“Keeping some lockdown changes”: Climate Activists Celebrate Covid-19 CO2 Emissions Drop

Green Lockdown
Green Lockdown (image modified). Officer Bimblebury / CC BY-SA

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

More evidence some climate activists celebrated the lockdown loss of freedom as a step in the right direction.

Climate explained: will the COVID-19 lockdown slow the effects of climate change?

July 1, 2020 5.11am AEST
Simon Kingham
Professor, University of Canterbury

The COVID-19 lockdown has affected the environment in a number of ways. 

The first is a reduction in air travel and associated emissions. Globally, air travel accounts for around 12% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions and this was predicted to rise. An ongoing reduction in air travel would lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Keeping some lockdown changes

In many parts of the world, governments are implementing plans to lock in some of the reductions in traffic caused by the pandemic. 

This includes allocating road space to walking and cycling and incentives for people to buy or maintain bikes (such as in Franceand the UK). 

There are also initiatives to decarbonise the car fleet by replacing fossil fuelled vehicles with electric ones. In New Zealand, electric vehicles are exempt from road user charges and the government is investigating ways to increase the uptake of alternative fuels in the road freight industry.

These measures are important and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they are not designed to reduce the number of people travelling, or the mode they use. Congestion is an ongoing issue in Auckland and is now estimated to cost more than NZ$1 billion per year.

Encouraging some of the lockdown behavioural changes could have additional benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/climate-explained-will-the-covid-19-lockdown-slow-the-effects-of-climate-change-141604

Professor Kingham claims people will still have the same freedom to travel.

But not everyone can get about by bicycle, and electric vehicles will remain too expensive for many people for the foreseeable future, especially if renewable energy is used to process the raw material for all those batteries.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joel Snider
July 2, 2020 10:19 am

Funny how all these ‘solutions’ seem to advance progressive agenda. Almost makes you think that’s the primary concern.

Hiding behind virtue signaling, as always.

Reply to  Joel Snider
July 2, 2020 10:50 am

To be fair, there are different sects of Progressivism; but, yeah, they all have at least one common cause, a demand to “decarbonize” the economy, etc.

Bryan A
Reply to  n.n
July 2, 2020 2:15 pm

This includes allocating road space to walking and cycling and incentives for people to buy or maintain bikes (such as in Franceand the UK).
For a prime example of turning downtown areas into bike/pedestrian friendly zones and the problem it creates, look no further than Paredise, Ca. and the choked mass evacuations during the 2019 fires that lead to dozens of deaths from single lane roads

mario lento
Reply to  n.n
July 2, 2020 2:57 pm

And… reducing other people’s freedoms. That in and of itself is antithetical to my understanding of the founding of our country in the USA. Any new law that prevents a free people from doing what they want is a chip off of the monument of liberty.

Reply to  n.n
July 3, 2020 4:03 pm

All sects of Progressivism have the same goal, the differences lie in how fast and by which path they seek to get there.

G Mawer
Reply to  Joel Snider
July 2, 2020 3:01 pm

” decarbonise the car fleet by replacing fossil fuelled vehicles with electric ones. ”

What about the “carbon” released during the manufacture of those replacement cars, as well as the generation of electricity to run them?

mario lento
Reply to  G Mawer
July 2, 2020 3:05 pm

Exactly… but… but… at least the “Carbon [CO2] was not in my back yard!” yeh right!

Reply to  G Mawer
July 2, 2020 11:35 pm

What would happen to the grid in the UK if all 40 million cars on the road were electric?

CO2 emissions will increase because there’s no way wind and solar would be able to cope with 40 million cars being charged overnight.

Reply to  Redge
July 3, 2020 4:04 pm

That’s easy, if you can’t charge your car overnight, then you didn’t really need to go anywhere.

Steve Case
July 2, 2020 10:37 am

Professor Kingham claims people will still have the same freedom to travel.

Government rationed, issued, and promptly paid for permits to travel will come later.

Reply to  Steve Case
July 2, 2020 1:28 pm

we will still have the freedom to travel … you can go as far as you can walk in any direction. Total freedom.

