By Paul Homewood
We saw this coming a few months ago:
Climate Assembly UK has 110 members selected through a process known as ‘sortition’ or a ‘civic lottery’ to be representative of the UK population. They include include engineers, health workers, parents and grandparents.
How does a civic lottery work?
From 6 November 2019, 30,000 letters were sent to people up and down the country inviting them to take part in Climate Assembly UK.
To ensure the most representative sample, 80% of those receiving an invitation were randomly selected from every UK household address in Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File. The remaining 20% were randomly selected from the most deprived areas within the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File, simply because response rates are estimated to be lower from these postcodes.
People receiving an invitation could RSVP by phone or online. This created a pool of potential participants free on the relevant dates.
We then used random stratified sampling, undertaken by a computer, to select the 110 participants who together are representative of the UK population aged 16 years and over in terms of:
- Educational qualification
- Where in the UK they live
- Whether they live in an urban or rural area
- Attitudes to climate change
The computer also ensured that a maximum of one person from any single household was selected to participate.
As I queried a while ago, the key here is that the membership of this assembly is effectively self determined, as it is selected only from the people who have bothered to respond. In other words, it is far from being the “representative citizens assembly” it is pretended to be.
And of those who bother to respond, how many are eco-loons? I think we can all take a pretty good guess!
So just what will this assembly do? This is what their website says:
Climate Assembly UK will bring together people from all walks of life to discuss how the UK can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. At the assembly, participants will learn about climate change and how the UK can address it, take time to discuss this with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen.
In June 2019, six Select Committees of the House of Commons called a citizens’ assembly to understand public preferences on how the UK should tackle climate change because of the impact these decisions will have on people’s lives. A Select Committee is a group of MPs from different political parties – they examine policy issues, hold the Government to account and make proposals for new laws.
The six Select Committees involved are Business Energy and Industrial Strategy; Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government, Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury.
The citizens’ assembly was launched before the dissolution of Parliament for the general election, to ensure that the assembly’s report will be available to the new Parliament as it begins its work.
‘Climate Assembly UK: the path to net zero’ will consider how the UK can meet the Government’s legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This means that by 2050 the UK will have to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases it produces to a much lower level than today. It will also have to balance any remaining emissions by absorbing the same amount from the atmosphere. The actions required to do this will change the way we heat our homes, what we buy, how we travel, and many other aspects of our lives, as all of these result in emissions in some way. What exactly these impacts are will depend on what the UK does to meet its target, and how it does it.
Climate Assembly UK participants will discuss these questions. They will be selected from different walks of life, shades of opinion, and from throughout the UK to form a representative sample of the UK’s population.
The outcomes of their discussions, which will be held in central Birmingham from January to March 2020, will be presented to the six select committees. The committees will use them as a basis for detailed work on implementing the assembly’s recommendations, which will also be debated in the House of Commons. This provides an unprecedented opportunity for the public to contribute to climate change debate, and to influence action taken by Government and Parliament.
The six House of Commons Select Committees who commissioned Climate Assembly UK are Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Environmental Audit; Treasury; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science & Technology; and Transport.
This is an extremely dangerous development, which stands to ride roughshod over the democratic rights of the rest of the country.
According to the blurb:
This provides an unprecedented opportunity for the public to contribute to climate change debate, and to influence action taken by Government and Parliament.
It does nothing of the sort. It merely empowers a tiny clique of climate activists to control the agenda.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
January 24, 2020 at 11:06AM