Guardian / YouGOV – European Support for Real Climate Action is Weak

Essay by Eric Worrall

Lots of people support climate action – but that support wanes dramatically when the proposed actions are personally inconvenient, like giving up your automobile.

Many Europeans want climate action – but less so if it changes their lifestyle, shows poll

Exclusive: YouGov survey in seven countries tested backing for government and individual action on crisis

Jon Henley Europe correspondent @jonhenley
Tue 2 May 2023 15.00 AEST

Many Europeans are alarmed by the climate crisis and would willingly take personal steps and back government policies to help combat it, a survey suggests – but the more a measure would change their lifestyle, the less they support it.

Measures entailing no great lifestyle sacrifice were popular, with between 45% (Germany) and 72% (Spain) backing government tree-planting programmes and 60% (Spain) and 77% (UK) saying they would grow more plants themselves or were doing so already.\

Even more radical proposals, such as voluntarily eating no more meat and dairy and having fewer children than you would like, were supported by between barely 10% (Germany) and 19% (Italy), and 9% (Germany) and 17% (Italy) respectively.

Changes in car use, a major contributor to carbon emissions and an area in which many European governments are already legislating, also drew responses that showed a close correlation to the impact they might have on people’s lives.

Read more:

What a surprise – not. Personally I blame greens for this dissonance between people’s expectations and what greens think is required to save us from the carbon demon.

How many times have greens told people that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel? That businesses can save money by going green?

So why all this talk of personal sacrifice and lifestyle changes? If green is easier and cheaper, why should anyone need to make any sacrifices?

You can’t have it both ways greens. Either green is cheaper and better, which eliminates the need for significant personal sacrifice, or someone has been telling a few fibs.

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Tom Halla
May 2, 2023 2:05 pm

The greens want you to have a sturdy pair of sandals, and eat bugs and live in a mud hut.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 2, 2023 3:46 pm

And they’ll give your kids puberty blockers behind your back.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scissor
May 3, 2023 4:55 am

and how to become a trans in the first grade- though not in Florida

Ron Long
May 2, 2023 2:10 pm

Alex, I’ll go with “telling a few fibs” for a million bucks. And no “check is in the mail this time.

May 2, 2023 2:15 pm

Why would anyone disagree with taking actions to defend the planet if those actions cost nothing? There’s nothing to lose.

Why would anyone agree with taking actions to defend the planet if those actions cost everything? Everything is lost as something else will need those precious resources.

So the question is about the balancing point, somewhere in the middle. Where does the cost of fighting AGW outweigh the costs of AGW?

For most people that balancing point is very close to where they are, already. Most people don’t have lots of free resources to spend on AGW.

Adaptation is very cheap. Infrastructure needs maintenance and replacement anyway. The extra costs are almost nothing. That is a case of planting trees and gardening.

Mitigation is very expensive. It means changing lifestyles that have emerged to protect us from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The costs are immense. The risks even greater.

So this poll shows that educated Westerners in Europe have common sense.
It should only surprise politicians. And that only because politicians who have gotten themselves elected are understandably doubtful about the judgement of their electorate. They know themselves.

Bryan A
Reply to  MCourtney
May 2, 2023 2:25 pm

When you implement the GND and spend $9.4T annually to avoid spending $80B annually in Klimate Kosts

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bryan A
May 2, 2023 5:25 pm

Where do you get this $80B? There has been zero increases in extreme weather over the past 100+ years. Without increases in extremes it is business-as-usual in terms of climate change costs.

Bryan A
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 2, 2023 7:44 pm

It came from another article posted here a little while ago. I’ve look through the last 5 pages worth of articles but couldn’t locate it. The exact figure could have been $75B or $77B but it was likely less than $80B per year to fight weather

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bryan A
May 3, 2023 12:02 am

Thanks, Bryan.

