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East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (18th Jul 2019 @ 07:32:46)

This evening at Penns place 6pm East Hampshire District Council will debate whether the Council should consider declaring a Climate Emergency. The public can attend the vote.

I emailed my local councillor about this a week ago and received no response and I have heard the Tory councillors are unlikely to support this motion. This really shocks me when a large section of the population agrees we need to be working to stop climate change.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Rölli (18th Jul 2019 @ 14:07:07)

I'm with Trump on this, (but only this!!!). Far more important things to be dealing with

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- helen (18th Jul 2019 @ 14:46:46)

How would a vote by EHDC stop any climate emergency? Unless the whole world gives up using fossil fuels etc and emiting noxious substances how will it help? India China and America need to be the primary movers in this not EHDC.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- liz (18th Jul 2019 @ 16:25:07)

I don't think EHDC necessarily needs to declare a 'Climate Emergency' - but then I'm not sure how much difference that would make to policies. However they do need to acknowledge and address the issue - everyone needs to do their bit.

If you think it's not serious then I notice in this morning's news that the Flat Earth Society is gaining members and I'm sure it would appreciate some more! (This is where someone totally misses the point and tells me that has nothing to do with climate!) As for Trump, fortunately many US States are ignoring him and getting on with plans aiming to meet or even exceed Paris goals.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Phill (18th Jul 2019 @ 18:27:35)

Well said Liz.
The climate crisis should inform every decision made at local and national government level. Provision of public transport, location of housing and industrial developments to reduce car dependence, preparation for extreme weather events, deployment of community-based renewable energy micro-generation to cut fuel bills.....the list goes on. We need to plan decades ahead, no just until the next general election and this move may help that happen.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- AN (18th Jul 2019 @ 21:41:33)

Not quite sure what is more important than the preservation of the small rock we call home for future generations. Seems anything less is hubris to the extreme.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Not sat on the fence (18th Jul 2019 @ 22:51:42)

"Once upon a Time" someone came up with a plan to tell lots and lots of lies, in order to sell lots and lots of Toys May be?

The writer likes to deal in facts, supported by annexures evidencing the facts, not hearsay and gossip.

In a interview on Fox News with Mark Levine, on the show Life Liberty and Levine, Dr. Patrick Michaels, provides insight into the debate over climate change and the political games played to create policy.

Patrick has a long list of professional qualifications, experience and accolades including;

- A Doctor, Quoted by many as being 'The Global Expert' on all things Climate and the Environment

- Director for the Centre of Science at the KATO Institute

- AB and SM Degrees in Biology Sciences and Plant Ecology in the University of Chicago

- PHD in Ecology of Climatology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison

- Past President of the American Association of State Climatologist

- Programme Chairman for the Committee on Applied Climatology at the American Meteorological Society

- Research Professor at the Environmental at the University of Virginia for 30 years

Contributing Author and Reviewer of the United Nations International Global Panel of Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Doctor Michaels summarises the real facts evidence data and statistics. by saying that only half of the 9/10 of a 1 degree
(0.0.45 degree) in the earths surface temperature.... 'may' be due to greenhouse gasses...'may'.

He continues that the Theory is right but the application of the theory is wrong.

It is No where near as warm as it is supposed to be. The Computer models are making Systematic, Dramatic Errors over the Entire Tropics which is 40% of the Earth and where almost all our Moisture comes from.

Another Perspective which makes for very Interesting listening and reading. Look up his interview.

Undeclared conflicts of interests? May be?

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- helen (18th Jul 2019 @ 23:11:41)

I am not saying it is not important but voting on the matter ? what would be the purpose? the police are prosecuting the people who demonstrated peacefully about it in London?

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (19th Jul 2019 @ 08:43:45)

I had a google of Patrick Michaels

The Cato institute is a think tank founded by Charles and David Koch to promote a libertarian and reduced government view point.

Patrick Michaels is largely funded by the oil industry.
There are many many articles debunking his climate denial stance.

Approx 97% of publishing climate scientists believe in climate change.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (19th Jul 2019 @ 09:09:24)

So what I understand happened last night is that the EHDC councillors were due to debate whether to declare a climate emergency that would commit the council to be become carbon neutral by specific dates. Instead, at five minutes notice, the conservatives put forward what was in effect a new motion. The new motion retained just the first line of the original:

“1 Declare a Climate Emergency”

The new motion contained no commitment and certainly no targets with time limits. It did say it would revise the energy strategy. This is “Energy Strategy 2014 – 2019” of which I understand no recommendations have ever been implemented. This is a real pity and I believe not in line with the public mood on this. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say we have until 2030 to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

This is in contrast to what happened earlier yesterday, at the Hampshire County Council debate on their climate emergency, Conservative Councillor Russell Oppenheimer bravely voted for a motion that imposed very specific targets and dates.

