A greener UK

One of the best strands of conservatism is the urge to protect and conserve the flora and fauna in  our landscape, to preserve the  best of our built inheritance and to undertake new development in a way that is sympathetic to what has gone  before and to the natural contours of our world.

This is not to say we want a fossil country. Sometimes the best way to conserve and keep an old building is to allow adaptation and renovation for a new purpose. Sometimes we need to build on green fields as well as on regeneration sites. Some modern buildings are fabulous and add to our traditions. Some changes to the way we farm or garden can enhance the natural world around us. Some old buildings are best recorded for history then demolished for a better replacement.

In recent years large scale migration has meant a much faster new build rate, which has upset some local communities and given rise to a wish to adjust the pace of change. It is difficult to follow a convincing green policy if we expand the population too rapidly and have to build on too many fields or fell too many woods. If we want to limit the national  carbon dioxide output we need to limit the  number of people we invite in.

There are good economic and social arguments for allowing reasonable numbers of new people to come and settle with us. We may need their skill  or they may be family members to people already living  here who would like to be reunited with their kith and kin. We will want to take our share of people fleeing war and terror.  In the last century we typically invited in around 50,000 additional people every year. This century it has been five times that amount, which has been far too rapid.

I welcome initiatives to use less energy to cut our bills through insulation, modern controls and more fuel efficient systems. I like the idea that we will clean up our landscape and our seas by being better at limiting the use of plastic and ensuring it is properly handled once it is waste. I am all in favour of recycling and of passing on and re using products that an individual no longer needs or likes. I have found limiting food miles works well, with little need for imported temperate foods in my meal planning. There is good UK food available, and more can be grown if more people want to buy it. I continue to encourage more tree planting as we green our landscape.

 

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63 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Interesting that, even with your sensible and practical interpretation of the ‘green message’ you display the thinking of a ‘born’ Chancellor. It was, therefore great to see your “A ‘MANY-DEALS BREXIT’ CAN MAKE US BETTER OFF” article on the facts4eu.org website – and to read that they, as well as many of the contributors here, perceive benefit in you being the next Chancellor of the Exchequer. Let us hope it is to be.

    If I may digress somewhat, much of the contributor input to your diary has included, or prompted, comment about the coverage and impartiality of the BBC, so below are some thoughts which you may entertain if you do become Chancellor.

    Here in Australia, the public broadcaster, the ABC, has a similar left-leaning bias and appears far from impartial. However, there is no licence fee as this was abandoned many years ago as a survey concluded that the cost of collection was excessive when viewed against the amount of revenue raised. As such, the ABC is funded from consolidated revenue to the tune of around Au$1 billion per annum (say £550 million). The Australian population is currently 24.6 million, so the cost per head works out at around Au$40, roughly the equivalent of, say, £22.

    The BBC has total income of £5.06 billion (say Au$9.2 billion) of which £3.8 billion (say Au$6.9 billion) is from licence fees. The UK population is 66 million. Ignoring BBC’s generated income, the cost per individual in the UK to subsidise the service is some £57.60 each. Compare this to the cost of £22 per individual in Australia to subsidise their national broadcaster.

    (E & O E – Exchange rate used £1 = Au$1.82. These are my calculations from published statistics. I believe they are accurate, subject to rounding. No doubt I shall be told if anyone spots a meaningful error).

    1. Are you in the UK getting value for money?

    2. To avoid an unfair financial burden on the poor and elderly, should the licence fee be abolished and the Government subsidy paid from general tax revenue thereby more fairly distributing the cost?

    3. Why not abolish the subsidy / licence fee and permit commercial advertising? After all, the BBC spends so much time advertising its own services and programmes.

    4. Then all you have to do is solve the bias problem!

    • sm
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Just for your interest – here in S Africa, you MUST have a licence in order to purchase a TV set; the current annual cost is the approximate equivalent of £14 (reduction available for over-70s).

