December 30th, 2010 by Richard Lord
Professor David MacKay, Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, writes of “Climate Change for Football Fans”, “Football supporters will never see the world in the same way after reading this book.”
“Climate Change for Football Fans” is an entertaining and engaging book on the psychology and science of football and climate change. The book follows the fortunes of a club in the football league Championship over one season and the discussions between an ardent football supporter and his mates and a Professor who is concerned about the impact of climate change on humanity.
By betting one thousand pounds on who can learn more, the Professor and the football fan agree to become knowledgeable about each others’ concern. The Professor agrees to buy a season ticket and attend every game in exchange for discussing with the football fan what politicians can do to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.
The opening chapter of the book begins in the pub.
The following images are from the football match between Guernsey Government United and the Guernsey Media football team on 27 December 2010. The quotes throughout are written by James Atkins, the book’s author, and taken from the notes at the back of the book.
“The probability of man-made climate change is so high and the likely outcome so bad that it is worthwhile taking immediate and strong action to cut greenhouse gases.”
“The risks are so high we just can’t wait for 100% scientific proof.”
This book “concentrates on emissions in the ‘developed world’ where most of the emissions come from.”
“If policy makers are serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions, they need to look beyond chimneys and see if human needs can be satisfied in less carbon intensive ways. Or see if the needs are really needs in the first place.”
“Emissions in the UK as reported under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are about 900 million tons per year if you include all the emissions from the manufacture of imported goods. That is equivalent to 42 kgs. per person per day. And we need to get to about 3 kgs. per person per day.”
“How hot we heat our houses is also partly a question of habit.” “A preference to put on the heating instead of wearing a jumper is something in our minds.”
“Another group of things driven by our psychology is the need to conform; to show we belong, to flaunt our status, to keep up with the Joneses.”
“Transport is an area where the mind can play tricks. We often get into the car as a reflex; sometimes it would have been just as quick to take a bus or cycle somewhere, but we are seduced by the car and the misleading idea that it’s always quicker.”
“What we consider expensive or cheap is not based on what we can afford and certainly not based on economic analysis – it’s based on what we want to afford.”
“In daily routine mode we are largely on autopilot, so we don’t think about how to save energy or cut emissions.”
In “escape mode we get used to the pleasures it brings…. we go out and buy a big plasma telly. For a while it’s special and you feel good about it. Then gradually it just becomes normal. So then you need something even bigger or more special to get the same sense of breaking out of the routine.”
“If you want to get stuff done, giving people freedom of choice is not very effective.”
“There are powerful groups with vested interests in the status quo.”
“Because we live in centralised societies, politicians, the press, and business have exceptional power over us.”
“It is hard for any individual with such power to break ranks and challenge the status quo, because to break ranks means loss of the very status or wealth which the individual fought for.”
“The very people with power are unlikely to rock the boat.”
“If you want to cut emissions then entrepreneurs and financiers are the people you need to get the stuff done. So there’s no use pissing them off.”
Click here to see more images of the Guernsey media and the Guernsey Government United playing football.