More than half the country is mad

A majority of the UK public and almost half of Conservative voters support a radical plan to transform the economy and tackle the climate crisis, a poll suggests.

YouGov found that 56% of people back the total decarbonisation of the UK economy by 2030 and just under half support public spending to make large swathes of public transport free to use.

Total decarbonisation in 11 years? They’re mad.

43 comments on “More than half the country is mad

  1. Thats ok. 56% isnt an overwhelming majority. Thats how these things work now isnt it since the mistake of a democratic brexit vote won by majority.

  2. The trouble with polling is that at best, they only work if people are really engaged in the subject.

    The other polling is that people are unwilling to give up anything significant for the environment. They all want decarbonisation, but some other fuckers can stop driving their cars and jetting off to Barcelona for a weekend.

  3. Most people don’t even do the basic maths on the scale of the problem. 6m air source heat pumps, 50k per month for 10 years. 5m solar water heaters at 40k per month. And the insulation.

    Is there even sufficient manufacturing capacity to keep this moving? I’d be surprised if they manage to install one months quota in the first year.

    But then the smart meter roll-out has gone so well, there’s every reason to be optimistic.

    2050 would be doable with a lot of luck. 2030 is just set up to fail.

  4. Why not try it in London first? That seems to be both the most affected place, all that pollution, and the place where people are most exercised about it. It is also where the country’s main opinion formers live, and smaller scale trials in easily controlled and defined areas ahead of a major national roll-out would seem to be sensible.

    We could televise the ‘street’ reaction too, for the lols.

  5. To be fair I don’t think the majority of those people are mad, generally they are probably just ignorant, stupid or delusional. Most however probably have just not spent any time thinking about the consequences of what they are agreeing to.

    They will probably agree to the target, whilst in the next breath disagree with actually doing any of the actions which would be needed to implement the target; obviously the majority are only agreeing to the target because that is what the media has told them they should be doing.

  6. ‘They’ who? 56% of the people?

    ‘Nearly half of Tory voters back plan’

    Plan? There is no plan. It’s just chatter. Whimsical, farcical daydreaming.

    I see election trouble ahead for the Tories. They said Net Zero 2050. Labour says 2030. 2030 leads in the polls.

    K. On the day before the election, Boris must declare Net Zero 2025!

  7. ‘The findings appear to highlight a growing awareness of the scale of the climate crisis and the increasingly radical policy solutions the public is willing to support.’

    Nah. Polls consistently show people won’t pay anything to support climate crisis emergency. They might support a hypothetical, future action in a poll, but they aren’t going to take out their wallets.

    The UK contributes 0.04% of CO2 emissions.

    ‘Majority of UK public back 2030 zero-carbon’

    “How many fools does it take to make up a public?” – Chamfort

  8. We are already net zero. It’s the Chinese who are producing nearly all the excess CO2.

    (Prove me wrong without wrecking the whole CO2 calamity case.)

  9. We have had decades of relentless propaganda on this, and the BBC in particular proudly state that they do not present dissenting voices. Add in the fact that modern humans live very, very comfortable lives and have absolutely no conception of what life would be like under such a regime, and you can understand this figure.

    In fact 56% suggests that a surprisingly high percentage of the population are resistant to decades of intense propaganda and intimidation, which is encouraging.

  10. Small sample of gullible idiots with leading questions.

    I remember Saj Javid’s speech at the Tory conference. No clapping for climate lies at all there.

  11. I simply cannot get my head round the sheer deluded ignorance it requires to be “green”.

    I know somebody who wants to buy a milk float. The electricity will be essentially “free” because this misguided fool has solar panels on his roof and also seems to believe that free charging will soon become available at the workplace (hint, it won’t)

    Not only is this ‘”free” electricity tilting his decision but he then believes that he will he able to sell much of it back to the grid. That seals it apparently!

    How does one even begin trying to argue with this? And when I ask where all this “free” electricity is generated. Well the reply is not framed in any language or words I can understand.

    He is my age (almost 60) and is far from being unintelligent or uneducated.

  12. As with the New Zealand story, it’s one thing to commit to a target in 2030; it’s quite another to say “we’re going to cut carbon emissions by 10% a year in order to meet the target”.

    Bear in mind that the first 10% is the easiest to cut, which lulls policymakers into false expectations.

