What with financial crashes and the like, its all gone a bit quiet on the ‘save the planet’ front.
But if scientists are right and we are on the verge of catastrophe, its not going to stop just because the economy has gone a bit wobbly.
I am not a scientist and I don’t know of my own knowledge whether the environmentalists are right or not about global warming (although who does? Really and truly?).
Some reasons why
However there are other reasons to try to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and develop renewables:
- one day we are going to run out of gas, oil and coal (e.g. peak oil). We may as well face up to it and prepare
- I don’t know about you, but I feel uneasy about depending for our fuel supplies so much on foreign powers who may one day decide to pull the plug on us
- After all the development and setup costs have been paid, I strongly suspect that renewable energy will prove to be MUCH cheaper
My belief is that technology has a long way to go with renewable energy, and that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
For example, in the 1950’s, who would have thought that one day you would be able to carry an immensely powerful computer (more powerful than anything in existence at that time) around in your top pocket masquerading as a phone?
That same kind of development can and hopefully will take place in the green energy industry. All that power beaming down daily from the sun. There MUST be more efficient (and safe) ways of harnessing it and using it. We just haven’t found them yet (or maybe they have been found but need to be developed). It will come.
But research and development need to be kickstarted by demand. Which can be ensured through regulation.
Which brings us back to landlords.
Vast amounts of energy are used and wasted in domestic housing. Regulations are being made to ensure better standards in new housing.
However, as we all know, not a lot of new housing is being built at the moment. Most of us live in older housing. The vast majority of which is massively energy inefficient. A lot of work needs to be done to improve this.
Many of the problem properties are in the private rented sector and this sector is also notoriously bad at improving property to make it energy efficient. Hardly surprising really as the benefits will mostly accrue (or are perceived to mostly accrue) to the tenant rather than to the landlord.
There are plans to improve things via the Green Deal but more could be done.
If there was a national rented property register as suggested earlier in this series, this could be a very useful way for funding and services to be delivered and improvements monitored. It could have a very big impact on the greening of our rented property sector.
How this would be done would depend very much how the regulation system was developed and set up, but I would suggest that this is something that should be taken into account from the very start.
After all, if the scientists are to be believed, we may not have that long to sort things out …