The Planners Again, I\’m Afraid

Do what we think you ought to do, not what you think you ought to:

Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have made a serious proposal that consumers switch to UHT (Ultra-High Temperature or Ultra-Heat Treated) milk to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is part of a government strategy to ensure that some 90 per cent of milk on sale will not require refrigeration by 2020.

The paper states: “Retail and domestic refrigeration is an area with the potential for significant impact reduction. The milk chain should enhance the development, marketing and placement of UHT milk products.” It also states that existing choices for consumers (mainly fresh milk products) “mean that they may not demand milk that does not have to be refrigerated”.

That last is stating that the availability of fresh milk reduces sales of UHT milk. Well, yes, I suppose it does. They are substitutes, after all. The rather more chilling (sorry) implication is that the provision of fresh milk will be forcibly reduced against consumer desires.

The whole thing is an example of the shambles that is bound to result from allowing the planners to decide such matters. Whatever we do do about climate change (and yes, I know that some say nothing, indeed I sometimes say it myself, given the idiocy of what the politicians are already insisting upon), picking winners in this manner is absurd. What we\’re trying to do is reduce emissions at the least cost in the reduction of consumer utility. That means pricing carbon into products and then leaving consumers to make their own decisions. Not that some bureaucrat with a hard on for UHT gets to impose his vision on the rest of us.


10 thoughts on “The Planners Again, I\’m Afraid”

  1. I’m too outraged to comment sensibly on this. I would note, however, that the table at the end shows fresh milk consumtpion to be directly proportional to the desirability of a country (Greece being the exception that proves the rule).

  2. Perhaps this explains why so little fresh milk is drunk in France. And I believe cafes there are not even allowed to use it. Disgusting! Can they really do this to us?

  3. Errrr, have they considered that the reason sales of UHT milk are so low is because it is normally kept in a larder in small amounts for those times when you come back from holiday and go “I fancy a cuppa”, swiftly followed by “fuck, I’m out of fresh milk”. No one chooses UHT, one is forced by dire circumstance.

  4. I’ve had the opportunity to drink UHT milk several times while deployed on ships (refrigerated milk doesn’t last very long).

    What rational person in the first world with two tastebuds to rub together would want to drink this stuff? This is for people who can’t AFFORD refrigeration an absolutely need milk.

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