      However, if you actually want to access any and all broadcasting – as opposed to using your set simply for personal DVD screening – you must first physically connect your home to DES, the State broadcaster, which costs the approximate equivalent of £450 (yes, four hundred and fifty pounds) per annum.

      • Hope
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        New Labour opened the flood gates to mass immigration to change the face of our country. Conservatives carried on while lying to say immigration would be cut to tens of thousands. Mayhab after seven years in office and leading on th deceitfulmpolicynmade the same lie trying to scam the public!

        This once again goes to the heart of trust. Mayhab has overwhelmingly,broke public trust and it will destroy your party. All contenders still do not appear to be aware of this serious threat. Patterson correct in his article in con home today.

        Gove made his damning speech about Corbyn in parliament in December, four months later wants to go into bed with him to make him the king maker of Brexit! Also voting for servitude treaty three times! Trust Gove, never. Backstabbing etc ed

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of that, but subsidising intermittent “renewables” and premature technology such as electric cars using tax payers money is generally not very sensible. Nor is importing biofuels/wood to burn at Drax so as to pretend we are meeting some low carbon generation figures. Nor is cosying up to extinction rebellion sensible.

    I see that Aviation Minister Baroness Vere has warned that any illegal activity “must be met with the full force of the law” and “Flying drones near an airport is a serious criminal offence and using drones to deliberately put people’s safety at risk carries a maximum life sentence.”

    Is not threatening to do this a criminal offence? What are the government going to do. Will Gove be taking more advice from Greta Thunberg?

    The problem is the BBC, teachers, many politicians, the Libdims, the Green and the school syllabus has filled vulnerable young immature children’s heads with largely bogus climate alarmist science.

    • stred
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      One of Extinction Rebellion’s Greta thinkers was on the radio last week threatening to close Heathrow for a month in peak holiday time and to use drones to prevent aircraft landing there. With planes arriving from all over the world, this would cause huge international disruption and danger. If this had been a threat by Brexitteers or some other group that the police didn’t like, they would have arrested him at the studio under the terrorism act.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      It should be classed as economic terrorism.

    • Mark
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      It would not surprise me if they attempted to fly drones to interfere with Trump’s arrival. Perhaps the US has more effective countermeasures than Gatwick.

  3. Mark B
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It is nice to read that our kind host is doing his bit for the environment and that he touches on the sensitive subject of MASS immigration which others will not engage sensibly in.

    But it is what our kind host has left out is more notable. Namely, CO2 emissions. Can it be that people are beginning to wake up to this international fraud of man made Climate Change ? Will we see the disastrous Climate Change Act amended or better, repealed ? One can only hope before we all go the way of British Steel.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 has been grossly exaggerated as is quite clear from the real science. There is much evidence that slightly warmer and slightly higher CO2 concentration is a good thing. It is greening the planet and increasing crop yields.

      It is indeed a huge fraud against the tax payer. Congratulations to the handful of MPs who voted against (or abstained) on Miliband’s insane Climate Change Act – including JR, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, and Ann Widdecombe. What misguided unscientific MPs we have as the vast majority.

      • Hope
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Wind machines need metal to be extracted and manufactured. Transported to factories to make wind machines, transported to location to erect wind machines, considerable distances particularly at sea. Wind machines have a limited life span and have to be taken down, transported and scrapped. How much energy and CO2 is used for making and transporting wind machines? Is more energy and harmful emissions used by wind machines than they make and allegedly save in their life time if we include diesel generators that are used when such wind machines are not working?

        I prefer coal powered stations like the Chinese, Americans, Indians and Germans. I fail to see why they can use them and the UK cannot even though we have a large reserves of coal.

        The wind machines are utterly unreliable and the Govt. STOR policy is for diesel generators to operate to make up for energy when wind machines not working. Is the CO2 and alleged harmful diesel emissions taken into account on the wind machines alleged saving of harmful emissions?

      • Dennisa
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        We are fed false mantras on a daily basis, that can easily be dismantled when examined.

