Construction, growth and our environment

One of the oddest things about  some Green Party interviewees is their apparent disinterest in the impact of more and more development of homes and commercial space on our environment. They seem unwilling to discuss the issue of growth in population, though growth in population is one of the main drivers of more carbon dioxide output,more use of the planet’s resources, more factory output of kinds they often do  not like.

For an individual country like the UK accepting tough targets for carbon reduction are made much worse if the country is experiencing a strong flow of migrants into it. The international targets are not adjusted to take account of more people. If an individual country wants to hit the targets a tough migration policy would be a good help.

For the many voters who love the English countryside, better control of migration would be very helpful. We do need to build many homes if we continue to invite in so many additional people. Environmentally it makes little sense to build many new homes on greenfields in England in order to leave an equivalent number of homes empty on the continent as people leave their own country and come to live here. It means more natural resources and energy are needed to build the homes here, and adds to the misery in the country losing the people with empty homes disfiguring urban environments and reducing incomes in those communities.

You would have thought true greens would wish to help in the task of creating more jobs and wealth in continental countries, so we have to use fewer greenfields for new building. If only. Part of the left’s problem is they will never criticise the EU/Euromodel, or criticise the dear energy policies which destroy jobs and keep people in fuel poverty. They just want to criticise England and complain that it is all our fault.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    “We do need to build many homes if we continue to invite in so many additional people.” Invitations eh? Who is issuing the invites and why? Who exactly are we inviting in and what do they bring to the party?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Careful Mr Redwood.

      Blaming any of our ills on the number (and quality) of the immigrants free to arrive here is attacked as one eyed and little England by the progressives who would throw more of our money at anyone arriving here. Our quality of life is less important than their progressive doctrine.

      Supply and demand has been abolished along with boom and bust.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Please remember the legacy parties want to remain in a unspecified “reformed” EU, led by the dictatorship. There is NO renegotiation of free movement to 485 million people. Some talk of restricting some in work and out of work benefits. Still offering free health, education, housing etc. to the poorest nations in the EU.
        So if the people of England want more of the same keep voting for them. I’m however sane and will be voting for the only patriotic party.

        • Hope
          Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Boles reported to say he wanted to build on national parks, and for what? Still no local priority clauses to help local Bristiah people live in the areas they grew up or to send their children to local schools. Cameron does not give a fig, nor anyone else from the legacy parties because they always manage to get their children in the best schools irrespective where they live. Funny that.

          How is that cleaning up of Westminster coming along, ie expenses, lobbying, donations, questions for cash, Chillcot inquiry, Libya disaster by Cameron etc? Unbelievable and no excuses why this could not be achieved over the last five years.

      • outsider
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Dear Narrow Shoulders, This nonsense stems from historical dogma. One day, those who claim to champion the lower-paid will finally understand that the demand for unlimited immigration comes primarily from second-rate employers who rely on ever-new sources of cheap labour to keep their heads above water. Unfortunately, one of those second-rate employers is the NHS, which for social democrats can do not wrong.

        • Hope
          Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          There was a bit of clue when the ONS claimed the UK needed more immigration for growth. Cameron has continued mass immigration unabated when he k ew this was in stark contrast to his no ifs or buts lies. It is clear that if the UK can now put on border controls for people leaving for Syria the same could have been done five years ago to protect our borders. When we read that anyone from the EU should not be questioned about their reasons entering the country, it is clear the no ifs or buts was a lie. Still no effective way of countering people in or out the country, immigration still based on estimates, I wonder what the real figures are?

          Australian PM, Tony Abbot, is today reported to say that the only way to prevent disasters in the med is not to allow asylum seekers to set foot on land and that is how his country has been successful in reducing deaths and illegal immigration. I suspect the LibLabCon cartel would be calling him racist or a fruit cake if he belonged to UKIP!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Ah Tony Abbot that very rare thing, an Oxford PPE man who can actually think with his brain rather than relying just on irrational “emotion” and “feelings”.

            Sound on GW too.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      “Who is issuing the invites and why? Who exactly are we inviting in and what do they bring to the party?”

      1. The LibLabCon party.
      2. Hatred of England and the English.
      3. Potentially the whole world; all invitees have to do is qualify themselves according to a copious list of categories giving them as much right as the English to live and remain in England.
      4. Needs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      As far as LEGAL immigration is concerned, the invitations are issued by our government, made up of politicians, most of whom we elect. Even when they plead that they are constrained by EU law or other international law that is only the case because our government and Parliament previously agreed that would be the case. Even when the relevant EU law has been passed by qualified majority voting and the UK representatives have been outvoted that could only happen because previous politicians agreed to that system of EU decision making, and even where a treaty has not needed to be positively approved by Parliament it will still have been laid before Parliament and our elected politicians will have had the opportunity to object and insist that the government must not ratify it.

      So as far as LEGAL immigration is concerned the blame lies entirely with our politicians and not in any way with the immigrants who take up the invitation, merely exercising rights granted to them by our politicians. Of course it could then be said that all of that blame should be transferred to us the citizens for being foolish enough to keep voting in such politicians.