Indeed Surrey county council early this month had a change of heart after having done a similar tactic of watering down a motion to declare a climate emergency earlier in the year. This time they had a change of heart and the conservative council voted for specific dates and targets. With one councillor reported on the Surrey live website as saying “I didn’t understand quite as much as I understand now when we first debated it. We need to make this a priority as our residents want it.”

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Ian (19th Jul 2019 @ 09:46:12)

It seems to me our media and politicians are becoming obsessed with so many ‘campaigning’ issues like diversity, mental health, climate change, LGBT rights, equality rights etc whilst ignoring what in my opinion is the single biggest issue affecting almost all the population which is the erosion of law and order, health care and educational funding. There is a huge shortage of police officers, teachers and front line medical staff and our politicians are focusing on these ‘campaigning issues’ rather than dealing with matters that affect the majority of us

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- liz (19th Jul 2019 @ 09:48:56)

Thanks James, that's very interesting.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- oldie (19th Jul 2019 @ 09:58:07)

I hope everyone who believes that our council needs to declare an emergency are not planning to fly ever again, unless it's an emergency and similarly won't be driving a petrol or diesel car anywhere, heating their houses this winter (except from their windmill) or expending unnecessary electricity using up to the minute electronic items like computers.

Between 1990s and 2014 there wasn't any rise in global temperatures, since then they have risen slightly, on average global temperatures are now about 1 degree higher than 200 years ago.

Liz you are wrong to suggest there can be no debate on this or anything else for that matter. Yes the figures are persuasive and the risks are real, but we should never shut down debate with insults or hysterics.

A predicted 10 to 30inch foot rise in sea levels over the next 100 years (National Geographic) would I think still leave 99% of the world's surface above water and rising sea levels are the worst case scenario, warmth by itself is actually conducive to abundance of life over cold and ice. In fact most at risk coastal cities have already mitigated against this risk level or are in the process of building necessary sea defences(National Geographic again).

I'm not saying it's not a concern, especially to coastal communities in low lying areas and personally I'm happy to stop flying if the rest of you are, go on sign up and take the challenge everyone, don't just leave it all to the council!

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Not sat on the Fence (19th Jul 2019 @ 10:19:14)

James - all information must be 100% correct if you Googled it LOL!. I believe Googles and Facebook's days of controlling the sheeples through addiction to misinformation are numbered. Why else are they and others are facing multi-billion dollar fines?

Where is the evidence that the Cato Institute is a think tank founded by Charles and David Koch to promote a libertarian and reduced government view point. A lot of Humanitarian and planetary protection bodies were hijacked by the libertarians. If true that is probably why Patrick involvement in Cato is past tense.

Where did you get the information that Patrick Michaels is largely funded by the oil industry? There are many many articles debunking his climate denial stance. I would genuinely like to see the evidence. With the onslaught of truly clean technologies not electric cars and wind turbines etc, but wave power, antigravity transportation and Nicola Tesla communications and power generators, It is my believe that the oil Co's future is uncertain and the are looking to jump on board the train of inevitability.

Not sure where it is quoted that "Approx 97% of publishing climate scientists believe in climate change? Is it 96.9% or 97.3%? or just another case of 9 out of 10 cats prefer Whiska's supermeat so it must be tasty? It amazes me that one will believe a simple 97% without researching the truth, but appear to support the poor poo-ing of Patricks Michaels' substantial and life long academic achievements, which could and probably will, save our boney arses.

The evidence (named whistle-blowers) says that most global 'clubs' such as the WHO reward their members for signing up to their membership "18,000 other scientists agree that this is right so they can'y all be wrong" oh and her is a thank you for signing up....Maybe?

James, did you watch the interview ;-)

ALL the writer knows, is that much of what we are ever told by global and national governments, turns out to be a lie. There is no profit in the truth.....Cigarettes, Diesel (now they poison us with Ad Blue) Nuclear fuel, and most the most toxic of all Brexit, which will be the best thing to happen to Britain and the World, since Adam and Eve.