        “rapidly warming planet”, “rising sea levels” “melting Arctic”, “increasing scientific evidence”, “overwhelming scientific evidence” “scientific consensus”, “the world’s top scientists”, (meaning anything from IPCC), “the latest science” [another modelling run], etc, etc.

        Quite naturally, the average member of the public accepts the “authority of experts”, as do most of our MP’s. How many MP’s have even read the summary for policymakers of the 2018 IPCC Special Report, a political document, let alone the full report. Neither will the Extinction Rebellion crowd, nor Greta Thunberg, have read it either.

        However, the general public do seem to have an instinct for whether weather (sorry!) is getting worse or not.

        https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/energy/2018/04/met-office-planning-new-heatwave-definition-climate-change-era

        “According to Defra research, public awareness of increasing hot weather is low: only 10 per cent of people thought average temperatures increased over the last 20 years. ”

        And they are correct. Met Office data, published for public consumption, of the Central England Temperature record from 1659, shows that twenty years ago, UK temperature was 10.63 C. Last year, supposedly hotter and hotter, it was 10.68 C. During that time, CO2 levels rose by 40 ppm, to 0.0408% of the total atmosphere. From the 40’s to the 80’s temperatures fell, in spite of rising CO2 levels.

        Anthropogenic Global Warming is a social construct.

      • NaomiE
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Please could you provide a reference to the science which demonstrates that the earth’s sensitivity to CO2 has been grossly exaggerated?

        The 2018 IPCC special report warned that a temperature rise of more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels would severely impact natural and human systems. It is becoming widely agreed that we are on track to exceed 1.5C, and recent climate models point to 3 or 4C total rise by 2100.

    • stred
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Aluminium smelters, diesel refining, brick manufacturing, chemicals, and others have already gone to countries with lower energy costs. Mp wonder productivity has slumped.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Aluminium is solid electricity. The UK really is the wrong place to smelt the metal, which is best done where huge quantities of cheap electricity can be generated. Hydroelectric power is the way to do it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Indeed and with no saving of CO2 at all, indeed almost certainly the reverse.

    • Mark
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      If it were serious they would be taking action against China. Oddly, if Trump’s trade war causes a Chinese recession it would do more to restrict emissions than all the green nonsense.

  4. Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Most people would agree with the general thrust of this – it makes sense to keep our part of the planet attractive and replenishable…. but there are those, so indoctrinated by the climate change propaganda that want a much more severe, unwarrented, approach to life and use of carbon – Unfortunately the establishment is also heavily involved in this, making our lives more expensive and complicated than need to be.
    The UN, which is behind the MMCC scam, is pushing for more carbon taxes, and governments are bound to comply. When will we see a government that can think for itself?
    There is plenty of unused, if remote and difficult, land in the UK for exploitation – we don’t have to keep squashing more accommodation into existing towns and cities.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Speak to mist greens and they favour free immigration. Where do they think the extra houses are going to be built? In the air? More land will be needed more wildlife displaced and more energy needed together with water. Not very green especially as we will have to import more food.

  5. stred
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    It’s a shame that government ministers have supported building eco villages over the green belt between Oxford and Cambridge and in the only attractive bit of countryside in Kent near London. These will be eco villages like Milton Keynes or new towns, as they used to be called. Driving through the countryside in NE Essex we noticed large new estates of expensive well designed houses. Presumably, many will be sold to people selling up in London, as overcrowding, restrictions on car use and knife crime increase. Most people where I stay are selling or thinking of moving before the mayor turns our suburb into an inner city hellhole.

    • agricola
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Most new housing developement accommodates people fleeing the multi cultural societies they find alien in the big cities. To deny it because it does not fit with the false god called PC is to bury your head in the sand pretending it is not so, or in the case of politicians to refuse to discuss it because their constituency is multicultural. Immigration has many plus sides, but not when you invite a population the size of Nottingham to settle every year for decades. 50% of our capitals population were not even born in the UK, little wonder that John Cleese opts for living on Nevis.

  6. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Amazing how history repeats itself.
    Recycling is not new, our Parents and Grandparents did it in World war 2 and before.