I believe we need to hammer on the data showing no statistically significant increase in the number of extreme weather events, their severity nor their duration on a global basis. We are spending money to adapt our infrastructure to weather events that are ongoing, not increasing. Likewise, the societal damages we are paying for have only increased as a consequence of higher GDPs and the placement of more people and infrastructure in harms way. Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has done extensive work on the issue of no increases in normalized costs of weather disasters over time.

William Howard
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 3, 2023 7:29 am

or how about instilling some common sense — most people, including the Buyden adm. don’t know that the amount of CO2 that is being proposed to be removed is so tiny that removing all fossil fuels wouldn’t change the composition of the atmosphere one bit and hence couldn’t possibly have any effect on the climate – it is all a giant scam promoted by useful idiots who have abandoned all common sense

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 3, 2023 3:49 am

Yes, more like $9.4T annually to avoid $0.00 in “climate” costs.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 4:31 am

Yes, as far as anyone can tell, there are no climate (CO2) costs.

Chasing phantoms.

(This Definition of Phantom: denoting a financial arrangement or transaction that has been invented for fraudulent purposes but that does not really exist.)

I would say the CO2 “crisis” has been invented for fraudulent financial/political power-acquiring purposes, and the crisis does not really exist.

There’s no evidence for a crisis: Fewer tornadoes; fewer hurricanes; fewer wildfires and fewer droughts. Where’s the crisis? Answer: There is none. It’s all a Big Scam.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 3, 2023 5:04 am

Here in Woke-achusetts, it’s been dam cold and wet for months. I’ve seen 2 days over 70F in the past half year. I only WISH the climate weather would warm up a bit.

William Howard
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 3, 2023 7:29 am

no costs but lots of benefits

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  MCourtney
May 2, 2023 2:36 pm

But CO2 has very little effect on the weather.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 2, 2023 2:58 pm

Perhaps so. But if the response costs nothing, why not do it?
It’s like miming a coin toss into a fountain.
Perhaps your dreams come true. Perhaps not.
So what?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MCourtney
May 2, 2023 4:35 pm

Nothing a government does costs nothing.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 3, 2023 3:52 am

Nothing the government does OR requires others to “do” OR “not do” costs nothing.

And the cost/benefit is ALWAYS resoundingly NEGATIVE.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 3, 2023 5:06 am

right- I’ve recently been converted to libertarianism- and I now watch all John Stossel’s videos and recently read one of his books

Dave Fair
Reply to  MCourtney
May 3, 2023 12:07 am

MCourtney, I’m unaware of any activity that costs nothing. And lost opportunity costs are real and are one of the consequences of Leftist misallocation of resources and destruction of our energy infrastructure.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MCourtney
May 2, 2023 4:35 pm

Where does the cost of fighting AGW outweigh the costs of AGW?”

Any costs of AGW are pretty much imaginary.

Rich Davis
Reply to  MCourtney
May 2, 2023 4:49 pm

Where does the cost of fighting AGW outweigh the costs of AGW?

Since the effect of our CO2 emissions is net positive, any “fighting” of AGW is harmful.

William Howard
Reply to  MCourtney
May 3, 2023 5:56 am

or we could just forget the whole thing and go about our lives -the amount of CO2 to be eliminated from spending all these trillions of dollars is insignificant as a % of the atmosphere and removing that tiny amount couldn’t possibly affect teh earth’s climate

Jim Masterson
May 2, 2023 2:18 pm

“. . . someone has been telling a few fibs.”

The whole climate change scam is based on fibs. To paraphrase the turtle analogy: “It’s fibs all the way down.”

Rich Davis
Reply to  Jim Masterson
May 2, 2023 4:52 pm

“Fibs” is a very generous characterization. “Evil lies” would be closer to reality.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 3, 2023 5:08 am

and extremely profitable to some people while destructive to the environment

Bryan A
May 2, 2023 2:18 pm

Lots of people support climate action – but that support wanes dramatically when the proposed actions are personally inconvenient, like giving up your automobile.

Or not heating your home
Or not cooking food
Or not buying food
Or not paying your rent/mortgage
Or not driving to work
Or not having affordable reliable energy
Or not paying utilities
Or not affording 1 car let alone 2
Or not being able to refuel in 5 minutes E-F

May 2, 2023 2:25 pm

Most people are virtue signalers until they’re asked to put some skin in the game. Then they are silent.