      As far as ILLEGAL immigration is concerned it is not so clear cut. Politicians who deliberately relax border controls and make it easy for illegal immigrants to barge into the country, politicians who then urge that there should be an amnesty so that illegal immigrants already in the country can have their presence legalised, knowing full well that this will encourage more illegal immigration, politicians who agree to take steps to ensure that the whole population of Africa can cross the Mediterranean in safety and push their way into Europe without permission, their end destination in many cases being our country, they are all to blame, but it cannot be said that the immigrants themselves are blameless.

      • Hope
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Ah, how about the May disaster that no one is asking about, failed deportation, lists of people crossed off as too difficult to find etc. we could of course put restrictions on criminals entering the UK from anywhere in the world. But the LibLab Con are happy to wave them in from the EU. Then pretend we are all safer by their EAW, which in fact is exactly the opposite as we could be carted off anywhere to Easten Europe without a shred of evidence. Cameron not letting his own MPs debate the subject, yet claims he will renegotiate powers back when the EAW demonstrated that he did not have to enact this here, it was his choice, as was the donation of £18 million pounds of taxpayers money to promote closer union to the EU. No wonder Major supports him so much!

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Migration has reached record levels under the Tories.

      THEY adhere to green targets.

      We are going to get poorer whoever wins the general election. If you are inclined to vote UKIP (possibly your last chance to make an effective protest) then don’t be put off by claims that we will lose the economic gains made by the Tories. They are bogus and unsustainable.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      Part of the left’s problem is they will never criticise the EU/Euromodel,

      That’s not quite true. I’d consider myself somewhat to the left of most commentators on this blog and I hope I do my bit in criticising the EU from that perspective.

      There’s a lot to criticise from that perspective too! Just how so-called most, but not all, socialists can keep quiet about the goings on in the EU is something I can’t explain. Unlike the workings of the economy. 🙂

      How can they possibly side with Herr Wolfgang Schäuble against Yanis Varoufakis, for example? But they do by their silence. It’s quite a mystery.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Peter, in the last years of the hated Thatcher government Jacques Delors and others finally persuaded the TUC that with the EU single market she had pushed for the only way to protect workers would also be through the EU, “Europe is the only game in town”, it was said, as the Tories had arranged to effectively circumvent our national democracy so should their opponents; and as with the Tory and LibDem parties opponents of the EU were gradually eliminated from senior positions in the Labour party; and more than two decades later those controlling the Labour party are still totally committed to the EU despite the obvious harm that it is doing to workers in some countries, including in this country albeit to a relatively small degree compared to some other countries.

        However UKIP is now starting to provide ordinary people who would otherwise tend to be Labour supporters with a new voice, one which is on their side not that of the EU; and that is the main reason why support for Labour has been eroded by 10% over the past two years or so, down from its peak of about 43% to its present 33% or so, about the same level as the Tory party which has stood still for that period, while at the same time as support for Labour was sliding support for UKIP was roughly doubling, as can be seen on these charts:

        And yet despite this and other evidence it seems that those leading the Tories still delude themselves that UKIP supporters are just lost Tory sheep who can be brought back into the fold; even today Cameron is trying another one of his heart-felt appeals to UKIP voters to “come home” when for many of them their previous “home” was in fact the Labour party.

  2. eeyore
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Green isn’t politics, it’s a cult. Truth is on your side, you’re right and the rest are wrong, you don’t subject your faith to critical evaluation, and anyone who disagrees is an evil sub-human. Same with Scot Nats.

    How to deal with such crazies is an interesting problem for proper politicians like you, Mr Redwood. What will you do?

  3. John E
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    If we tried to live the way the Greens advocate the Earth could only support a billion people. They never want to talk about what happens to the rest of us.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    The main problems with the greens is that they are innumerate, have no grasp of science, engineering or real economics. The work only on irrational emotions and people’s fears. They are rather like many other religions and very profitable such religions can be.

    There is a huge correlation between ignorance of science and belief in the green religion. The solutions they push wind, PV, wave, tidal rarely work even in their warped co2 devil gas terms. Sensible physicists think it is all a huge exaggeration and on balance a little hotter is better anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      If Cameron wants to win this election the less that is seen of him posing with Sir John Major the better. Can they not send Sir John on an overseas holiday for a month or preferably longer?

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        I associate John Major with bad times and economic incompetence.

        The Tory Party hasn’t won an election since his premiership. He destroyed their reputation through the ERM debacle.

        • Hope
          Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          I associate Major with 12 percent mortgage rate so he could join the ERM! I associate him with lost homes, business and hope. A Europhile who will impose whatever misery it takes to form an EU superstate. His speaking out today makes me hope Tories will be in the worldiness for another 18 years! I associate him with the betrayal of our country to Maastricht. He labelled patriots bas…rds. He also reminds me of the low double standards at Westminster.

          • yosarion
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

            I think Major was a disaster and just the puppet of Heseltine, however bad the ERM was at least it woke people up enough to keep us out of the Euro, I think without that experience we would be with the rest of Europe today.