    Pig bins at the end of every street for waste food and peelings to feed farm animals, now 75 years later we are talking about slop buckets/containers in every kitchen as a new idea.

    Items being forever repaired instead of being just thrown away and new being purchased as a replacement, old paper and even string being reused.
    Newspapers being used around the purchase of fish and chips with just a single lining of new paper to avoid print transfer. Newspapers also being used to wrap ice cream blocks to help keep it cool whilst being transferred from shop to home.

    Scraps of wood from building sites used as kindling for your fire at home.

    Yes technology has moved forward massively, but our state of mind and thought perhaps also needs to reflect from lessons of the past as well.

    Recycling is not a new science, it was a sensible and economic basic need in decades past.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Not to mention local shops with minimal packaging. People used to use shopping baskets, legs and bicycles.
      Who asked for supermarkets and plastic? Who allowed them to be put in place?
      What government that cared about wildlife and pollution would allow …nay…encourage the constant use of fireworks??
      How can a government care about ANYTHING and keep on building?

      • Mark
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Plastic is wrongly demonised. It is far less resource intensive to produce than the paper and hessian bags we now see replacing it, and it does far more to preserve food and extend its shelf life, reducing waste. We simply need a different approach to disposal- e.g. incineration, with use of the resulting energy. As is so often the case, virtue signalling green policy isn’t actually green – it makes things worse.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted June 1, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Yep, plastic preserves food and aids transportation (lightweight). Why people want to stop rather than spread this life saving technology is odd. (Improving disposal/breakdown is different to use.)

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        “Brown paper packages tied up with string
        These are a few of my favourite things”.

  7. jerry
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    “It is difficult to follow a convincing green policy if we expand the population too rapidly and have to build on too many fields or fell too many woods.”

    You mean like in the 1950s through to the 1970s with the post-war New Towns, green and productive farm land or natural meadows concreted over, the first New Towns were designated in the late 1940s by Labour but built during the Tories tenure. But back then houses were homes to live, not investments as part of a pension pot, requiring maximum cashing in value.

    “If we want to limit the national carbon dioxide output we need to limit the number of people we invite in”

    Well yes of course, we could also go back and live with nature, take all our clothes off too, that would also cut down on unnecessary CO2 emissions from the textile and construction industries, we could all own a horse rather than a car, all would cut CO2 more than limiting migration would, after all the worlds population does not change simply due to migration.

    But do we really need, never mind want, to any of this, Mr Tree and Mrs Plant must be thanking us for all that food we create for them, just look at how lush road side verges & hedgerows are!

    “This century it has been five times that amount, which has been far too rapid.”

    But we are told we have historically low unemployment figures but still many unfilled employment positions, politicos can not have it both ways, surely if migration has been to high, had those people not come to the UK, the number of unfilled positions would be even higher and our economy would be suffering – of course you might be correct, meaning that far from having historically low unemployment figures all that has happened is a change in what counts for productive employment, after all the DWP believe a mere 16 hours per week is full time employment.

    As for recycling, the way some talk anyone would think it never used to happen, back in the 1970s discarded cloth got re-purposed in the home or by industry, now days our old clothes are collected for “recycling” and we spend a small fortune buying purpose made cleaning products. Were did all those steam engines go that were scrapped in the 1960s if not ‘recycled’ into new steel, same with cars, I bet all the steel cookers etc that Mr Steptoe & Son collected also found there way back the steel furnaces.

    As for food-miles, for those concerned about pollution and the environment, very simply, eat what is naturally in season, eat what is local, funny how so many of the eco-set choose not to though…

  8. Frances Truscott
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Water is finite and we are yet again facing a shortage which will impact farmers. We already have twice the population of Canada but have the land mass of Oklahoma .
    We have to reduce population not increase it. Yet we are still paying for as many children as people choose to have. One per adult then stop benefits and everything being paid for by the taxpayer. Technology is going to kill off a lot of jobs we don’t need loads of new people every year. Nor can we take in all those fleeing bad places who want to come. Asylum should be for public figures at personal risk for supporting western values.