Peace and Love not War - GESARA Law

May God bless us all.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- oldie (19th Jul 2019 @ 12:22:58)

Oops just re-read my post bit of nonsense when I said that even with a predicted 10-30 inch sea rise level over the next 100 years, 99% of the earth's surface would still be above water, I meant of the current land surface of course!

And liz, didn't mean to have a go, but the earth isn't really round of course, that's just silly, or else when you flew to Australia you'd arrive upside down and everything would fall off, obviously!

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Not sat on the Fence (19th Jul 2019 @ 13:07:18)

Flat Earth...Definitely sat on the fence on this one. LOL!

A 747 pilot wouldn't commit, however he advised they do keep a bit of right rudder or left rudder on depending on destination. Interesting, although not as interesting as the next bit, which is they climb to cruising altitude and then level off. WOW!!!. So they wouldn't the plane fly off into disappear into space if the world was round? Oh and they operate under NDA's. Cor Blimey!!!

The Truth will out and set us all free...Soon....May be?

PS got too many splinters in my Sphincter from that Old Fence, and the world wasn't harmonising, so chose to jump off and enrol in 'University of Life' as a way forward LOL!

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- liz (19th Jul 2019 @ 13:40:31)

Oldie

I have not suggested there is no debate on climate change in fact I am very much in the thick of it. To claim that between the 1990's and 2014 there was no rise in global temperatures is just plain wrong - although it's not a straight line admittedly. (No doubt some will say the numbers are "fake news" anyway!)

You say that warmth by itself is conducive to abundance of life over cold and ice, totally ignoring the likely impact on complex global ecosystems which is what matters.

I would like to ask 'Not sat on the fence' why global oil companies who have large numbers of scientists are not trying to persuade us that the scientist quoted on Fox News (Trump's favourite channel I believe) is correct? Instead they are spending millions of dollars addressing the issue, setting goals for reduction in carbon emissions and in some cases even linking this to executive pay.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (19th Jul 2019 @ 14:28:38)

Must admit I am somewhat disappointed we seem to have strayed from discussing EHDC and holding them accountable re their watering down of a climate change emergency declaration and targets.

However I have to ask Mr Fence what are the lies governments are telling us on cigarettes?

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- liz (19th Jul 2019 @ 15:08:02)

James

It seems there is a problem. Many, astonishingly, seem to think climate change is not a key issue. This gives the Council an excuse to do the minimum/nothing.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Penny Williamson (19th Jul 2019 @ 15:57:33)

I think that is what "Fence" is referring to- on the News yesterday.

"A man in France was outraged to discover that his amputated leg was pictured on cigarette packets throughout the EU without his consent.

The picture was displayed on cigarette and tobacco packets sold in the EU beside the message “smoking clogs your arteries. He said his amputation had nothing to do with smoking but was the result of a shooting in Albania in 1997 and he never agreed to the use of the picture as a warning against the hazards of smoking."

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (19th Jul 2019 @ 16:21:21)

Thanks Penny! I guess I fell right into that one :)

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (19th Jul 2019 @ 17:44:49)

Liz - yes agreed. We are now in a mass extinction species and countries like Australia already know too well the consequences of climate change, but still there are people who want to argue/delay doing anything about it and likely the following generations will pay the biggest price.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Thoughts (19th Jul 2019 @ 18:30:36)

So it seems to me there's a lot of opinions at play here but largely can be stratified into the following set,

Does Climate Change exist?

I think observation of the current trend towards longer and hotter summers, as well as both more mild and more intense winters serves to answer this question. When we throw around things like "Global warming can't be happening because it seems really cold this winter" or "Global warming doesn't seem that harmful given that we had a lovely summer" we must remember where we live.

The UK will in someways be affected by any global increase in temperature, but a rise here, will not affect general health or quality of life in the same way it might in sub-Saharan Africa, which is already a very difficult region to live in from a Geopolitcal, ecological and agricultural perspective.

Does human-driven global warming exist?

This is a more challenging question, because of course, it's hard to imagine the collective impact the human race is capable of having. We also don't appreciate actually how little impact we also need to have. Take, for example, our green spaces. It's a popular opinion that the UK is overcrowded and cannot accommodate more people yet only 6% of the UK is actually built on according to recent research (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41901294).

A one degree celsius average rise also doesn't sound like a lot, but average rise also means a rise in the upper and lower range of temperatures we see across a year. Meaning whereas you might expect one 40 degree day in every ten years, you could now expect three 40 degree days in every ten years. This also means more hotter days, more heatwaves, more wildfires etc as we increase the chance of warm weather related disasters happening by having more hot days.