          • stred
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            George Soros must have warm feelings towards Sir John.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and still not a hint of an apology from the pathetic man nor even a hint that he even learned anything from this expensive (and entirely predictable) disaster.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      If only the Greens were just innumerate and ignorant. There is a lot of very nasty stuff going on in their camp, the anti Israeli boycott policy being one of the more recent examples. These people are not playing by the rules, such as they are.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The green are great fans of the bogus logic of the “precautionary principle”. Wast the billions they are on greencrap is totally immoral. Think what the same sum could achieve spent on clean water, basic medicine, nutrition, Gate’s Foundation type of projects.

    Green crap and over expensive energy cost thousands of lives PA already, plus jobs and growth. It diverts lots of engineers and scientist to largely duff or negative activities.

    • Mick Anderson
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Think what the same sum could achieve spent on clean water, basic medicine, nutrition

      Also think how much larger the world population might be if you solve all of these problems.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        No when people get better health care and life expectancies they choose to have fewer children. We see this in most developed countries.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          But if you can persuade, or notoriously in the case of China force, people in a poor country to have fewer children to raise then that releases resources so they can lift their country out of poverty to prosperity in a couple of generations, and here I cite the example of South Korea; on the other hand if you wait for them to decide spontaneously that they will have fewer children because they are now more prosperous then you will have to wait a much longer time and usually it will only be after an explosion in the population, and here I cite the examples of many of the African countries.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      And they’ve managed to get that “precautionary principle” enshrined in the EU treaties, now Article 191 in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the TFEU, here:

      “2. Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle …”

      Personally I would have no problem if our government sent out a formal letter notifying the other member state governments that it no longer consented to be bound by that provision and would not necessarily accept any EU policies or EU laws or ECJ judgements relying upon the “precautionary principle”; but only after Parliament had expressly authorised the government to break that part of the EU treaties, treaties which Parliament has previously approved through Acts.

      And I will comment here on the evolution of the attitude of the leader of the Tory party towards the sovereignty of our national Parliament over the years since he assumed the leadership, that on May 16th 2006 he and many other senior Tories supported an amendment to a Bill which would have permitted the government to disapply EU laws, but by March 5th 2008 he was sending Tory MPs home rather than have them vote to affirm the sovereignty of Parliament, and then on January 11th 2011 he was actually ordering them to vote against the sovereignty of their own Parliament, our national Parliament, which most did.

      As chronicled in detail here last February:

      in a long comment on a blog article about a letter which 100 Tory MPs had sent to Cameron asking him “to consider adopting the ideas put forward by the European Scrutiny Committee, which would re-establish a national veto over current and future EU laws and enable Parliament to disapply EU legislation, where it is in our vital national interests to do so.”

      • Hope
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Disgraceful. And now he wants our vote!

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Imagine scientists were to identify a new killer virus in Africa which always initially attacked people in the left hand. Imagine further that as a ‘precaution’, medical experts were to recommend that everyone should have their left hand amputated. Put in such stark terms it would be clear what is wrong with the ‘precautionary principle’. It imposes immediate definite costs to avoid doubtful future danger and these costs can often be considerable.

      But it’s a godsend to the Greens. It can be used to shut down any technological activity which promises large rewards in the future, but involves some risk now. And how many new technological processes are without risk? For instance, the precautionary principle would have shut down the early railways, especially as a cabinet minister was a victim.

      But it seems to be nuclear power which is the favourite target of the Greens. Because of the incident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, it seems that nuclear power stations in Germany are to be closed down – as a precaution. But note the double standards here. The incident at Fukushima has resulted in few if any deaths. The tsunami which caused the problems at Fukushima resulted in nearly 16,000 deaths in Japanese coastal areas. Yet I have heard no Greens recommending that coastal towns around the world should be moved inland when they are in areas endangered by possible tsunamis.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Jamie Whyte had a good article on this somewhere called: “Only a reckless mind could believe in safety first” and debunks the precautionary principle in in his excellent book: “Crimes against Logic”.

        Alas irrational emotion usually wins out in politics.

  6. Richard1
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    It is extraordinary the airtime that is being given to the ridiculous Green Party – there is a narrative that Ms Bennett Ms Sturgeon and Ms Wood, leaders of the 3 fringe far left parties, being women, are a refreshing challenge to the economic orthodoxy of ‘austerity’. Let’s remember that the combined support for these three far left parties is less than UKIP’s. Sturgeon in particular is being bigged up to an absurd degree – her grandiose speech about how England has ‘nothing to fear’ from the coming power of the SNP demonstrating extraordinary self-satisfaction and even megalomania. The woman has 4% national support! It is also clear the SNP are running a very unpleasant campaign of intimidation and harassment of their opponents. As pointed out by Domonic Lawson in yesterday’s Daily Mail, the SNP are the nasty party of British politics.

    Let’s get through this election, and hopefully the threat of a Labour-SNP govt will spur English voters to make sure we do not get that disaster. After the election the foolish fringe (Green, SNP etc) needs to be confronted and put back in its box.

