Are politicians being straight over climate change? I’ve heard nothing but news on climate change this week and much of it good. Extinction rebellion can take credit for shifting the balance in politics. The UK parliament passed a motion declaring climate change an emergency and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) brought out a report on the how the UK should and can get to net zero carbon by 2050. There’s just one problem. They make it all sound too easy at least on a personal level. I’ve not heard a single politician use the word sacrifice this week. Now there’s a surprise. Are we going to have to stop flying, no. What about another runway at Heathrow? We can still do that. Every time someone has been asked a question they have dodged it.
Even the CCC in my view in the report gloss over the problems or rely on chimeras like carbon capture or hydrogen (search for past blog posts particularly on hydrogen). They say we should cut our meat consumption by 20% again this seems too low and too easy. They call for a huge roll out of electric vehicles and heat pumps. To be fair they do say there will be challenges on this in terms of grid reinforcement and electricity supply. Those are the easy problems to solve for both (search the blog for the major problems). That’s not to say there are not good things in the CCC report. I happen to think (and there is scientific evidence for this) that tying carbon up in 1⋅5 billion trees is a good idea. So is using the trees for building materials. So is not buying carbon credits from abroad.
Are politicians being straight over climate change? Well you decide for yourselves. In my opinion we could have done this relatively easily if we’d started in 1986. Delay after delay means we have run out of easy options. For what its worth I’m optimistic but think the changes required far more drastic than in charge people are letting on. After all if it was easy the shovels would have been a blur decades ago.