Bill Clinton said in London yesterday (in a speech at the Smith Institute) that while terrorism could kill large numbers of people, it could never wipe out a civilisation, but that global warming could.
It is a long way from the apocalypse to low energy lightbulbs, radiator thermostats, and Part L of the Building Regulations (which deals with conserving fuel and power). But the link needs to be made.
The recent rise in emissions promoted by the rise in oil and gas prices (and the shift of electricity generators to coal) shows the importance of a few big decisions.
But millions of small decisions are also important. The challenge for government is to help individuals bridge the gap between intuition and action; the experiment of offering £50 or £100 council tax discounts for energy efficiency measures currently being piloted in 16 local authorities is one example.
The commitment to put a Home Energy Efficiency report in every Home Information Pack is another.
And the higher standards of energy efficiency in new homes like the Northstowe development of 10,000 houses in Cambridge is a further case study.
But we need to find other ways to motivate action.
I will be discussing these and other ideas in a speech to the Green Alliance in May.
posted on 29 March 2006 15:27
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