  13. This is news ?
    Over half the country voted to be poor
    Leaving the single market very popular
    Knowledge of what it is non existent
    Tom Watson is too right wing for the Labour Party fcs
    Phillip Hammond is unwelcome in the Conservative Party

    I think there is a a penumbran zone in which really really really stupid and actually mad are almost interchangeable- honestly I look around and wonder if aliens have sucked out British brains and replaced them with play dough.
    At least play dough smelt nice ……

  14. Facepainter–Even the voice of Treason like you isn’t stupid enough to swallow 100% of the globo elite propaganda that comes your way. Only the bit that tells you special you are and how you will be an honoured member of that globo elite after you have helped put the plebs down.

    And you will keep believing it all the way through the Soylent factory gates.

    Hopefully they will discard your brain matter–that would be a really dangerous pie filling.

  15. Steven Crook and The Mole make good points.

    The people responding to this poll would likely have given almost identical percentage answers if the question had said “2025” or if it had said “2045”, provided there weren’t other dated questions that give an anchoring effect. And if you did ask for “2025 vs 2030” the majority might switch to 2025 whereas I suspect you’d get similar support for 2030 if you asked “2030 vs 2040”. These aren’t people rationally weighing up a whole bunch of technical and economic arguments to decide on an optimal target date, it’s just folk giving a gut answer to a snap question from a pollster. I shouldn’t read too much into it except that it may be suggestive of the kind of policy they’d be theoretically willing to vote for. Then jack up petrol taxes and heating bills, or propose to, and see how many people actually will…

  16. Virtue signalling by the majority of responders. Revealed preferences will show that when facts such as cost or effort or inconvenience raises its head everyone will go back to the normal routines.

  17. @Interested: I too am a great believer in try-it-out-in-London. For example temporary accommodation for the homeless, refugees, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants should be erected on Hampstead Heath, don’t you think?

  18. Mad or misled? Most people haven’t twigged the personal cost, or even the full extent of the overall cost. The politicians are blatantly hiding all of this.

  19. I expect that opinion polls like this were positive in Santiago (? The place with the riots) about switching the Metro to using ‘green’ energy. They are now rioting over the cost.

    At least the costs became apparent almost immediately. For a ‘decarbonisation’ policy in the West, I fear by the time the true costs become apparent and the penny drops it will be too late.

  20. Someone should produce a reality show where ardent greenies are dropped in some remote winter wonderland for a month without anything that requires mining to be produced. The family of the person who lives the longest gets a year’s supply of tofu.

  21. A poll:

    Do you support the following propositions that are needed in order to decarbonise the UK economy by 2030?

    The government must ban sales of new ICE cars immediately … Y/N

    The government must confiscate all ICE cars that are ten years old or more and do the same every year until all ICE cars are removed from the road regardless of the availability of sufficient new electric cars or the facilities to charge them…. Y/N

    So will those poll questions get 56% support? And there are plenty more questions like that an honest journalist might ask.

  22. “56% of people back the total decarbonisation of the UK economy by 2030”

    Because they think it won’t make any difference to them, the rich will be paying for it all.

    Explain to them what the consequences will be for them personally, and you’ll find quite a different view being expressed.

    But that wouldn’t make a headline of course.

  23. Like the man who was much vexed by the vicar’s end of the world sermon, but was much comforted when the next day he say the vicar planting trees in his garden, I read 56% want to be carbon free in 11 years, but there is still a traffic jam on the M25 after Junction 3….

  24. The other side of “decarbonisation” is you either stop using carbon based fuel or you replace it.

    It is a simple formula, in transportation,. a litre of petrol generates around 9 kWh, so to replace that you need electrical generation from somewhere. So, if so many million/billion litres of petrol are going to be replaced by nuclear/wind/wave/solar, then just how many will need to be built by this time and how much will it cost ?

    Of course the alternative is just not to use transport at all …

  25. As Rob says, the population has been primed to give that answer.

    The BBC and other broadcasters won’t allow any debate or questioning of climate change pronouncements. For example, we’re told “Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists” in a headline that was plastered all over the media, and to emphasise the point there’s 11,000 of them. Must be right, thinks the average person if there’s so many scientists saying it. (11,000 studying climate change? Really? Thinks me.)

