Coronavirus has had the opposite effect to the one green activists were hoping for on car usage: people around the world have declared overwhelmingly that they plan to drive more often once the pandemic is over.
A poll, commissioned by the Guardian and conducted by the YouGov/Cambridge Globalism Project, surveyed 26,000 people in 25 countries.
In every country, the majority of people said that they were more, not less likely to drive post-Covid. The most determined nation to hit the gas was Brazil (60 percent intended to use their cars more; only 12 percent planned to use them less), followed by South Africa, India and Australia. In the US, 40 percent said ‘more’ but only 11 percent ‘less’. In the UK the figures were 23 percent for ‘more’ v nine percent ‘less.’
The results appear to have come as a huge shock to the Guardian, not least because in the same survey, the vast majority of those polled claimed to agree with the statement that ‘human activity is mainly or partly responsible for climate change.’ Greece is the most fervent believer in the climate change religion (91 percent believe climate change is mainly or partly man made); the U.S. is one of the most sceptical – but still has 69 percent who believe climate is mainly or partly man made).
According to the Guardian, this apparent disconnect between thought and action is a sign that governments should be more coercive in enforcing the green agenda.
People are planning to drive more in future than they did before the coronavirus pandemic, a survey suggests, even though the overwhelming majority accept human responsibility for the climate crisis.
The apparent disconnect between beliefs and actions raises fears that without strong political intervention, these actions could undermine efforts to meet the targets set in the Paris agreement and hopes of a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
But perhaps the clash we’re really witnessing here is virtue-signalling versus reality.
There is no social cost to telling a telephone pollster that you believe that humans cause climate change. On the contrary, given the pressure to conform to the official narrative, it’s astonishing the numbers aren’t even higher. After all, even most ardent climate sceptics like myself would concede there’s an anthropogenic element in climate change – even if it’s just down to the Urban Heat Island effect. So those figures don’t tell us very much about what people really think about climate change – just what they feel they ought to say.
The responses to the driving question are clearly much more heartfelt. They suggest that during lockdown and the various other restrictions imposed by governments to mitigate the pandemic, people have grown more frustrated and more rebellious. It seems highly unlikely that all those people saying they intend to drive a car more are doing so to impress the pollsters. Arguably unlike with the climate stuff, they really do mean it.
Still, the greenies can console themselves that they’ve won a partial victory on air-travel.
In Great Britain, Italy, Germany, China and, most especially, India, people have said on balance that they intend to fly less post-Covid. Some countries, however, remain unrepentant. In the U.S. the ‘will fly more’ category beats the ‘fly less’ at 25 percent to 24 percent. And in Nigeria, for some unexplained reason, the yearning for air travel has risen stratospherically. Fully 50 percent of those surveyed in Nigeria said they would be flying more; whereas only 20 percent said they would be flying less.
What a shame that the Guardian’s solution to ‘problems’ like Nigeria appears to be to advocate for tougher government remedial action to correct the people’s wrong think. Personally, I’d say it was the perfect opportunity for Nigeria’s airline industry to expand and deliver more of what the people want. But hey, what do I know? I’m not a caring leftist…