. . . because climate change is imminent, and it’s largely our fault.
Climate change is happening now, but it will get a lot worse if we don’t reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere. Some people think a warmer climate in Britain will be a pleasant change, bringing the Mediterranean climate to our shores . . . sunny days, wine, olives etc. Not so. What we will get is warmer winters and stormier summers, encouraging mosquitoes and other tropical pests to live here with us. But the worst problem will be political.
While we get a little warmer and wetter, other parts of the world will get too hot to function – in particular, the Mediterranean shores and Africa. Drought will make agriculture almost impossible, and refugees will look for somewhere else – such as northern Europe and Britain. We have already seen the problems caused by a moderate flow of refugees from war-torn areas in the Middle East: imagine how much worse it will become if entire areas of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France start to move.
So what can we do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions ? Two things: first – put pressure on the Government to adopt renewable energy policies; second – reduce our own energy consumption. This site is non-political, so we will leave the first point to other forums and concentrate on the second.
In England 40% of all energy used goes on domestic consumption. Scotland is colder, so there it’s 60%. Most of this energy by far goes on heating, and most of that heat goes straight out through probably the worst-insulated housing stock in Europe. We need to reduce this loss, so reducing our energy consumption, reducing CO2 emission and saving the planet in our own small way.
Unfortunately, just keeping the heat in is not enough: we also need to arrange for fresh air to be continually provided to maintain health – and these work against each other. As I said, it’s complicated; but I shall be dealing with all the complications as we go.