    • Sandra Cox
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      The group hug after the challenger debate reminded me of the Scottish play – “Huddle, muddle, toil and trouble”, with the Lady Sturgeon insisting on helping Miliband to kill off Cameron, blaming everything on Farage.

    • majorfrustration
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The English have long memories and given the recent actions of the SNP I suspect there is a growing shift of opinion within England to give the Scots what they wish for.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        That’s what really scares them! It was never about theScots but to deny England its own parliament which the Scots leaving would grant us. We will recover our sovereignty come what may.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      What about the threat of an irresponsible Conservative opposition which would vote with the SNP against a minority Labour government even when it agreed with the government’s proposal, just to cause chaos in the country and bring the Labour government down?

      OK, I read what JR wrote yesterday, that the Tories would vote to replace Trident and they would vote to ensure that the armed forces were paid, and so on, but in that case the whole “SNP holding the country to ransom” scenario being depicted by his party is shown up as a fiction, is it not?

      Because the arithmetic is that even if the SNP won all the seats in Scotland their 59 MPs could not then outvote the 591 MPs elected outside Scotland.

      Reply On the contrary, the threat is very real. The SNP will drive Labour to the left and drive them to be pro Scotland at the cost of the English. You cannot rely on Labour to vote the right way under pressure from SNP. The only way to be sure we can stop them is to have a majority of Conservatives in the Commons.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        JR, I’m a British Unionist because I think that while people in the four parts of the UK may have somewhat different attitudes and aspirations the differences are relatively small, and we easily have more than enough in common for us all to consent to a common government at least on the most important matters which affect us all. So if on average my fellow citizens in Scotland tend to want a more left-wing government for the UK than my fellow citizens in England do on average then I see that as their democratic right even if I disagree with them. They are after all electing only 59 out of the 650 MPs, which contrary to what some think is only a couple more than they should have on strict proportionality.

        • Hope
          Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Vote Tory get Junker!

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Denis, during my adult life there have been Labour governments during the years 1964 to 1970, 1974 to 1979 and 1997 to 2010, a total of 24 years. Apart from the 1997 to 2001 parliament, when Labour worked to Conservative spending plans, I have hated every tax-and-spend second of it.

          During the same period, there were 26 years of Conservative or Conservative/LibDem rule. Of these, the 11 years of Ted Heath and John Major were a disaster.

          So I have lived a total of 31 years under governments I loathed, without crying stinking fish, without rioting and without civil disobedience.

          If I am routinely expected to do this, why cannot the Scots accept periods of Conservative government?

          I trust you are aware that Holyrood and the SNP are popular in Scotland only because the Barnett formula enables them to hand out sweeties and makes them look good. End the Barnett formula and Scottish nationalism and devolution will begin their long death rattle.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:-

        It’s a bit rich Cameron saying he will not let Labour and the SNP do anything to the detriment of England. Oh yes he will and talk about the pot calling the kettle black, when he and this Tory led government have been doing that all by themselves – governing to the detriment of England that is!

      • formula57
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Given per Mr Redwood’s reply above that “The SNP will drive Labour to the left and drive them to be pro Scotland at the cost of the English” then those wishing for constitutional justice for England and Scottish exit from the Union might see their aims furthered by helping in to power that “toxic tie-up” as Mr Cameron reportedly rather desperately calls such an alliance.

        On the basis that a Sturgeon-Miliband government will hasten the demise of both their parties in England, Wales and NI, I for one will welcome our temporary Scottish overlords. Who would have expected at the start of this campaign that it would make Nicola Sturgeon prime minister?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          Miliband has said there will be no Labour/SNP government; and on this occasion I think he means what he says, not least because of the damage that would likely do to the Labour party in England, as you yourself have indicated.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    No joined up thinking by the Greens, or indeed many of the political Party’s policies.

    The Social engineering experiment continues, now at a rapid pace.

    Interesting that great publicity given this week to the so called high percentages of people who got their first choice of School, but in Reading and many other areas it was only 75%.

    Hospital and A&E admissions are treating more people than ever, but waiting times are growing, and many Hospital trusts are in debt.

    Congestion on our roads, railways and airports is forever growing, and our infrastructure is slowly falling apart.

    Housing demand and waiting lists are growing.

    We now have thousands of people living in back garden sheds, garages and illegal buildings such is the plight of many.

    More and more sewerage plants are required to cope with the increase in human waste.

    We have not yet had the call to save water with a hosepipe ban, but sure as eggs are eggs it will happen.

    Yet we still want to protect the green belt, newts, frogs, birds, all conservation areas, and must not build, reservoirs, motorways, truck roads, by passes, increase airport runways, or even drill for oil, or frack.

    You really do wonder what part of “enough immigration for a time” do many politicians not understand.

    We cannot now it would seem even be allowed to talk about it on our so called National TV channel without howls of derision, because the audience is chosen to oppose such a subject.

    The LSE and like type establishments of the 50’s and 60’s have a lot to answer for.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      You are just going to have to put up with it. This will continue until neo-liberalism is dumped as the accepted economic orthodoxy. However as far the established parties are concerned the events of 2007/8 changed nothing. I do not mind immigration (the other half is Chinese) as long as it is done on Ellis Island terms i.e. anyone can come in, however once your in you support yourself.