    But dig a little deeper and you find none of the big names weren’t asked and nobody thought to call them and ask why. If it was that certain why weren’t they queuing up to to get their names at the head of the list?

    Some 11,000 researchers of all types and varieties from 153 countries have endorsed the research

    The authors say they didn’t target individuals so there is a marked lack of some of the bigger names in climate change research.

    All the details of who’s signed the endorsement have been published online.

    Then there’s the “97% of scientist agree climate change” statement that is used to dismiss questioning and questioners as deniers. What exactly did they agree (my emphasis):

    But that is not how things work today. Climate action advocates routinely look for ways to silence climate skeptics (sic), up to and including seeking to prosecute these climate heretics and try to throw them in jail.

    The reason that alarmists say they feel confident in vilifying and attempting to silence folks like myself is because they claim that the science is settled, that 97% of climate scientists believe in the consensus, and so everyone who is not on board with the consensus needs to shut up. But what exactly is this consensus?

    The 97% number first appeared in a “study” by several academics who sent out a survey to scientists with some climate change questions. They recieved (sic) over 3146 responses, but they decided that only 77 of these respondents “counted” as climate scientists, and of these 75 of the 77 (97%) answered two questions about climate change in the affirmative.

    [Slide82]

    We will get to the two questions in a second, but note already the odd study methodology. If the other 10,000 plus people sent the survey were not the targets of the survey, why were they sent a survey in the first place? It makes one suspicious that the study methodology was changed mid-stream to get the answer they wanted.

    Anyway, what is even more fascinating is the two questions asked in the survey. Here they are:

    When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
    The 97% in this survey answered the questions “risen” and “yes”.

    Do you see the irony here? If you have been following along with this series, you should be able to say how I would have answered the two questions. I would certainly have said “risen” to 1. The answer to question 2 is a bit hard because “significant” is not defined, but in a complex system with literally thousands of variables, I would have said one of those variables was a significant contributor at anything over about 10%. Since I estimated man’s effect on past warming around 40-50%, I would have answered “yes” to #2! In fact, most every prominent science-based skeptic I can think of would likely have answered the same.

    So you heard it right — I and many prominent skeptics are part of the 97% consensus. Effectively, I am being told to shut up and not continue to say what I think, in the name of a 97% consensus that represents exactly what I am saying. This is so weird as to be almost Kafka-esque.

    In the face of all that how can the average person not agree there’s an imminent crises and it needs to be dealt with now and by any means they tell us.

    What’s heartening is that it was only 56%, perhaps the catastrophists are damaging their own brand with all these wild stories and protests. We can only hope so.

  26. @doc bud there was a show called Alone, took 10 survival experts and dropped them off at the northern end of Vancouver Island with 10 pieces of equipment, autumn time I think, with the aim that last person left standing wins $500k, within a week half of them had given up and called for the rescue team. It’s not easy to survive in the wilderness even if you know what you are doing

  27. “What’s heartening is that it was only 56%, perhaps the catastrophists are damaging their own brand with all these wild stories and protests.”

    Indeed, Mr in North Dorset.

    One of the things started to alert me some 30 years ago was learning about Malthus, then seeing that he was the first in a long line of end-of-the-world-is-nighers whose predictions were rapidly falsified by events.

    That’s the thing with these people, one of them anyway. They always get everything wrong. Erhlich, the Club of Rome and the limits to growth, the 70s predictions of running out of oil, warble gloaming where from 1998 there was an unfortunate pause, children born after 2000 would not see snow. Add your own to the list …

  28. Among the signatories of the statement referred to by BiND is Professor Micky Mouse of the Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind, Namibia. Yes, really.

    A world-leading climate scientist, I imagine

  29. Anyone remember this?

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/501907/14-year-old-who-convinced-people-ban-dihydrogen-monoxide

    Always comes to mind whenever I am shown a poll around something vaguely ‘scientific’ which has been asked of the general public. The raising onto a pedestal of a mentally unhinged Swedish teenager is of a piece with this kind of reasoning. As many legends of this parish have said on another thread, the people holding these beliefs are the new establishment sadly, and with a Corbyn victory looking near certain their hour is coming round at last….

  30. “@Interested: I too am a great believer in try-it-out-in-London”

    Seconded!