Essentially, when you hear something minuscule and it sounds insignificant it might not be. Human activity has released a lot of carbon dioxide which we would previous have considered "banked", essentially locked in land or natural resources. Evidence from ice cores, among other things have shown a significant rise in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the past 100 years.

I would say to pretend that humans are too insignificant to have an impact on the environment of our entire planet, is to under-appreciate the breadth and depth of human achievement

Don't we have bigger fish to fry?

Yes and no. I think it's very easy to go with "My issue trumps your issue" but that kind of rhetoric misses the point and also isn't very innovative. If we look at things like the migrant crisis at the moment, we see that the vast majority are economic migrants. This in some ways will be the effect of a change in the global climate. The mass migration of people from one region to another in search of better opportunities and a better environment to work and live.

A solution to one problem, can potentially be a partial solution to another problem. It is folly to allow one issue to trump another or to fixate on one particular issue, or stake out a particular political viewpoint and remain intractable. This ultimately flies in the face of governance by consensus, which is the point of democracy. We could tie this back to Brexit, but I won't add more petrol to the fire (to use an ecological insensitive metaphor hahaha)

Isn't climate change a lie/conspiracy/means to exploit more money out of us?

This discourse starts to approach anti-vaxxers territory and I think to try and convince someone that climate change is not a conspiracy doesn't do as much as to explain the methodology, research and time that goes into studying the effects of climate change.

As a research scientist myself, I believe that the academic and research community as a whole, is guilty of not communicating clearly and being open as they could be able what and how they are researching. That said this feeds into our general media driven world, where people aren't interested in the how, but the what.

I believe, we have a duty as a community to do a better job communicating what our research is, why we are conducting it, how it may eventually affect you and both what weaknesses and strengths that research carries, that said many researchers are not natural communicators.

I would suggest that before you ascribe ill-motives to what we're doing or saying, really take the time to learn and ask. Don't be afraid to challenge us, but don't do it through half baked facts from some TV quack scientist. It takes time to really get into the depth of an issue, and it's not something people often have, but don't draw immediate assumptions, based on the view that most suits your own.

EDHC is too small to have an impact, China, India and the US are all more responsible and they're doing nothing, why bother?

This is a matter of soft power vs hard power. The UK cannot force another nation state, especially not a large one into committing to certain ecological commitments. However, domestic political policies are kind of like global popularity contests.

We for example, look at China, Singapore even places like Norway and Sweden with envy over how their education system is run, because we view it as preparing students better than our education system does (I realise this opinion might not be shared by everyone, but I feel this is a solid example so bare with me)

Ecological policy is much the same. There are demonstrable benefits to a strong, progressive environmental policy, including better air quality, better environments, more sustainable living and even in some ways cheaper lifestyles.

Furthermore, the economic benefits of an embraced environmental policy rather than a begrudging one, is clear. Many of the next big companies and organisations will be in sustainable living. The UK is a leading force in Fusion research and in sustainability research and yet we shoot ourselves in the foot (See isle of wight voting against windfarms on the island resulting in their windfarm factory closing down)

Becoming a leading force in environmental policy is not something that ruins our way of life, it's a way of enhancing our economy and to an extent our global reach.

And that does start on the local level, it starts with us saying this is what we want to do, and where we want to go. Ultimately, the influence of our culture is felt around the world and rather than stagnating and clinging to old ways we should consider moving to embracing new ways to remain relevant.

"Hampshire County went green by 2025, through a concerted united effort to reduce emissions, implement forward thinking green policies, whilst balancing the quality of life of it's residents"

vs.

"Hampshire county, exists in 2025"

Ultimately, someone has to do it first, right?

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Not sat of the Fence (20th Jul 2019 @ 08:21:59)

Some really relevant points taken up here.

Not sure that the Government or councils have any say or pul at this time.

Many people rely on an income from the Oil industry and markets. Will those people really be interested in a stay of execution for 'Peak Oil' ?

Don't want to get into claims of 'conspiracies', however cloud seeding, acidification of land and other catastrophic events and influences which definitely are man made but not part of the earths natural warming and cooling cycle are very real. However under direction these can and will be turned off.

The powers that be are already starting to rehydrate parts of Africa in order to encourage reforestation.

So my own perspective and position is use the real facts to change policy and policy makers and guess what? things will change, obviously.

In relation to all posts and posters, this subject certainly appears to have invoked a passionate and prevalent debate, which I for one am delighted as it proves that we do care and are not totally asleep or worse dead just yet.

