Eat less meat and travel less to save the world, says Britain’s chief scientist

People should eat less meat and travel less in order to save the planet from the so-called climate crisis, says a scientist who has become well known to the public as the face of the government’s response to coronavirus.

Appearing before a House of Lords committee on Tuesday, Sir Patrick Vallance claimed that in light of climate change he had changed his diet and opted to travel less and suggested the public do the same.

“I’m eating less meat, cycling to work and flying less than I used to,” the government’s top science adviser said. The telegraph. “I didn’t say that I had stopped stealing or that I didn’t eat meat – it was. I think it’s about reduction, and appropriate reduction across society.

Vallance, who rose to national prominence as one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top advisers during China’s coronavirus crisis, has complained there is too much fear surrounding the government’s Net Zero agenda , which seeks to radically transform the UK economy to reduce carbon emissions almost entirely – to “net zero” – by 2050.

“It is important that the message [on climate change] is not designed to cause fear or anger,” Sir Patrick said, adding: “It should be about making sure people understand what the situation is.

“We shouldn’t aim to scare people off because it’s not helpful, but we should aim to empower people to understand what actions they can take,” he continued, noting that it’s “unquestionable “that the net zero agenda will force people to change their habits and lifestyle.

While the government has so far refrained from enforcing such lifestyle restrictions, it has previously suggested imposing carbon taxes on meat and dairy imports. The government has also commissioned the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) – informally called the “Nudge Unit” – to develop psychological ways to persuade the public to align with the green agenda.

The net zero agenda has come under increased political scrutiny amid rising energy costs in the economic fallout from years of political mismanagement, two years of lockdown, war in Ukraine and international sanctions against Russia.

Attempting to defend his leftist Build Back Better agenda, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called opposition to his green push “prejudicial”.

“In fact, green technology, green and sustainable electricity can help reduce bills. Overall, if you look at what we’ve done with renewables, it’s helped lower bills over the last few years and will continue to do so,” Johnson said.

However, according to an analysis by former House of Lords peer Matt Ridley, wind power projects receive around £6billion in government subsidies a year, the majority of which comes from taxes levied on utility bills. household energy. Currently, 25% of energy bills are paid to the government to be spent on green programs.

Despite being so heavily subsidized by the taxpayer, energy generated by wind turbines only accounted for 4% of the country’s primary energy demand in 2020, Viscount Ridley noted.

In response to the global energy crisis, the government has eased restrictions on North Sea gas exploration and nuclear, but has so far refused to lift the fracking moratorium for natural gas.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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