It's all BS
Reply to  Steve Case
July 2, 2020 4:15 pm

Just like Russia, before, during and after communism

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  It's all BS
July 2, 2020 5:46 pm


July 2, 2020 10:38 am

You have the right to travel. We just won’t allow the ability to travel.

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
July 2, 2020 2:18 pm

You have the right to travel any place we’ll allow you to…right now that is from your bedroom to your front door
But you can’t walk through your front door unless you’re wearing your government approved mask

John Bell
July 2, 2020 10:45 am

OMG I wonder what her offense was?

Reply to  John Bell
July 2, 2020 12:37 pm

Plastic drinking straw.

Michael Jankowski
July 2, 2020 10:48 am

The photo description cracked me up…”A female prisoner living inside her tiny prison cell. The cell provides the inmate with a toilet and a bed, as well as bars to protect her from the outside elements. The cell is designed for the comfort and benefit of the prisoner as well as the public.”

paul courtney
July 2, 2020 10:55 am

The young lady in the cell looks very penitent, she’s sorry for her carbon sins and is ready to pay the penalty.

July 2, 2020 10:59 am

Funny how the measured CO2 at Mauna Loa keeps on rising at exactly the same rate as before..

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 2, 2020 1:38 pm

I think that’s because it comes from the ocean. Warm water from 2 super el ninos over the last 20 years. reason for the warmer winters in the arctic. Lots of water vapour that has to cycle through the system

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 2, 2020 2:04 pm

June typically sees a decline and 2020 was no different. It fell from just over 418 ppm on June 1 to under 416 ppm on June 30.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
July 2, 2020 2:24 pm

Doesn’t appear to present a differing curve than 2017
comment image


Reply to  Bryan A
July 2, 2020 5:13 pm

amazing how they can sit down…jiggle the y axis…and make it look scary

…and make both graphs match

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 2, 2020 9:10 pm

Yep, 20% cut and zero impact.

There must be natural cycles that are so large mans output is insignificant.

Ron Long
July 2, 2020 11:01 am

So, remind me again, is the CO2 atmospheric content at the top of Mauna Loa unchanged? or not? The CAGW hysterical crowd thinks they have something useful (emissions reduction) but it might well turn out to be a trap in that if CO2 atmospheric content doesn’t respond it might be something else other than evil SUV’s.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Ron Long
July 2, 2020 11:22 am

There is a natural CO2 drawdown in NH spring and summer (the wavy Keeling curve) that the Toatalers can exploit as a decline, but no, the May data showed nothing untoward from the usual.

Could it be that reducing CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere from anthropic sources, permits increased evolution from the sea to take its place? Now that would be a nice bone for alarmateers to chew on.

William Astley
Reply to  Ron Long
July 2, 2020 1:45 pm

Observationally it has been shown that atmospheric CO2 concentration is tracking planetary temperature, not anthropogenic CO2 emissions. There are more than a dozen different papers that use different data sets and logical and mathematical arguments to prove that assertion.

For that assertion to be physically true, there must be a large missing sink of CO2 and a missing source of CO2 into the biosphere.

We have found the sink. It is particulate matter that is making it down to the depths of the ocean.

The finding that there is Bomb C14 in the Ocean’s Deepest Trenches proves there is a massive missing sink of CO2, out of the atmosphere, into the deep ocean each year.

This massive missing sink, naturally requires and there is a massive missing source of CO2 into the atmosphere.

This explains why currently atmospheric CO2 is tracking planetary temperature, not anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

This is a link to a science announcement that C14 from the atomic bomb tests has made it down the deep ocean trenches.

The IPCC Bern equation assumed zero sequestration of biological material in the ocean via particulate matter.


This is an overview of the monkey business that was used to create the IPCC’s Bern equation of CO2 sources and sinks and resident times.

“At this point one should note that the ocean is composed of more than its 75 m thick top layer and its deep, and that it indeed contains organics.”

“The residence time of suspended POC (particular organic carbon; carbon pool of about 1000 giga-tonnes; some 130% of the atmospheric carbon pool) in the deep sea is only 5-10 years.

This alone would consume all possible man-made CO2 from the total fossil fuel reservoir (some 7200 giga-tonnes) if burned during the next 300 years, because this covers 6 to 15 turnovers of the upper-ocean pool of POC, based on radiocarbon (carbon-14) studies (Toggweiler, 1990; Druffel & Williams, 1990; see also Jaworowski et al., 1992 a).”

