UK politics is taking a very spooky turn.
I came across this today in the course of some research…
Lords Science Committee expand Behaviour Change Inquiry to consider interventions to reduce car usage in towns and cities
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have launched a new call for evidence as part of their inquiry into the use of behaviour change interventions in delivering Government policy. The Committee, who have been investigating behaviour change since July, have so far focused on Government efforts to promote healthy eating and reduce obesity. With the publication today of a second call for evidence, they are now turning their attention to policies designed to reduce car usage in towns and cities.
The Committee are inviting written evidence on the issue from any interested parties by Friday 21 January 2011. Some of the questions they are seeking answers to include:
- What are the most influential drivers of behaviour affecting an individual’s choice of travel?
- What role does infrastructure play in encouraging and facilitating changes in travel-mode choice?
- What are the most appropriate type and level of delivery of behaviour change interventions to change travel-mode choice?
- Are current policy interventions addressing both psychological and environmental barriers to change?
- Are policy interventions appropriately designed and evaluated? What lessons have been learnt as a result of these evaluations?
- What lessons can be learnt from interventions in other countries?
Baroness Neuberger, Chairman of the Inquiry on Behaviour Change, said in comment:
“We have had some very interesting evidence sessions in this inquiry, which has so far focused on efforts to reduce obesity. However, Government programmes to change behaviour go much wider than personal health alone.
“We will now focus on programmes designed to reduce car usage in towns and cities. Reducing the number of journeys made by private car is likely to be a big part of a successful programme to reduce the level of carbon emissions in the UK.
“We will look at examples of where successful schemes have been implemented and examine what lessons can be learnt and applied elsewhere.”
I haven’t got much to say about this right now — nor the time — but a couple of points should stick out.
First… That there are Government programmes to change behaviour should worry us immensely. Aren’t they supposed to ‘work for you’?
Second. It’s interesting that climate change is the legitimising basis of this proposed intervention.
Third. There seems to be no call for evidence regarding the rightness or wrongness of intervening in this way, whether or not climate change is happening.
Perhaps it is incumbent on us to take the initiative. If you have any time this Christmas holidays, consider responding to the “Science Committee’s” social engineering project.
It’s time to modify their behaviour!