marshall Plan. Others might suggest his crackpot schemes will leave the country facing a similar scale of destruction, ruin and poverty to that caused by the Luftwaffe.
Anderson is currently a Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester and he has plenty of form when it comes to extremist claims and calls for widespread rationing. As early as 2010, he was calling on politicians to consider a rationing system “similar to the one introduced during the last time of crisis in the 1930s and 40s”. He also suggested a limit on electricity “so people are forced to turn the heating down”, and a limit on goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.
On a practical level, Anderson’s latest calls for radical societal restructuring under the guise of a ‘climate emergency’ are plainly ridiculous. Retrofitting Britain’s well-ventilated housing and industrial stock along with installing heat pumps would cost around £3 trillion, according to a paper published last year by the technology professor Michael Kelly – equivalent, it should be noted, to Britain’s annual GDP. That, of course, is before we’ve factored in the cost of Anderson’s other plans such as retrofitting the entire industrial and transport infrastructure, all within the next 12 years. In its more sane moments, even Extinction Rebellion might be proud of such an ambitious plan.
The Conversation is obligatory reading for those aiming to keep fully up to speed with the latest climate, Net Zero and woke fantasies. It purports to be an independent source of news analysis, written by academic experts working with professional journalists. To the mainstream media, it offers “media-ready” experts and “free” content. It is funded by academic institutions and receives money from a number of billionaire Foundations. Media partners include Reuters, PA Media, Reach (owner of the Mirror, Express, Daily Star and multiple local U.K. newspapers) and Apple News.
Collectivist economic solutions alongside the ubiquitous woke dogma are increasingly dominating debate around climate change. This blatantly political agenda is said to be dictated by ‘the Science’ which its advocates then refuse to discuss, a ruse used to disguise the paucity of evidence that humans control the climate thermostat. Net Zero is becoming the dividing line in the age-old battle between Right and Left, Free markets and Socialism, Cavaliers and Roundheads. In the U.S. the issue is rapidly becoming yet another fight between the Republicans and the Democrats. Similar trends are likely in the U.K. and Europe as Net Zero starts wreaking economic and social havoc.
The Conversation is to the fore on climate wokery. In 2020, two UCL geography professors Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis argued in its pages that colonisation marked the beginning of the Anthropocene (a political renaming of the current Holocene epoch), and racism and the climate emergency shared common causes. In his recent article, Kevin Anderson argues that “given deep inequalities”, the rapid reduction of material consumption and the deployment of a zero-carbon infrastructure “is only possible by re-allocating society’s productive capacity away from enabling the private luxury of a few and towards wider public ownership”.
Last week the Daily Caller castigated the IPCC summary report of its work over the last five years as a “woke dumpster fire masquerading as science”. Any scientific credibility the new UN report might have had is called into question by its “extensive use of ‘woke’ buzzwords”, it said. Variations of the words ‘equity’ and ‘inequality’ are said to appear 31 times in the 36-page document. Variations of ‘inclusive’ and ‘inclusion’ appear 17 times. Apparently, the document mentions ‘colonialism’ and repeatedly refers to climate and ‘social justice’ for ‘marginalised’ groups.
The Daily Caller quotes a section of the report that states: “redistributive policies… that shield the poor and vulnerable, social safety nets, equity, inclusion and just transitions, at all scales can enable deeper societal ambitions and resolve trade-offs with sustainable development goals”. The publication notes that if you think ‘equity’ is a fundamental pillar of scientific knowledge, then this is the report for you. ”But if you’re like most people and don’t think far-left political priorities have a place in scientific documents meant to advise policymakers, this should alarm you,” it concldues.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.