Azara Blog: The UK ruling elite want to make UK citizens poorer

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Date published: 2010/09/04

The Cambridge-based Centre for Science and Policy was set up a year ago and on 2 September the executive director, Chris Tyler, sent out the kind of self-congratulatory email one might expect in the circumstance. The email also announced some future events, such as a workshop (on 8 September, in London) on Behaviour and energy efficiency. The email says (and the website has similar wording) that:

We are working with DECC [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] and a number of leading experts from universities including Cambridge, Cardiff, UCL, East Anglia, Exeter, Lancaster and Sussex to generate new ideas for policies that will encourage people to change their behaviour to consume less energy.

It is unfortunate that any public policy organisation is pushing this kind of policy. As a first approximation the amount of energy you consume is proportional to your income and wealth. Anybody who is pushing for people to consume less energy is advocating that people should become poorer. It will not be lost on ordinary people that the people pushing for these policies are people who are far richer, and therefore consume far more energy, than ordinary people do. If these rich people think that (ordinary) people need to "change their behaviour to consume less energy" then they should take the obvious first step and make themselves poor(er). Far too many members of the ruling elite (including practically everyone in the academic ivory towers as well as the Lib Dems and Green Parties, but also substantive number of Tories and Labour people) unfortunately believe that their own citizens are too rich.

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