    • agricola
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Sorting out continuity of water supply is a no brainer. We have the water and given our cljmate a constant re- supply. It just happens to be some distance from where it is needed.

      We have gas and oil pipelines all over our seas and country. We have military aviation fuel pumped via pipes to our bases. So why not water from Kielder to the South East. Politicians prefer elastoplast solutions where there is no vanity factor so we will continue to muddle on from flood to hose pipe ban.

    • Mark
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      There is plenty of water. What we face is EU policy under the Water Directive that prevents us from harnessing it effectively: the EU says we should ration it by price in preference to building pipelines and aqueducts to move water from areas of plenty to where it is needed or building reservoirs so it can be used before it flows to the sea.

      An easy win post Brexit would be to repeal the Water Directive inspired laws.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    We are doing so much better than other comparable countries such as Germany in reducing CO2 and eliminating use of coal for power generation you would think they’d take that poor little schoolgirl elsewhere to scare them.

  10. agricola
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    First separate environment from climate change. It is a false theory, but a politically convenient one to link them. By all means do all that is practical to clean up the environment. It is man made and has limitless scope for improvement. Doing so would reduce the burdon on the NHS if we could remove asthma and heart disease from their current challengies. Almost everything is a plus. I doubt there would be even a miniscule effect on climate change . Cleaning up rubbish and limiting it’s occurance does not have the same appeal as vanity projects such as HS2, so motor mouth politicians only pay lip service to it.

    The climate change driver is the Sun. The bridge sitters in London who think they can compete with the Sun are living in cloud cuckoo land. The science and history of climate can be read in ice cores. It is always changing, sometimes in short cycles, at others in long ones. Government is there to mitigate it’s effect not to destroy elements of the economy with irrelevant tax solutions. The opportunist irrelevance of some politicians is beyond belief, but then most are failed lawyers, enough said.

    A green and pleasant land is desirable and achievable. If reducing population and planting trees is part of the equation, get on and do it.

  11. Everhopeful
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Politicians have totally destroyed this country.
    Full stop.
    There is no going back. Concrete jungle ahead.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    As someone who has worked in the power industry for 50 plus years I can assure you that most of the so called clean energy projects are nothing more than a taxpayer funded scam.
    Drax power station burning woodchips imported from the USA in diesel powered ships. Drax emits more CO2 from burning wood than coal, this is somehow designated good CO2.
    Wind turbines needing fossil fuel backup emitting tons of SO2 and NOX. The power generated costing 3 times the average price.
    I could go on but let’s just say if we was to remove the subsidy how many would remain.
    Sending our polluting rubbish to Malaysia and Patting ourselves on the back for our good recycling rates.
    Virtue signalling of the worst kind.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Googling pollution of ships comes up with …..’one of the world’s largest container ships can emit about as much pollution as 50 million cars. Further, the 15 largest ships in the world emit as much nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide as the world’s 760 million cars.’

      But the Climate Change religion means we have to pretend burning wood chips imported from the USA is sooooooo Green.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Agree Iain

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      That rubbish is now being sent back…see the strident comments from Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and a slightly politer version from the Malaysians this week.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg. OH SO TRUE. Where is and what is our Energy policy??? Where is there another Lord Marshall. We have closed so many power stations based on idiotic EU Green crap and Left wing policies without a TRUE thought of what is going to replace them. For one thing, there is no rigor in parliament these days however unfortunately we have a country run by total idiots, Career Politicians. Where is our Nuclear Energy industry now?? One can shut down a power station overnight but it takes a lot longer to construct new ones. The planning applications can take forever and a day. Remember Sizewell?
      Wind farms, “P——g in the wind’, some of the coldest nights are very still.
      Why not more energy from waste plants? The tree huggers have put paid to those and many other sources. Show the plume from a cooling tower and they all shout, toxic toxic. We should take a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book. It is every man for himself in this day and age.