      Here is an interesting point that Paxo put out in the FT over the weekend if you think anything is going to change. Ed went to the same primary school as Boris. Dave instead went to the same secondary school as Boris. Both Dave and Ed went to Oxford to take the same PPE course. Both are millionaires and neither of them have had a proper job. Isn’t great that out of a population of 63 million this is what we have for leaders?

    • outsider
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Agreed Alan. One problem for rationalists is that, even now, not enough distinction is made between immigrants (most often good) and mass net immigration into an already densely populated country (bad). For the tribal Left, anti-immigration policies are indelibly linked with and tainted by the racist rhetoric of Mosley, the National Front et al, their age-old enemies in street politics. Same on the Continent.
      Those who want a rational approach to immigration need to break that link. Lord Green of Immigration Watch understood that issue and worked hard to achieve it. Others have not grasped its seriousness.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Outsider – If you are referring to Nigel Farage having not grasped its seriousness I rather think he has.

        He’s said nothing wrong or else he would have been prosecuted for it.

        The Left have been allowed to bully and run amok while the useless Tories do nothing to stop them. In fact we even had the Tory leader calling us racists – something we cannot forget or forgive and nor should we.

        Millions of jobs ?

        Well let’s hope so. We’re darn well going to need them after Cameron’s disaster in Libya.

  8. Alan Wheatley
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Rising birth rates, longer life spans, increased productivity and the move away from a substance lifestyle add up to a dramatic increase in human activity that has an adverse impact on all other living things.

    Concerns have been expressed about our ability to feed the growing human population and there being insufficient potable water. But of greater concern is an answer to the question of what are all these people going to do.

  9. Iain Moore
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The Greens can get away with this policy contradiction because the Media, especially the BBC, will never ask them to square the circle of over population with sustainability.

    A while ago the BBC Today program ran a story of houses being made of straw, here there was a claim that 50% of our CO2 output was as a result of building houses. But while the BBC was happy to accept some eco claim for straw houses that had a low CO2 output, , they have never sought to extend the logic of the same argument, that requires us to build hundreds of thousands of houses, involving massive CO2 output, to house the requirements of mass immigration driven population growth.

  10. ChrisS
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    This current bunch of Greens led by their totally inept leader have no interest in joined up policies. They have a wish list with a wide range of unconnected policies many of which are contradictory. They have not considered the disastrous effect their Green Crap initiatives and draconian tax-raising policies will have on the economy while at the same time they would need to raise many billions in extra revenue just to fund their giveaways.

    They are a joke, as is their leader.

    The surprise is that there seems to be so many gullible people out there prepared to vote for them. But then, 33% of voters are still prepared to vote for Miliband and Balls despite the fact that they were at the heart of the Treasury under both Blair and Brown and were directly responsible for the mess they made of everything last time. The Conservatives are not making enough of the responsibility Miliband has for doing nothing about the forthcoming hole in reliable power generation and our very high energy bills as a result of his tenure as energy secretary.

    Back to the Greens : I do hope Caroline Lucas retains her seat as we need to hear alternative voices in Parliament. Most of the time she is, at least, fairly sensible even though the Green Council in Brighton is most certainly not.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The UKIP policy of cutting the BBC to the bone, and dropping the licence fee to around a third, is bang on the mark. Something a proper Conservative party should have been saying long ago.

    • Chris
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is an excellent policy suggestion by UKIP. Have you also seen the latest praise heaped on the UKIP manifesto, this time by small business leaders (D Express open letter).

  12. Atlas
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    John, a very logical argument. However it would appear that many people do not ‘do’ logic.

    Off topic: Cameron asks us to ‘lend’ our votes to the Conservatives. Well I might do provided he guarantees to stand down after the election so we can have a more acceptable leader who can be trusted on the EU referendum. I gather the latest wheeze by the Europhiles is to allow Non Brits to vote in the referendum…

  13. Matt
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I really don’t think we’ve understood the Greens. They’re not really well meaning people who have got some important things wrong.
    Green supporters may believe the stuff their leaders are spouting, but the leaders don’t.
    It’s a means to power for the leaders.

    A professional Green can’t really be ignorant of the counter-arguments the way an amateur supporter might be.
    What we’re really dealing with is socialist technocrats, who use whatever environmental or social argument they can to try to enforce their idea of a better society on us. The idea being that such a society would have them at the top.

    I’ve been reading lately about Government strategy to meet our CO2 reduction targets. The plan seems to be to build lots of wind farms to keep the greens happy and in parallel to build nuclear power stations to actually keep the lights on. Domestic gas will be cut off, as will supplies of petrol and diesel. Electricity production capacity will be increased to allow electric vehicles to be charged and home spacing heating to be run off electricity.

    It’s hard to see where they’re going to get the money for all this. It’s likely to be of the order of £1trillion. That’s not including the extra cost to the general public of buying lots of super-expensive electricity, replacing their central heating and buying and running electric vehicles.