Reply to  William Astley
July 2, 2020 3:34 pm

I would also point out that 1/10 of the earths surface is covered in lime stone/calcium carbonate. Bones of the single cell organisms that ate our carbon dioxide atmosphere at the beginning of earths history. Lime stone releases carbon dioxide when broken down by acid rain, naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide released by plankton in the ocean. (Without it, clouds would not form)

Another source of carbon dioxide comes from solar flares. Methane (ch4) captured by Earth’s magnetic field that produces brilliant Aurora, also creates fresh water leading to the slow rise of ocean levels.
The most famous example of this was the perfect storm about 15 years ago when a large solar storm was overtaken by an even larger X class event which produced aurora’s across the northern hemisphere in places never seen before, followed by precipitation as billions of gallons of fresh water, not in any forecast, fell from clear sky. Days later it was announced the carbon dioxide exceeded 400 ppm for the first time in the Arctic, but no one will admit the association with the sun as the source for the sudden high measurement. It would mess up their models preventing legislation that the politicians wanted to pass.

Reply to  William Astley
July 2, 2020 9:14 pm

Yep, I was thinking there has to ba a natural cycle so big it dwarfs mans output, and read about ocean deposition in a recent paper, so thanks for this additional information on this, it really does look like the ‘missing sink’ 🙂

Al Miller
July 2, 2020 11:02 am

I’ve seen this film before, let’s see we’ll institute a tax for the war effort and remove it later(maybe not). Like diesel used to be cheaper, then when a bunch of manufacturers jumped on the wagon- guess what? Diesel cost goes way up (never mind that diesel is evil now).
Expect the holiday for electric transportation to be short lived as the insatiable needs of government coffers call.
And yet again still this only applies to western cultures they think they can guilt into it right?!
Watermelons have already stated that a permit to reproduce would be high on their list of needs.
To all of which I say NO!

Dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Al Miller
July 2, 2020 9:15 pm

The price of Diesel fuel in the US went up for several reasons. One major reason is that the EPA significantly lowered the amount of sulfur compounds and the refineries needed to use more costly processes as a result.

July 2, 2020 11:44 am

COVID-19 lockdowns, or are they really social and employment lockouts?

Historically only those who show symptoms and those in direct social contact with them were isolated from the population to be treated or just kept away. Leprosy, plagues, and epidemics of all kinds saw this type of behavior and response, in these enlightened time though everyone needs to be isolated.
Isn’t modern politics mixed with some medical/social knowledge marvellous!

July 2, 2020 12:03 pm

I guess the learned professor did not read the latest warning about electric vehicles from the U.N.


July 2, 2020 12:05 pm

NO levels, fine dust… no change seen although nearly no car traffic but diesel engines are still to blame. Funny, isn’t it?

Carl Friis-Hansen
July 2, 2020 12:17 pm

The locked down woman in the picture should be given her laptop, for the sake of equality and to be socially educated via Facebook, Twitter and MSM.

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
July 3, 2020 10:00 am

The problem is that current treatments for psychological stress involve touchy feely focus on the traumatic events, going over them over and over with a ‘therapist’. This approach locks in the trauma. What is needed is to get over the events. In experimental treatments, bringing up the memory along with the emotions elicited, and treating with memory blocking drugs works for PTSD.


July 2, 2020 12:57 pm

Yep…..COVID sure is making a difference.


Jeffery P
July 2, 2020 1:15 pm

The interesting thing is the more “progressive” the city, county or state the stricter the lockdown.

Give her what she wants.

Crispin in Waterloo
July 2, 2020 1:36 pm

“In New Zealand, electric vehicles are exempt from road user charges…”

So who is paying for the wear and tear on the road? That’s right, the rest of the population. So when the fuel taxes are gone (a huge source of revenue) what and who is going to pay for the use of the road? If the mass of the cars rises due to massive batteries, the wear and tear will be even greater. Then there will be the damage caused by exploding and burning batteries from the inevitable collisions.

If they want a “sustainable solution” then exempting the expensive cars of the future sets a very bad precedent. That is an unsustainable things to do. Obviously. There are no free lunches in NZ or anywhere else.