    “It’s not easy to survive in the wilderness even if you know what you are doing”

    You only need to watch some of the Alaska based programmes shown on the likes of Quest TV for that to be obvious. And 95% of those “Off Gridders” still rely on regular supplies of bottled Propane (C/O the railway, and/or petrol powered snowmobiles), for some of their heating, cooking & refrigeration.

    An XR supporting family member sent me a YT link about a community living “Sustainably” in the desert somewhere in New Mexico. To be fair, there was lots of clever use/reuse of various materials we normally throw out, but they ALL had gas cookers (powered by propane), and from time to time needed bulk water deliveries!

    And the low population density of these houses, with their sewage processing gardens, is completely at odds with what would be required if we all had to live such a lifestyle. But the Greens are now openly admitting the need to reduce world population in order to tackle climate change:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/06/green-new-deal-dems-toss-their-support-behind-report-pushing-to-fast-track-population-control/

  31. AndrewM: You can’t cut by 10% per year. If you do that you are still at 35% after 10 years. To get down to 1% after 10 years you need to cut by 37% every year. Alternatively to get a linear drop over 10 years, you cut by 10% the first year, 12.5% the next, then 14.3% and so on, increasing until the next to last cut is 50% and the last cut from years 9 to 10 is 100%! Either way you cut it, the proles won’t hack that. And of course, politicians can’t do simple spreadsheet magic like I can:)

    Even for 2050 you have to start at 14% per year every year, or 3.4% increasing to 100%. Us proles won’t buy that either. Plus we have to send £zillions to China & India & the rest of the Third World as well.

  32. A while back there was a feature in the Sunday Times about some “green” people who live “off grid”, using rainwater and cooking on an open fire.

    Meanwhile in the developing world, millions are still at risk from the lack of safe water, and cooking on open fires.

    Go figure.

  33. Such polls are fake news. They are specially commissioned by axe-grinders. With loaded questions. When the results have been replicated by other in-depth polls, we can then begin to take them seriously.

    Consider the following question: ‘The UK could go carbon-free by 2030 at a cost of £n billion pa and your living standards could fall as a result. Do you favour going carbon-free by 2030?’
    Would those saying No fall much below 75%?

  34. Have mentioned before. Some locals have a right-on, trendy off-grid house on a hillside. When I asked what the outhouse was for: You got it – a diesel generator….. Ha, ha, ha, ha…..

  35. This poll is kind of like asking a septic if they want “affordable healthcare”. Everyone says they do, but they are most certainly lying. The reality of the matter is this: What septics want is the best healthcare available irrespective of cost, and they want someone else to pay for it.

    So it is with wogs and “decarbonization”.

  36. Suspect the sort of survey Sir Humphrey outlined, ask a couple of leading questions then only publish the answer to the last one

    1. Do you think rising sea levels are bad
    2. Do you think air pollution is bad
    And so on then
    5. Do you support decarbonisation by 2030

    If you started with….
    1. Do you support large increases in energy bills
    2. Do you support scrapping industries…
    And so on you could engineer the opposite answer

  37. What it means is that government policy has long ago left the realms of public knowledge. A vote or a democracy is utterly meaningless if the people doing the voting do not comprehend the choices or the consequences of those choices. Universal suffrage was a colossal error of judgement.

  38. @Dearieme

    Excellent idea. I wonder if – in all seriousness – a genuinely conservative party which targeted the regions and promised to try out lots of these clever new ideas in London might not gain some traction in the provinces?

    It could also pledge to follow through on individual constituency votes.

    Brighton wants a Green? Great! All petrol and diesel engines banned in Brighton within one year of the election, no gas for cooking/heating and no domestic fires.

    Liverpool wants absurd leftists? Great! Tax in Liverpool up to 90% within one year of the election, with all the money raised (lol) spent locally on schools and angels sorry nurses.

  39. They are attempting to afflict the future. Not themselves, but the future. This is anti democracy. The future is disenfranchised.

  40. @BniC

    +1

    Marketing for Dummies – Ch. 4: Surveys

    Once this “leading question” plan understood, easy to see through it

    @Interested

    Brighton “Snowflake” head mistress bans “tag” game, advocates holding hands and clapping games

    Oops, NUS will be angry – clapping is traumatic and dangerous

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