    It’ll be okay though because Lithium mining for all those batteries we’ll need will do wonders for the countryside, and OAPs don’t really need affordable heating for their homes.

    Every time I read this stuff, my next move is to look for openings for experimental physicists in Canada.

    • Matt
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Note also that this government plan “2050 Pathways” depends heavily on technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) which have not yet been invented.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Not should they be. They would be vastly expensive and pointless.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry about the £1 trillion cost because the Treasury can just arrange for the Bank of England to create that; indeed the Bank can instantly create as much money as the government may want to spend and Modern Monetary Theory says that it should.

      • Chris
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        We are now at £1.4 trillion debt – apparently double the figure it was when the Coalition government came to power. In no way can that be regarded as responsible management of the economy, so David Cameron cannot claim the high ground on the economy.

  14. Kenneth
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The Greens want peace and not war. Who doesn’t?
    The Greens want to end poverty. Who doesn’t?

    None of us want to make, sell of use weapons. None of us wants our neighbour to be poor.

    Such banal generalisations are useless.

    However, if they ever got around to implementing any of their policies they would condemn us to a country of paupers and I can guarantee that the poorest would end up paying.

    Every Labour government has presided over an increase in unemployment, attacking the poorest. Imagine what multiples of this damage the Greens could bring about.

  15. oldtimer
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Emotion rules. It is time that those MPs elected for the next Parliament invoke the precautionary principle, (now part of the law of the land and must therefore be obeyed) to pause the Climate Change Act to enable a sober, up to date calculation of the costs and benefits that were claimed when the Act was passed and a review of the validity of the assumptions on which it rests.

    A good place to start would be the science chapters of the recent IPCC report – certainly not the advice to Ministers – and an assessment of that science. Knowing what we know now, would that Act have been passed? The significant doubts and uncertainties now recognised by the science, coupled with the certainties of the engineers who state that the aims expressed by the main parties are unachievable, indicates to me that the precautionary principle must be reviewed. The sensible precaution would be not to spend £billions on schemes that will not work as advertised, whether to capture carbon or save the planet.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      The U.N. Agenda 21 “precautionary principle” which originated from the Rio Earth Summit is not actually to do with protecting the environment .

      The intention is to enable Governments to circumvent the Rule of Law under the pretext of saving the environment .

      The precautionary principle removes the requirement for the authorities to prove you are a threat to the natural environment with the need to merely claim you are .

      For instance , if you live in a house in a rural area they could claim that you are discouraging red squirrels from settling there so must relocate yourself in preparation for your house being bulldozed .

      They don’t have to prove that red squirrels had ever been in the area , the claim itself is sufficient .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      That isn’t how the “precautionary principle”, which has to be part of the law of the land because it is enshrined in the EU treaties approved by Parliament, works.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        That was a reply to oldtimer, not A different Simon.

      • A different Simon
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        The law which in the U.K. and America is supposed to protect the individual from the abuses of the state is gradually being eroded .

        I no longer trust our current bureaucracy not to abuse measures like surveillance and security , let alone some future govt .

        There are plenty of trusting souls who when confronted with the possibility of a police state reply that “if you have done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to worry about” .

        They won’t know what has hit them as it gradually takes place .

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Your party has pandered to these people and is still doing it during the election.
    Your leader in 2010 stated that he wanted the new coalition administration to be “the greenest government ever”. Some have done well out of it, making millions from the rest of us who have to pay the price. I hear that your colleague Matthew Hancock (never impressive on any topic in my opinion) was still peddling the global warming line in a tv debate yesterday.
    It must be hard for you to be part of a party which has views so far removed from your own but you have made your bed and seem happy to lie in it.

    • Chris
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and voters will look closely at these MPs (re your last sentence). It may not result in change in safe Tory seats, but there are Tory MPs who are vulnerable.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I’ve watched and listened to the Greens and have completely dismissed them as a serious Party . If you took away the Green label and replaced it with what I have interpreted as their true colours , I would say they were Communist . Absolute rubbish material !!!

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      That’s why in certain quarters they are referred to as the watermelon party – green on the outside,deep red on the inside!

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    For several decades the British government professed to be concerned about the threat of over-population of the country, urged the British people to have fewer children, using the NHS to spread that idea, and had a policy of “would be zero immigration”.

    Then when the birth rate had dropped so far that there was barely any excess of births over deaths it quietly changed its mind about the threat of over-population, and started to bemoan the declining numbers of young people entering the workforce and to talk about a “demographic timebomb”, and set about importing other people’s children to make up for those which we had not produced partly at its previous urging.

    If Britain really needed more “young workers” as alleged then the British people could have provided those themselves, and the government could have taken practical steps to encourage that, we did not and we do not need to constantly import “young workers” from abroad in a kind of demographic Ponzi scheme.

    This policy reversal was a gross betrayal of the British people by their own politicians; and to be clear it actually started under Major, not Blair.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      It DID start under Major, Denis.

      That’s when the beggars and squeegie gangs started appearing in large numbers in London.

      The Tories have brought us record levels of immigration.