Rud Istvan
May 2, 2023 2:29 pm

The EU green pretending to have it both ways worked when renewables were low penetration in Europe. Greens said renewable costs would come down with more volume, so subsidies would eventually be unnecessary. And the renewable problems of intermittency and lack of grid inertia were both hidden by normal grid reserve capacity. Those days are long over, yet the greens still pretend they are not.

But by pretending Greens got early EU initiative momentum. Now they want 15 minute cities, no ICE cars after 2035, and only electric heat pumps (except where German Parliament just excepted itself because not physically possible).
Not to be outdone by EU, California just banned diesel electric train locomotives and Class 8 diesel trucks after 2035. Not going to happen, of course (unless California just shuts down completely, especially San Diego, LA, and SanFran)—but Newsom gets to virtue signal now.

Several crash test dummies have now been officially launched toward physically immovable walls. Next few years going to be fun to watch—from afar.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 3, 2023 4:40 am

Yes, the chickens are coming home to roost now. It’s just a matter of time before even the dumbest among us sees the futility of trying to power society with windmills and solar.

May 2, 2023 2:51 pm

Green dissonance loses people when it gets to: “You mustn’t fly or drive a car. I fly to climate conferences in my private jet.”.
ULEZ (London’s emissions zone) raised 213m pounds (about 250m $US) in fines, just in its first year. Of that, zero was paid by people who could afford a new car. London mayor Sadiq Khan simply slanders anyone who queries it. A new civil war is breaking out in London as a result.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 3, 2023 6:13 am

And the extension of ULEZ that Khan is after means 690,000 car drivers will face a daily £12.50 fee to enter the ultra low emission zone according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)

John the Econ
May 2, 2023 3:24 pm

Under modern Progressivism, it’s always assumed that someone else will be made to make the real sacrifices and/or to pay for it. When people find out that they will be footing the bill, they totally lose interest.

May 2, 2023 3:32 pm

If you make outrageous claims, as the UN and green zealots have done about climate change, then don’t be surprised if people don’t believe you. On that basis why would anyone take any action that’s going to cost them? People aren’t as stupid as the UN likes to believe.

May 2, 2023 4:01 pm

Some businesses can say money by going green. For example:

  • Those who push you to forego hard copy statements in favor of email
  • Hotels who suggest you forego maid service

For the most part, it’s a scam.

Reply to  honestyrus
May 3, 2023 3:43 am

Some can make money by playing the green card and then charging you ridiculous sums for a a piece of paper.

May 2, 2023 5:23 pm

How disappointing that people don’t want to f-up their lives or those of their children. Off to the re-education camp for them.

May 2, 2023 5:44 pm

There is no climate crisis, CO2 is not the control knob for earth’s climate, we are not going to reach a tipping point and suffer uncontrolled heating and most important of all the government can NOT change the climate no matter how much they tax us, abuse us, lie to us or cheat us.

May 2, 2023 5:59 pm

There are at least three stories of human-caused climate change (as well as natural variation, such as the cold summer expected this year from volcanic eruptions).

  1. AGW is a total scam, an effort to kill every living thing by choking off the food supply from photosynthesis. This narrative is supported by altering temperature records to make the past colder and the present warmer
  2. Weather modification. We first heard about silver iodide for cloud seeding many decades ago and the knowledge has grown much more sphisticated since. There is a lot of claptrap about this so Alan Watts does not want this discussed much here.
  3. Droughts and floods are both caused by modern poison-based monocrop agriculture. This damages the soil so it does not hold water–the massive runoff is the flood. And then the water is not there, otherwise known as drought. Abuses thousands of miles away affect rainfall patterns, which you can find out about from Judith Schwartz’ book Water in Plain Sight.” When farmers keep their land bare, then soil surface temperatures can reach 160 deg. F, which is indeed serious and human caused, though local, not global.