  13. Dominic
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I fail to understand why you and your fellow Tory MPs cannot explain to the British public how New Labour and the liberal left used mass immigration for political and electoral gain. Why can’t you do that?

    This issue isn’t about race and immigration, it’s about political and electoral leverage using race and immigration as political capital

    The next Tory leader must invoke laws to protect freedom of expression and protect open debate

    Your decision to remain silent while New Labour changed the immigration rules to benefit their voting numbers is utterly repellent.

    You in effect left this debate to parties like UKIP who have since been demonised by the liberal left media including the BBC and other public institutions

  14. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Generally an excellent piece apart from a quibble over “if we want to limit carbon dioxide output”.
    Contributors Mark B, Lifelogic and Ian Wragg have made very sensible comments.
    31,437 US scientists signed a statement that there is no scientific link that human originated gases have any effect on global temperatures.
    There is far better correlation between CO2 levels and world food output. Shouldn’t we be cheering the modest rise of CO2 in helping feed the 6 million extra mouths added every month? Let’s stand up to the farcical claims of a ‘climate emergency’ when life thrived at a time CO2 levels were 10 – 20 times higher than now.

    • Andrew Cullen
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Hello Ian

      Interested by your claim about all these scientists signing that statement. Could you please provide a reference to where this can be found ?
      with thanks.

      • Mark
        Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        You will easily find a Forbes article on it if you use the Duck Go Go search engine. Google makes finding it hard. A lesson in internet censorship.

    • NaomiE
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Please could you provide a source for the claim that life thrived at a time when CO2 levels were 10 – 20 times higher than now?

      The reference to the petition signed by 31,437 scientists is out of date. The petition started in 1998, over 20 years ago. According to an article by Larry Bell in 2012 it had reached over 31000 signatures by 2012; however it does not say how long ago the majority of signatures happened.

      The 5th IPCC report in 2013 said “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown”.

      Local scientists are clearly convinced that humans have a major impact on global heating: a letter has just been sent by climate scientists from the University of Reading and elsewhere to Teresa May, calling on the government to act swiftly to set into national law a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target.

  15. Newmania
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The UK population has increased by about 10m, to 67m since the 60s during which time housing costs to salary ratios have multiplied tenfold in hot spots . Home building has more than kept up with population.
    The societal change to small households and credit has increased demand, while the markets failure to respond is a consequence of Councils expressing the understandable concerns of pensionless homeowners for their primary asset. There are no easy answers, only choices.
    Linking immigration housing costs , and the erosion of our green spaces, is the sort of disreputable material we have often seen on the Continent; but here , in England, my England? I have always believed we were, at heart, better than that .

  16. formula57
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    “We will want to take our share of people fleeing war and terror” – noted, although in an age when whole populations flee our share may well run to millions and the flow will never cease.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed Asylum is a blank cheque written by a past generation which we have no hope of honouring. When our population represent less than 1% of the world’s population, and where there are vast population increases in unstable regimes, any small hiccup there would create such vast numbers of refugees it would overwhelm us in seconds of it happening. Its time politicians stopped virtue signalling and hoping all these people don’t get here, and be honest, the asylum system is unworkable and should be scrapped.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Agree Iainformula, yes 3 boats in the channel today

  17. Andrew Cullen
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Following on from the comments above by Mark B

    Climate change caused by man-made induced CO2 emissions is unproven and the “science” that claims to prove it is wrong.

    All the computer models developed so far have produced wrong forecasts. This should not be a surprise as modelling dynamic non-linear systems is extremely difficult.

    It is a major concern therefore that the consensus view of public policy on climate change is to accept the wrong view of human-induced global warming.

    It is time to fight back against the damaging consequences of the climate warmists’ ideology and pseudo science.

    Current levels of measured CO2 parts per million (+/- 420 to 440) have existed 4 times in the past over the last 800,000 years (this is scientifically proven from analysis of arctic ice cores), on approximately 200k years cycles. That is, including times when the human speciaes was not present.

