Are people still wearing masks?

16 October 2021

9:00 AM

16 October 2021

9:00 AM

Wrong place, wrong time

The name of the village of Nelson, north of Cardiff, was described as ‘problematic’ in an audit commissioned by the Welsh parliament, on the grounds that Admiral Nelson is claimed to have opposed the abolition of slavery. Some other place names that might not be safe:

— Blackboys, East Sussex

— Blackgang, Isle of Wight

— Churchill, Devon, North Somerset, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire

— Colston Bassett, Notts

— Lower Bitchfield, Lincs

— Nelson, Lancashire

— Pett Bottom, Kent

— Rhodes, Greater Manchester

So much hot air

The government claims that the UK has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 43% since 1990. Is that a fair claim?

— The figure refers to territorial emissions only: emissions physically spewed out in the UK. It excludes aviation, shipping and emissions from farms and factories elsewhere in the world in the cause of producing goods for UK consumers.

— An alternative way of counting emissions is on a ‘consumption’ basis, which measures emissions associated with UK consumption, wherever in the world they are emitted (and excludes emissions in the UK producing goods for overseas export).

— The statistics for consumption-based emissions (using a method developed by the University of Leeds and measured in million tonnes of carbon dioxide and equivalent) go back only to 1997, not 1990.


1997 – 754

2018 – 468


1997 – 954

2018 – 703

Two things stick out: first, consumption-based emissions have fallen by much less (26% over the past 24 years) than territorial emissions (38%), thanks in part to emissions from imports from China rising by 64%. Second, consumption-based emissions are now 50% higher than territorial emissions.

Source: Defra/BEIS

The end of the affair?

Are we still bothering with anti-Covid measures (or at least are we claiming to)?

86% say they have worn a mask in the past seven days.

55% say they have avoided physical contact with someone due to Covid risk.

40% say they are still social distancing.

29% say they have worked from home in the past seven days.

3% say they self-isolated last week.

Source: ONS Opinions and Lifestyle Survey

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