All Truth passes through 3 stages;

Firstly it is ridiculed
Secondly it is resisted
Finally it is accepted as the Truth

Humans never Learn?

Perhaps Boris will sort things....If not we will all die laughing LOL!

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (20th Jul 2019 @ 08:41:46)

thoughts - thanks for your consider reply. EDHC could be doing so much more. For example Investing in solar panels at it's own sites rather than simply borrowing money to invest. You have to wonder why Butser hill is fine to have an ugly mobile phone mast but no wind turbine. Better recycling. Encouraging cycling as replacement to car journeys. For example requiring developers to create cycle paths when they give permission to huge housing projects. Not to mention enforcing existing requirements of green traffic plans on large developments such as Old Thorns.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Phill (20th Jul 2019 @ 23:32:37)

The Exxon and Shell funded denials of climate change have held back action for decades...some of their nonsense recycled here. It is not a matter of belief but of fact.

There's a great cartoon where an audience member pipes up at a climate change conference: "but what if it's all a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- liz (22nd Jul 2019 @ 15:33:00)

I don't know about Exxon but certainly Shell are not and have not been deniers of climate change. Not in the last 20 years or so at any rate. (No, I don't work for them).

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Editor (23rd Jul 2019 @ 11:35:29)

East Hampshire District Council has officially declared a climate emergency and announced how it will continue to take urgent, positive and deliverable steps to reduce its impact on the environment.

Councillors pledged to work across political parties to achieve a list of ‘ambitious and achievable’ targets and build on its long-standing environmental track record.

Among the objectives are the appointment of a Climate Change Champion, retrofitting homes with energy-saving improvements and planting a tree for every resident in the district.

At its Full Council meeting on Thursday 18 July, EHDC pledged to renew its environment and energy strategy with actions that will reduce its carbon emissions and promote sustainable business practices.

The strategy will ensure that all council services focus on environmental issues as part of everyday decision-making. It will promote sustainable building standards through the council’s planning and building standards work and will influence and collaborate with other public bodies to deliver the UK government Climate Change Act target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The council’s retrofit programme, subsidising the installation of energy-saving measures such as insulation and double glazing – which has already seen £1 million of works carried out - will be further promoted to residents.

The council will also seek to remove carbon from the environment with an ambitious tree-planting programme which will see 120,000 trees planted across East Hampshire – one for each resident in the district.

A cross-party working group will be set up, headed by a Climate Change Champion drawn from the opposition parties, with a remit to include views and ideas from across the community.

Councillor Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “We will work together to ensure the results we have set out are achieved. We must look to the future and the kind of environment we will be handing on to future generations. We must take action now, before it is too late, to ensure real improvement in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

“This council has a strong track record on environmental issues having drawn up its Green Town Vision for the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon in 2003, our pool cars are electric and we have helped install electric vehicle charging points in Petersfield, Liphook and Alton.

“A local authority only has power over its own estate but we will get our own house in order through a set of ambitious but achievable targets that will reduce this council’s impact on the environment and demonstrate to others what can and must be done.”

Cllr Steve Hunt, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We have no doubt that the world is facing a climate emergency and it is every councillor’s responsibility to play its part in addressing that.

“We have started work on this the right away, with the first steps forming a cross-party panel happening this week. It is important the new body has teeth in order to tackle the climate emergency head on.

“This is the challenge which councillors of all political persuasions and independents will work together to meet.”

The council will also campaign for government funding to improve local environmental projects and influence partner organisations such as councils, schools and businesses to reduce their environmental impact.

It will also take a greater role in education and leadership, visiting schools and involve young people in tackling climate change.

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- James (24th Jul 2019 @ 17:18:54)

Editor - thanks for posting this. I had recently come across this press release too and happy to see that there is a lot of positive points in this.

It is very positive re the statement on working across party. However there would have been a opportunity to work cross party when the original motion was submitted - which is a pity. Also lets not forget many of us due to the voting system have no representation even by Councillors in other areas - for example those of us who support the green party.

I really do support planting more trees. Also the council should ensure planning permission on large developments include requirements to retain trees and add new planting where possible. Refusing permission where they are shown to have removed trees or likely to remove them without putting in replacements. This is part and parcel of "sustainable" development.

Again very positive re the commitment to "achieve a list of ‘ambitious and achievable’ targets". Committing to timescales and targets is a must to ensure we can deal with climate change.