    Climate change on earth is undeniable; but it has been active ever since Earth’s creation and is cyclical.

    Today we are living in an Inter-Glacial era but global temperatures turned downwards already in 2015, aligned with a rapid reduction in Solar flare activity and upturn in seismic activity.

    A consequence of this is that winters are now getting longer, wetter and colder. This will have negative impacts on the growing season for crops. Ice formation rates have also turned back up.

    Public policy should be addressing the probable human impacts that these trends will engender: namely rising food commodity prices and increasing outbreaks of viral diseases.

    Instead, we have stupid, unnecessary and onerous taxes on all manner of economic activity; coupled with an ineffiicient scam called the carbon credits scheme.

  18. Christine
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    When will politicians accept that this country is full up? You want to import Kith and kin at the expense of people already living here. Yesterday it took me over 6 hours to do a 4.5 hour journey just to visit my son. Where is our right to a family life? Your Government’s policies have destroyed jobs in the northern towns and continue at a pace as you demolish office buildings to make way for more houses, forcing more traffic onto the already congested roads as workers have to travel further. Either you are ignorant about what is happening or just don’t care. I’m finished with the current political parties.

  19. David Maples
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Fifty years ago the world’s population was just over 3 billion, today it is just over 7 billion! This increase is unsustainable, but regrettably the MSM won’t debate it, due to the Left’s hostility. And the reason for the increase is simple, namely the Reproduction Rate(the rate at which females reproduce females). Once countries like India had cracked the problem of getting enough food to children, girls began surviving beyond the age of 12, and therefore physically able to give birth. In the West this is frowned upon, much more so than in India. Until this demographic is dealt with, we will soon see a hyper rapid, geometrical explosion in the number of people the planet will have to support. The likely green consequences are very worrying.

  20. Andy
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I think your post will anger some of your supporters today – as they decry what they call greencrap.

    Conservatives have a poor record on that environment. You have repeatedly failed to lead on things like renewable energy, electric cars, electrification of railways, home insulation, recycling and the like.

    Indeed – your party has waged war on many of these things, particularly on shore wind farms which generate the ire of the retired colonels in the shires for spurious reasons. Apparently emptying bins once a fortnight is appalling. How dare anyone expect a busy retired couple to put glass in a different bin from rotting food. Eating less meat? That’s for liberal metropolitan elites.

    Rail electrification schemes have been dropped. There is no strategy to speak of to cope with the impending rapid increase in the number of electric cars. Tax incentives have been scrapped. Sensible EU policies to improve efficiency of things like fridges, toaster, kettles etc have been met with a barrage of abuse. (Yet these have worked). Why is double glazing still standard when triple glazing is the norm elsewhere? All areas where Tories have failed.

    As for building. We need more homes. The growing numbers of elderly people – often living alone – have put huge pressures on the housing market. We first need to bring back into life empty homes. Repossess second homes. Build on brown field sites. And, yes, on the Green Belt too. Not all of the Green Belt is beautiful. We need a proper strategy for all this.

    The vast majority – over 90% – of our country is countryside. Long may it remain so. But we need to squeeze in more homes to accommodate the increasingly elderly population. People living a decade or more longer than we expected them to need to go somewhere.

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The Government quotes figures from Oxford University that 47% of our carbon footprint comes for the built environment , 27% of this comes from domestic buildings , with a new build house contributing some 50 to 80 tons of CO2.

    Its long past the time left wingers , like the BBC , are allowed to get away with their policy conflict of promoting their Greenery as well as population increase.

  22. ian
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Just another politician has gone green to try to get some votes while trying to fit Afcira into England.

  23. David Maples
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    On another matter altogether, could you give some thought to the cashless society? I know blockchain is coming, and there are many who are in favour of ‘cashlessness’, but if there were an electricity power failure, buying and selling would be problematic, especially with the demise of the cheque.

