Having been caught using just one high wind year to persuade British parliamentarians to donkey-nod through an insane rush to Net Zero in 2019, interest is growing in some of the other stunts pulled by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to promote the green collectivist agenda. In 2020, the CCC used a supposed finding of the Citizen Climate Assembly to promote to Parliament the idea – found in its Sixth Carbon Budget – that meat and dairy consumption should be cut by up to 40%. In fact only a third of the 108-strong assembly discussed the matter, and only 10 people expressed priority support for such severe reductions in the diet. The assembly was largely curated by the CCC, while £200,000 of funding for the event organiser was supplied by the European Climate Foundation, a green activist operation drawing heavy financial support from Extinction Rebellion funder Sir Christopher Hohn.
The CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget identified the drastic legal pathways the U.K. Government must follow to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide during the years 2033 to 2037. Everything must go it seems in the unreal world of Net Zero, despite the fact that human activity – and survival – depends on exploiting the Earth’s natural resources. “The experience of the U.K. Climate Assembly shows that if people understand what is needed and why, if they have options and can be involved in the decision-making process, they will support the transition to Net Zero,” states the CCC.
The investigative journalist Ben Pile broke the meat story and wondered at the time how just 10 individuals can be used to somehow represent the wishes of 66 million people. Needless to say, poodle media took the bone with Roger Harrabin of the BBC writing that members thought politicians should encourage people to eat up to 40% less meat.
The assembly was set up by a number of Parliamentary committees to include 108 members of the public invited for six weekend sessions around the time of the first Covid lockdown in 2020. Three were held in Birmingham and three by Zoom. The Chief Executive of the CCC, Chris Stark, was one of the four main organisers and one of the four ‘Expert Leads’. The leads chose the speakers who addressed the gathering. What transpired, of course, was 12 days of relentless eco propagandising. Just 35 members of the Assembly discussed the ‘what we eat’ issue and, noted Pile, listened to one speaker who said the following:
We know that red and processed meat is associated with a number of health conditions so it’s linked to heart disease, it’s linked to strokes, it’s linked to particular types of cancer like bowel cancer, it is also linked to diabetes. Whereas on the other hand, eating fruit and vegetables is linked to prevention of all these conditions, so the more fruit and vegetables you eat, you are less likely to suffer from those diseases.
Alas, when it came to a vote on eight options, only 29% of the group, or 10 members, chose eating less meat as a priority. In fact it was the second least popular option.
Mike Thompson was the Chief Economist of the CCC and the lead author of its Sixth Carbon Budget. He put a slightly different spin on the ball:
The Climate Change Assembly said it would be happy with a 20-40% reduction in meat consumption. We’ve looked really carefully at the Climate Assembly recommendations and actually we were quite engaged in the process as well. If you take the time to guide people through this, to explain why the changes are needed, to explain the sorts of things that need to happen, they’re really supportive of action, and actually we were really surprised how supportive they were of late of the things we were thinking of already.
Quite what planet people like Thompson operate on is not clear, but a good case can be made that extreme eco activists like him, indeed anyone associated with the Climate Change Committee, should not be allowed anywhere near the machinery of public policy and Government. The agenda of Net Zero, with its capacity to wreak havoc on economic and social lifestyles, is far too important to be left to public sector extremists and lazy Parliamentarians content to follow a Net Zero narrated plan. The push to 100% Net Zero was rushed through with barely an hour’s debate in the House of Commons in 2019, with MPs relying on advice from the CCC that there would be just seven days a year when wind turbines produced less than 10% of their potential electricity output. This of course helped play down the enormous cost of storage required for intermittent wind and solar power. Net Zero Watch has noted not seven, but 30 such days in 2020, 33 in 2019 and 56 in 2018.
Always in the background, as we have reported in the Daily Sceptic on numerous occasions, is the seemingly unlimited supply of elite billionaire money to buy influence with politicians, media and academia. Although set up by Parliament and curated by the CCC, the billionaire money was still in evidence at the Climate Assembly with £200,000 given specifically to Involve, the event organiser. Step forward with the cash, the European Climate Foundation whose other good works include backing for the Labour Climate and Environment Forum and the Conservative Environment Network. This latter operation runs a caucus composed of around half the backbench MPs of the ruling Conservative party, dedicated, it is noted, to supporting Net Zero ‘champions’.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.