  19. Ian wragg
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Immigration is being encouraged by all 3 main parties
    Together with those 3 silly women who are old style communist
    I despair for the country after the election as we are going to be ruled by idiots whichever party gets in
    I see Germany wants us to take a proportion of the boat people
    That will of course encourage more
    By the way wind is supplying 1.5%

  20. Gumpy Goat
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    immigrants not the problem, we have different life styles, more single people, living longer etc, and the most important factor is for the last 30 years we have not built enough houses – its supply and demand!

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      “immigrants not the problem,”

      I hadn’t realised the 2 million immigrants that British Governments have added to our population over the last decade brought their own houses with them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Of course it’s supply and demand, exclamation mark, and only an idiot would believe that demand could possibly be increased by an increase in population – what a ridiculous idea, exclamation mark.

      Why do these silly people think that any of the 2.8 million people who have arrived in this country under the auspices of the coalition government will need a roof over their heads? They sleep on park benches, surely, or under the arches, or otherwise they have perfectly comfortable tents, or maybe caravans provided by farmers out in the fields where they work?

      The idea that these immensely valuable 2.8 million workers might need houses, possibly as many as a million, is absolutely ludicrous. Even if there were not just 2.8 million but 28 million they would add nothing, not one iota, to the demand for houses simply because they do not need them, exclamation mark.

      In fact the really astonishing thing is that even though over a million people have left the country and so vacated their homes during the past five years that has not caused a disastrous collapse in house prices or rents.

      This is the real mystery: how can maybe 0.4 million homes be standing empty because their previous occupants have emigrated and none of those houses are needed by any of the immigrants, no, not a single one of them, and yet for some reason house prices have risen?

      Is that because of low interest rates, or what? I’m quite sure there must be some perfectly reasonable explanation for this, exclamation mark.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        In other words its (apostrophe) supply and demand, Denis, exclamation mark.

        None of the BBC audience seemed to get this which is really hash, percent, dollar, star, exclamation mark.

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      The very suggestion that the lack of available housing is not down to immigration is laughable.

      The Politicians know full well that’s the cause and are guilty of ignoring it.
      If you seriously believe what you have posted above you need some kind of treatment.

    • Sandra Cox
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Just wondering if Gumpy Goat actually lives in the UK? Perhaps an expat?

  21. stred
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    People coming from hot sunny countries need less energy and have access to PV electricity that works, unlike the UK where it doesn’t work most of the time.

    Ont he one hand, the Greens want to reduce the impact of humans on ‘our planet, which we are about to destroy. amen’, but on the other they get involved in very dubious pollution issues for health reasons. If they really want to save the Earth, they should be encouraging us to shorten our lives by sniffing a balloons full of Nox like a premier league footballer on a night out.

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      For greens and BBC types who may not understand the comment, the above are examples of green policies which contradict each other.

  22. Shieldsman
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The Green Party and their fellow traveler’s (FoE, WWF & Greenpeace) are both strident and militant. They have far more influence in Government than their numbers warrant.
    They appear to have infiltrated the National Trust. My attention was drawn to an article by Paul Homewood shooting down the claims of the Director General that climate change is responsible for mild winters not killing off silverfish and parts of our coastline falling off into the sea.
    I wrote cancelling my subsription and received in reply the lie that has grown and grown.
    Those voices saying that the Trust is getting “too political” by talking about climate change, when 99% of scientific opinion is on our side, are clearly in a very small minority.
    Some one at the National Trust, like the ladies on the Labour front bench has been reading Allen Rusbridger’s Guardian and especially Nutticelli’s version of Cook’s contrived consensus. The last time I saw it quoted, it was by Maria Eagle ‘established scientific fact, accepted by 97% of the scientists who study our climate systems’ at the opening of the new WWF headquarters.
    In the Guardian of 16th May 2013 the headline: Survey finds 97% of climate science papers agree warming is man-made.
    Our team of citizen science volunteers (read members of Greenpeace and WWF), at Skeptical Science has published a new survey in the journal Environmental Research Letters of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers, as the Guardian reports today. This is the most comprehensive survey of its kind, and the inspiration of this blog’s name: Climate Consensus – the 97%.
    This has been well and truly been debunked by Montford’ Consensus, available on his Bishop Hill blog and GWPF.

  23. ian
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    All I can tell you is that when your generations pass on, England and it history will written out of the history books, as they say for the common good, so RIP England and English people for your time pasted and world government is on its way.

  24. ian
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    In the new world order the one thing that must go is nationalism

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted April 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Nationalism – The Scots are allowed to have it. Any of the Celts in fact.

      You’ll be allowed your EU nationalism, Ian. Proudly displayed on your number plate and on your passport – soon to be your currency too.

  25. ian
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    ECB, banks being paid to borrow from one another in EU and people being paid to take out mortgages. holiday homes on deck or just move to one these country which are all so losing their nationalism.

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    As usual it is UKIP telling the truth and giving us actual facts. Why are we all voting for parties that continually lie to us? Is it UKIP that are the nutters and fruit cakes or have we already got the lunatics in the shape of Clegg, Cameron and Milly running the asylum?

