by M. Phillips, February 25, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch
A few commentators have begun to stumble towards the fact that the policy of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2050, as adopted by the UK and the EU, would undo modernity itself.
On Unherd, Peter Franklin observes that, if carried through, the policy will have a far greater effect than Brexit or anything else; it will transform society altogether.
“It will continue to transform the power industry, and much else besides: every mode of transport; how we build, warm and cool our homes; food, agriculture and land use; trade, industry, every part of the economy”.
Franklin is correct. Even so, he seems not to grasp the full implications of the disaster he intuits – because he thinks there’s some kind of middle way through which the imminent eco-apocalypse can be prevented without returning Britain to the Middle Ages.
In a similar vein, he quotes Rachel Wolf, a co-author of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, who is prone to the same kind of magical thinking. She wrote:
“Government has committed to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions because it does not want the side effects of the energy sources we have used for centuries to destroy the planet. At the same time, we do not want to return to an era where children (and their mothers) regularly died, and where the majority of people lived in what would now in the UK be considered wholly unacceptable poverty. This is a staggering challenge.”
This is what we might call an understatement. What is truly staggering is, first, that any sentient person thinks this can be done and, second, that it should be done.