The REAL climate change can be fixed by profitable new methods of farming, generally known as “regenerative,” and “permaculture,” with an emphasis on growing many crops together, and on perennials, not just annuals. Idiotic sacrifice is not required to repair what is actually wrong. Nor need we panic. It takes time for farmers to learn new methods, and recover from mistakes. We have that time.

Curious George
Reply to  ladylifegrows
May 2, 2023 6:31 pm

The 1862 Great California Flood did not happen per point 3. Don’t despair, CA Governor Gavin Newsom did not know about it, either.

Edward Katz
May 2, 2023 6:23 pm

If support for making big lifestyle changes to fight climate change is weak in Europe, it’s a guarantee it would be a lot weaker in North America where most people believe that the phenomenon is mainly a natural one that’s occurred frequently in the past. In addition, they feel that the responsibility for climate action is mainly up to governments and businesses/industries who have been raising taxes and prices anyway ostensibly to address the problem when the reality is that they’re just using them as additional revenue sources.

Reply to  Edward Katz
May 3, 2023 2:38 am

Americans seem to be far more astute than folks this side of the Atlantic.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 3, 2023 4:47 am

I don’t know about that. Tens of millions of them voted for Joe Biden.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 4, 2023 4:11 am

And half of them were dead!

May 2, 2023 8:44 pm
Tom Abbott
Reply to  observa
May 3, 2023 4:56 am

Men competing against women, will destroy women’s sports. No two ways about it.

We should Not allow people who want to force their lifestyle on everyone else, and others who use them as a political battering ram, to destroy women’s sports.

American Marxists/Democrats are in the process of trying to destroy our current society, and turn it into a communist “paradise”, and destroying women’s sports is part of that plan.

Men should not be allowed to compete in Women’s Sports. Anyone who promotes this is promoting the destruction of women’s sports. It’s as simple as that.

Anyone who votes for a Democrat is promoting communism/authoritarianism.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 4, 2023 4:16 am

Surely the answer is very simple – any ‘woman’ found with testes is immediately castrated. No anaesthetic or delay.

May 3, 2023 3:27 am

That link to renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel takes you to the webpage of the Australian Government’s Department of Energy. There is a link there to another article:
CEFC commits $40m to get more Australians into EVs
It states:
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is continuing to drive electric vehicle (EV) ownership in Australia. A new $40 million investment will provide discounted finance for the retail Green Car Loan offered by Australian non-bank lender, Firstmac.
CEFC investments to advance EV ownership have already supported an estimated $230 million of retail and commercial green finance. These efforts have put more than 3,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids onto Australian roads.
This latest investment is expected to finance at least a further 900 EVs, with the discounted finance saving customers between an estimated $1,400 and $2,500, depending on the size and length of the loan.
To encourage manufacturers to make more EV models available to the market, Firstmac is extending the discount to EVs priced under $90,000, provided strong emissions standards are met.
Just another example of how “green” things have to be subsidised in order to encourage people to buy them.
And $40 million subsidises just 900 EVs.
There are 17 million cars in Australia.
At that rate, the Australian Government only needs to spend $700,000 million to persuade everybody in Australia to buy an EV, assuming the subsidy works, of course.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  CampsieFellow
May 3, 2023 6:22 am

By the time they’ve spent that $700,000 million the early adopters will be asking for more handouts to replace their ageing EVs.

May 3, 2023 5:15 am

It’s not a problem. The prols will eventually do the right thing…In the meantime, I’m off to Elite traveler to have a look at the latest offerings from Gulfstream. I want to knock ’em dead at COP28 in Dubai later this year!

The Best Private Jets for 2023: Bigger, Faster, Further (

Dave Andrews
Reply to  SteveG
May 3, 2023 6:29 am

‘Global sales of private jets expected to hit new high’, Grauniad 2nd May

“The global fleet of private jets has more than doubled in the past two decades, and more private flights were made last year than ever before”

I’m off to see if I can get a VTOL small enough to land in the back garden 🙂

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