  27. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Heard on the news this morning that more money is to be spent on rescue missions for the refugees from north Africa. will just make it easier for them all to come over unless we do what Australia does and take them back. Word will soon get out that it is safer and we can say goodbye to any countryside eventually. Just where are all these people going to live? Who is going to pay for it all? How will our NHS cope and our schools take in so many children? We cannot solve the problems of the world and the sooner we stop trying, the better. People have to sort out their own countries and get change however they can. When they had dictators at least things were kept in check. Look at the carnage now.

    On a different note. Here in Scotland we are now being told we are too reliant on gas!!!! You couldn’t make it up. What next? Oil? Wood? Let’s start making our animal skins now to keep warm.

  28. Ken Moore
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Well said John Redwood – nobody is talking about the contradiction between population growth and alleged ‘man made climate change’.
    It doesn’t fit the lefts simplistic narrative that all problems are the fault of a few privileged white men.
    How is importing vast numbers of people from the developing to the developed world supposed to be anything other than bad for the environment ?

    ‘Under a system of carbon budgets, every tonne of greenhouse gases emitted between now and 2050 will count’. ‘Where emissions rise in one sector, the UK will have to achieve corresponding falls in another’.

    So if emissions rise in the housing sector due to the construction and of millions of additional homes, another sector such as farming or industry needs to cut back?. Or face extinction such as our coal and steel industries ?. We must have quite literally gone mad.

    So are we to become a low wage dormitory country with no industry left and falling living standards ?.

    Against this backdrop, the emissions targets are staggeringly and ruinously optimistic

    The Climate Change Act of 2008 is to help the UK ‘reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050’.

    ‘A nation busily engaged in heaping up it’s own funeral pyre – Powell’s words have never had more resonance than they do today. Who is there left to save us? – the left are united it seems in there plot to destroy us.

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Another effect of green support for EU freedom of movement is the increase of air traffic, as Eastern and Southern Europeans fly themselves and families home every few months or even weeks, providing a rich source of CO2.

  29. Jon
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    A long time ago the Greens had a different policy, to repatriate people to their countries of birth, to only live off what this country could support as importing added to carbon emission. They didn’t spell out how the further reduction in population was to come about, natural selection or a cull of part of the population. What they do now is like the SNP, a lot of mileage in complaining and being seen to take a fight to the establishment masking any policy ideas.

    Having good quality education for all and work opportunities for all whether academic or artisan will help move us forward. I note that the SNP spend 4% less on education than they are granted through Barnett.

    I think in part the Conservatives are paying a price for not challenging the bigotry thrown at the privately educated. It was the 1980’s when we saw the last of the bigotry on national TV directed at those from council homes, those with a different skin pigment etc etc. What was allowed to continue because it was not challenged was the bigotry to wards people from parents that paid for private education. It doesn’t get challenged on national TV and I think the Conservatives continue to pay that price. I don’t see it as an issue in America.

    Whilst the class war is a relic of a bygone century the left can still use it because it’s still acceptable to use language of bigotry if directed at a wealthier person on national TV. Criticise for someone’s beliefs or views but not who they were born to. I wasn’t privately educated but by not addressing it has left for door open for the class war.

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    There is a specific issue related to immigration that has to be dealt with. Where is the increase in London’s population to be housed? Will it be in London or will the increase be treated as ‘overspill’ and housed in those parts of the Home Counties outside the Green Belt?

    The numbers are huge. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of Greater London increased from 7 million to 8 million in spite of 600,000 of ‘white flight’. In 2011, the population of Greater London was 45% White British, 55% other. It is estimated that since 2011 the population of Greater London has grown by a further 600,000. There is little point in pretending that this is just EU immigration. It is far too easy for non-EU ‘visitors’ to disappear into sympathetic communities and stay on as illegal immigrants, sine die. And these are the people to whom Boris Johnson proposes to give an amnesty.

    This isn’t an academic matter. The draft Structure Plans of many District Councils have been rejected by Eric Pickles on the grounds of insufficient housing provision and/or failure to consult with neighbouring districts.

    This happened to Hart District Council, where I live in the rapidly expanding ‘village’ of Hook. We have been spared ‘open season’ to developers because we have accepted a planning application for 550 homes in Hook, which means that we have 5 years worth of land earmarked for housing development. However, in the longer term (the Structure Plan to be resubmitted must cover development up to 2031) there will have to be more housing in Hook or a large housing development near Winchfield, which is also within the Hart DC area. I can see an internal dispute within Hart DC looming.

    I have written to Mr Pickles asking what the anticipated net immigration in England is to be. He eventually wrote back via my MP referring to the central forecast on the ONS website, which he described as ‘politically neutral’. That forecast predicts an average of getting on for 200,000 people per annum, which is a lot more than the ‘tens of thousands’ that have been spoken of by the Conservatives.

    I haven’t heard Mr Pickles talk about the extent of ‘London overspill, which clearly influences the amount of house building needed in the Home Counties outside the Green Belt. I think that we should be told; don’t you, Mr Redwood.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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