Far from reducing, as the government often claims, the UK's greenhouse gas emissions have risen by nearly a fifth over the past two decades, according to a report, Too Good To Be True? The UK's Climate Change Record, from Chairman of Defra's Academic Panel Dieter Helm.
It shows that Britain has not yet broken the link between economic growth and emissions.
Helm says that when the UK's emissions are analysed using the UN climate convention's method, which measures consumption of energy, Britain appeared to achieved a fall of 5.3 per cent in emissions between 1990 and 2005.
However, when international air travel and supply chain implications are factored in - ie total production is quantified - then the trend is "adverse".
The depressing report only serves to underline the need to consume less, and to consume locally - either we downsize in a planned and managed way, as the Transition Towns movement is trying to do for example, or we will be forced to do so later in a much more unpleasant fashion.