Electric vehicles are expensive. Why would we give the rich a tax break on road use? The only survivable option is to over-tax the poor who can’t afford to buy expensive electric cars. When the road system comes to an inevitable maintenance crunch, when the number of electric vehicles is so large the roads cannot be maintained, then additional charges will have to be applied. To whom? The poorest of course, last to “benefit”. They will still have to pay when their wealthier cousins did not.

All this will do is increase the wealth gap. It is a structured prejudice that goes against the concept of equality before the law and equal in access to public infrastructure.

michael hart
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
July 2, 2020 3:05 pm

Good comment, Crispin.

Dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
July 2, 2020 9:20 pm

Not to worry Crispin. The electric cars won’t actually be using the roads. They will be lined up waiting at charging stations that need an hour to top off the batteries.

July 2, 2020 4:58 pm

USA has only just started its battle with CV19. Lockdowns will be a feature across the country for some time. The number of cases is skyrocketing past 50k/day and this is not purely the result of increased testing:

Hospitals in some cities are already at capacity and that is just from the beginning of the reinfection since lockdowns were lifted in May. All but 13 states have reproduction rate above 1:

The genie is out and very difficult to get back in without enforced social distancing. The one hope is that there are a lot of young people now being hospitalised and their experience will spread through the social media.

Willis E has given up trying to make sense of it. He does not appreciate the time factors – 6 to 12 days from infection to serious symptoms; up to 3 of those days presymptomatic but still contagious. Typically 1 to 20 days from serious symptoms to a result (some people have been hospitalised for more than 3 months). About 1.2% of those contracting CV19 will die; possibly higher in the USA due to existing conditions and definitely higher once the hospitals are making triage decisions based on age, health status and health insurance cover.

Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2020 6:01 pm

Intentionally, Millennials are having COVID parties to become infected. They put money into a pot and the first to catch it wins.

From a managing partner of a Texas company that operates emergency healthcare clinics, “Clinically, we’ve had very few hospital transfers because of Covid. Vast majority of the patients are better within 2-3 days of the visit and most would be described as having a cold (a mild one at that) or the symptoms related to allergies. We’ve often provided a steroid shot and some antibiotics. By the time we have follow-up calls, most of the patients are no longer experiencing any symptoms. They often say the shot really made a difference.”

Excess deaths appear to be below normal, so the worst appears to be past.

Reply to  Scissor
July 3, 2020 6:04 am

Like I stated, the battle in the US has just begun. It will be a long time before the country recovers from CV19. Reproduction rate is well above 1 in most states so the exponential rise is happening now across many more fronts than just New York and a few neighbouring States.

Without knowing what is meant by “vast majority”, I note that 12 in 1000 is not many; the vast majority 988, recover. But 3.3M in 330M is a decent number although the vast majority are OK.

Now that daily cases are skyrocketing, I will be very surprised if there is not a big rise in deaths by the end of July. Without drastic steps, it will get progressively worse toward the end of 2020 as the place cools down and the cooler conditions for spreading the virus are enhanced.

Reply to  RickWill
July 3, 2020 7:48 am

There is no exponential rise occurring now except in India and a few other countries.

In the U.S., we will certainly see if the rise in “cases” lead to drastic increases in deaths by the end of the month. If that is so, then we shall see an increase in excess deaths as reported by CDC. There is a time lag for compilation of excess death statistics, but a rising trend should be visible by then.

More likely, the rise in “cases” being observed today is from younger people catching the disease from lack of distancing within protests, parties, nightclubs, etc., in addition to changes in reporting and increased testing.

The rate of death of COVID-19 when all cases are taken into account is a small fraction of 1% and there is reason to believe that some cross immunity exists so that not everyone is susceptible. 3.3M is almost impossible given that hardly anyone below middle age dies from it.

July 2, 2020 5:54 pm

What was the climate impact of the Covid-19 lockdown emission reduction?


