Man With Long Hair Playing The Drum In The Park

A recent article by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is advocating for radical “individual and systems” alterations in human activities and behaviors as necessary to avoid crisis-level climate change between now and 2030. (“What a 1.5C lifestyle actually looks like,” 4 May 2023.)

Among the proscriptions advanced by the BBC? Forget owning a car, including an EV. Instead, look to smart cities, scooters, and drones.

Travel less, via “substantial reduction in flying.”

Forget eating meat, of course. And dairy.

Any appliance, even phones and computers, might be metered and limited.

And yes, the overarching theme of the article?  Degrowth.

The Degrowth Agenda Continues to Emerge in Real World Policies Undercutting Freedoms of Average Humanity

After detailing how people will need to be led, via their own personal lifestyle changes, and government dictates (euphemistically termed “systems” change), to give up their mobility, their rights to eat foods they enjoy and find healthful, and their rights to live where and in what settings they prefer, the article makes a full-blown case for defacto Degrowth.

It quotes several climate “experts” pushing a Degrowth agenda, including Lucas Chancel, an economist at the Paris School of Economics.

The article has this passage concerning Chancel’s thoughts on overconsumption:

And then there are our other types of consumption. “[A low-carbon world] is a world where overall we consume less of ‘stuff’,” says Chancel. We might consume more cultural experiences (think festivals, theatre trips, or dance classes), but “in terms of stuff, whatever has a weight, whatever is produced with matter and with energy, we consume less of that”, he says.

Lewis Akenji, managing director of the Hot or Cool Institute, meanwhile, relates how the consumption costs of travel must be addressed via reductions:

“While people would still travel for holidays, meanwhile, they would generally become more local, more deliberate, and less consumptive. Quite often the things that we consider holidays are more just opportunities for consumption – and they do not necessarily improve our wellbeing. What really improves our well being is getting off the work mindset for a bit to recharge, engaging with communities and people that you love, or discovering other things you do not typically do not engage with.”

Akenji advocated for dystopian-level social and governmental efforts to instill desired behavioral changes to induce a world of degrowth. As the article described his recommendations:

“‘[We need] both individual and systems change,’ says Akenji: government policy, societal preferences, and consumer behaviour can all influence each other.”

Al Gore’s visions concerning urban makeovers into smart cities where people would have no need for cars, and undue traveling or material consumption, are also covered.

The article signals how radical activists who are increasingly open about pushing Degrowth policies as a solution to climate change “crisis,” are setting the stage to box humans into urban confines, complete with travel and eating restrictions, and even limits on leaving residences.

Concerning work, it posits restrictions that people allowed authorities to impose during the COVID War to become permanent impositions to fight the Carbon War:

“Work itself may also change in a low-carbon world. Work contracts could look different than todays, with an increasing focus on working from home and shorter and more flexible hours. Still, there would be plenty of work to do in a low-carbon world – one recent report estimated the shift to a green economy could create 18 million jobs.” 

The article wind-up predictably quotes a true believer, low-carbon lifestyle liver Rosalind Readhead, and her personal “idyllic” vision for how the world might join her pursuits:

“You can meditate, be in nature, just stop doing things and absorb the world, smell flowers, go foraging, art, walking, cycling, gardening. Listening or playing acoustic music, singing, dancing, all the things we did as kids: these are things that we had a great love of.”

Earlier, the article does manage to point out that, by far, the world’s largest carbon footprints belong to the top 1 and 10 percent of the world’s per capita richest:

But its proscriptions curiously neglect focusing on those 1 percenters, who create more carbon emissions than all other groups combined.

In fact, carbon goals so favored by many of the world’s elites could essentially be accomplished if they themselves brought their own carbon emissions down to the level of the “middle 40 percent,” as the chart above clearly shows.

So. What’s the chance of those elites giving up their private jets, gaudy lifestyles and far-flung enterprises, to get on board with that kind of “individual and systems” change? Net Zero.

Then, there’s another way of looking at carbon emissions in absolute terms, based on which countries are creating the most overall emissions. That kind of graph wasn’t included in the BBC piece, but that kind of graph shows that China and India produce more emissions than the U.S. and the rest of the developed world combined, as The Trends Journal noted in “HOW CHINA MAKES OTHERS PAY FOR CLIMATE COSTS” (22 Nov 2022).

The BBC article can be read here.

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