James

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Mary (26th Aug 2019 @ 11:46:10)

Thank you, 'Thoughts', for a most interesting and reasoned response.

It's interesting how often changes in opinion usually brings money to one industry or another.

Buy diesel cars, then diesels are the bad thing, so buy electric cars and they put the price of electricity and road tax up.

Tobacco is bad so put the price up, sugar is bad, put the price up, alcohol is bad, put the price up. Nobody suggests banning them with such a loss to manufacturers and/or Inland Revenue.

Vitamin D is good, so NHS give it all the oldies whether they need it or not - (20 mins in the garden is a good substitute, since we are on the subject of global warming. Don't even start me on cholesterol and the mass prescribing of statins.

But thank you again, 'Thoughts'. Glad you managed one spelling mistake, couldn't bear it if you were just a machine...🤣

Re: East hampshire Council vote on climate change emergency
- Thoughts (26th Aug 2019 @ 21:10:39)

Hi Mary,

So yes, prices definitely go up to discourage certain choices and subsidies introduced to encourage others. And I don't think this is something new as much as newly sensationalised by a media hell bent on convincing people that everyone is out the get them.

I firstly draw attention to two turn of the century changes, firstly the revolution of the motor car slowly but eventually totally replacing the horse and cart.

For contrast I would also like to cite the prohibition experienced in 1920s America and the lasting effects of that in American culture.

Whilst this is only tangentially relevant to climate change (in as much as how policy should be made) the use of taxation and other cost mechanisms is preferable to out right bans given the significant resistance that can be expect by snapping our fingers and saying "tomorrow, there'll be no more coca cola on the shelves of Sainsbury's". Prohibition America shows how even in spite of policy which (ignoring the obvious puritanical driving force) was good for public health, the policy was resisted and led to underground distilleries and breweries and a surge in organised crime.

Whilst I'm not suggesting a sugar ban is going to lead to underground sugar parlours where you go to get your Fanta fix, encouraging slow generational change by pushing consumers away from certain unhealthy life choices towards more healthy ones is preferable to an outright blanket ban.

The implementation of vitamin D supplements on the NHS is an example of hedge betting. Whilst it's very easy to say to people you need to get 20 mins in the sun, actually ensuring they do it is another issues especially if their circumstances don't permit it. It's easy from a position as someone who does that already to conclude that it's easy for everyone to do it, but the reality is that different social and economic circumstances may make such a lifestyle change difficult. Therefore to be safe than sorry, the NHS chucks out a supplement.

Now I agree that the overuse of prescription medication is a concern and but I don't think the secret is in stripping them away and letting people make the choice between their social/economic stability or their health. It's much more about working out the underlying social causes and working to remedy them.

Ultimately, from a public health perspective, prevention is most certainly better than treatment/cure and often has an order of magnitude reduction in cost by comparison to the latter.

To circle this back however to point at hand and the one I think you were trying to make which is "why does going green have to involve taxation and costing us more?" The answer is as I previously stated, that outright blanket bans would be far less popular and ultimately democracy isn't about intelligent, well reasoned and pragmatic decision making as much as it's about spin and popularity.

I do believe more aggressive targets need to be set and achieved on the environment and I do believe that that doesn't have to be economically ruinous at the same time, especially as ours is an economy based on services and not manufacturing but there will be growing pains in terms of taxation and cost.

Which brings me back to my very first point which is, the motor car was a very expensive and impractical mode of transport at the turn of the century and yet now is the predominant mode of transport for most developed and developing economies.

Tesla is the prime example of this. It's first introductory offering a 90k + maintenance vehicle was hardly designed for the 2.4 kids household, of your classic blue collar family, but it has driven an entire industry to rethink how they operate. So much so that we now see an electric polo from VW in the works (I appreciate the irony of using VW as a citation of environmental friendliness but there you go) and an electric Mini due in 2020 (I believe). Two vehicles much more in line with the average consumer.

There's always a hill to climb in terms of cost, and radical changes in lifestyle and ways of doing things can seem burdensome, unnecessary, costly or like some big scam cooked up to bleed you for more money, but look at the motor car, I don't see mass use of horse and cart making a comeback anytime soon (unless the world runs out of oil and we ban electric). Bottom line, these slow changes can and will happen and we can either lead them or follow them, and they will not change back.

Eco-consciousness is not a fad, it is here to stay and eventually it'll be so synonymous with every day life, that the idea of leading any other kind of life will be bizarre and strange.

Also my apologies for the spelling mistake, I type these on a mobile

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