  24. Jack Leaver
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    There is a very good reason why the UK should control immigration which appears to have been ignored by most politicians. The national and local governments cannot plan and deliver public services unless they know with any certainty how many people will live in the UK in the future. The fact that over the past ten years or so, hospitals, schools and housing have struggled to meet the demand of an uncontrolled increase in population perfectly demonstrates this.

  25. MB
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Stop immigration. Totally.
    Farmers who pollute, must be put on trial, and if found guilty, imprisoned.
    Stop water abstraction, and restore the Trout population to our rivers, and the Salmon runs.

  26. Prigger
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    One error is to think our natural environment is good for us.
    You wouldn’t need a hat, clothes including gloves and thick socks, heating, insulation, a roof over your head if the environment was the least bit friendly.

  27. BR
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes these are the kind of green issues that matter, not the climate change stuff that has yet to see proper science being done.

    Some of these so-called scientists don’t seem to remember even the basics we all learned pre-GCSE (e.g. Archimedes’ Principle: a floating body displaces its weight; a submerged body displaces its volume). That tells us why melting Arctic ice hasn’t affected sea levels, since it’s floating, so liquid or solid, its weight is they same therefore its displacement is the same.

    The only two major areas of ice on rock, which could affect sea levels, are the Greenland ice cap and Antarctica and since measurements began in 2013, even a quick check on Wikipedia shows that Antarctic ice has been expanding (and it would never all melt anyway, and if some did melt then much of it would never reach the sea due to phenomena such as melt pools and melt rivers).

    We also need to understand the truly massive amount of CO2 that is dissolved in sea water which holds less CO2 with increasing temperature – even a small rise in temperature accelerates the reversal of the process so if there is a Man-made effect of CO2 it may be negligible (note: ‘may’, we don’t know until someone neutral does the science properly.

    Then there’s the effect of planetary orbits changing over tens of thousands of years, giving us cycles of ice ages, relative warmth and cold. So many unknowns and so many misunderstood and misrepresented ‘facts’ from those with a visceral attachment to one viewpoint or another.

    Perhaps one of your policy proposals should be to get that science done properly? Getting the right people in place seems to be the key element here.

  28. BR
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    P.S. The science we see at present shows at best correlation rather than causation. We need to understand the processes at work.

    Just as in the recent past we wanted to preserve rain forests for fear of their lost ‘oxygen production’ suffocating us (although plants produce CO2/oxygen depending on night/day).

    Now we know that the world’s oxygen is produced (and, more importantly, regulated) by phytoplankton, we can understand that preserving the oceans is the key action to take.

    Had we believed the false science (“Oh, plants produce oxygen – well, some of the time, but don’t worry about that – so they must be the world’s oxygen factory”) we would have wasted much time and resources in pursuing the wrong solution.

  29. glen cullen
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    In the 80s while at school told the ice capes where melting and we’d be under water in 10-15 years

    In the 90s while at university told ozone was to big to repair and would alter life as we know it

    In the 00s while employed told climate change/CO2 would destroy the planet if not reserved within 10-15 years

    Well I have to tell you that the winter is still cold and the summer still hot

    I’m not in climate change denial but nothing has really changed

  30. Mark
    Posted June 1, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Can we please see a return to some economic and environmental sense in looking at green measures? By all means, support things that have a rapid payoff, like loft insulation where there is none (but adding six inches where there is already six inches may take 20 years to pay for itself even if you don’t have to borrow), but trying to retrofit houses to Passivhaus standards would never pay for itself before the houses get replaced. Fiddling with paper straws and bags also turns out to be un-green. Germany’s Energiewende is now leading to rising emissions along with the costs.

  31. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    To Andrew Cullen
    The reference to 31,ooo scientists was in an e-mail from CFACT a couple of months ago. It’s almost certainly on their website or Climate Depot’s but if you can’t find it I’ll try and locate the original source

  32. ferdinand
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I am very surprised that you appear to have gone along with the group-think on carbon dioxide.
    CO2 is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and we need more of it to be able to feed the growing population on the planet. Demonising CO2 is an enormous deception.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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