July 2, 2020 6:55 pm

2 Jul: Foundation for Economic Education: Modelers Were ‘Astronomically Wrong’ in COVID-19 Predictions, Says Leading Epidemiologist—and the World Is Paying the Price
In a recent interview, Dr. John Ioannidis (C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention at Stanford University) had a harsh assessment of modelers who predicted as many as 40 million people would die and the US healthcare system would be overrun because of COVID-19.
by Jon Miltimore
In a wide-ranging interview with Greek Reporter (LINK) published over the weekend, Ioannidis said emerging data support his prediction that lockdowns would have wide-ranging social consequences and that the mathematical models on which the lockdowns were based were horribly flawed…

27 Jun: Greek Reporter: Up to 300 Million People May Be Infected by Covid-19, Stanford Guru John Ioannidis Says
By Patricia Claus
“Globally, the lockdown measures have increased the number of people at risk of starvation to 1.1 billion, and they are putting at risk millions of lives,” he says…

Dr. Ioannidis: I feel extremely sad that my (lockdown) predictions were verified. “Major consequences on the economy, society and mental health” have already occurred. I hope they are reversible, and this depends to a large extent on whether we can avoid prolonging the draconian lockdowns and manage to deal with COVID-19 in a smart, precision-risk targeted approach, rather than blindly shutting down everything. Similarly, we have already started to see the consequences of “financial crisis, unrest, and civil strife.” I hope it is not followed by “war and meltdown of the social fabric.”

Globally, the lockdown measures have increased the number of people at risk of starvation to 1.1 billion, and they are putting at risk millions of lives, with the potential resurgence of tuberculosis, childhood diseases like measles where vaccination programs are disrupted, and malaria. I hope that policymakers look at the big picture of all the potential problems and not only on the very important, but relatively thin slice of evidence that is COVID-19…

July 2, 2020 7:19 pm

Subject 1) [Political] Tucker Carlson said tonight that the riots were organized events with the end result of funneling millions of dollars into Democratic Party coffers.
Subject 2) [Engineering] The greens are going to freak out after Governor DeSantis of Florida on his Wednesday press conference pointed his finger at sending people from the beaches and the parks, back into air conditioned spaces. He said they were safe at the beach in the sun and humidity, and likely a risk in enclosed spaces with recirculated air. (paraphrased a bit.)
Background: [and probably not due to my actions alone] About a week ago I wrote DeSantis, and later one of his environmental health experts pointing out that ASHRAE’s standards for makeup air for occupied spaces was ‘way too little to clear a space of virus aerosols. I pointed out that hot areas like Greece or equatorial Africa had low virus spikes because most of the people are nearly broke and cannot afford air conditioning. Italy, on the other hand, is moderately wealthy and one carrier can easily infect all the people in a restaurant or private home.
I suggested increasing makeup air, leaving a window open, and making sure that energy recovery heat exchangers not be direct contact types. I, for one, would pull over and enter the first restaurant that had a sign out front saying “We use 100% Makeup Air.”
Also consider UVC lamps in elevators, a suggestion I made two months ago with some positive feedback.

July 2, 2020 9:09 pm

We cut emissions ~20% yet no change at all in global CO2 readings. Zilch. Nothing. Not even a blip. Nada.

Explain that.

Just Jenn
July 3, 2020 6:14 am

oh for cripes sake!

I’m so done with these types of ‘arguments’ about how shameful I’m supposed to feel because I’m a human being.

They want people to stay locked up forever–great….totally ignoring the fact that goods and services they want still have to be transported. Totally ignoring that too many people have lost their livelihoods, homes, businesses, and any means of survival in the modern world. Too many people have gone nuts in captivity–but these nut jobs want us all to stay in it…so we can continue to starve plants. The absolute gall. Have some decency to your fellow human being, not to a gas that if you breathe too much of, you die.

Jeff Id
July 3, 2020 8:03 am
July 3, 2020 8:06 pm

“But not everyone can get about by bicycle”

Electric bikes can be useful to them. For shopping, a trailer could be attached. Here’s a link to a $800 folding e-bike with a removable battery:


See also: “How an E-Bike Got Me off the Couch and Back in Love with Exercise” at https://medium.com/better-humans/how-an-e-bike-got-me-off-the-couch-and-back-in-love-with-exercise-bc76535bdb51

And “As e-biking grows, U.S. cities consider easing rules on where the machines may be used” at https://app.getpocket.com/read/2142882141

%d bloggers like this: