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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    "Alok Sharma, the government minister responsible for vital UN climate talks, has been accused of undermining environmental efforts and failing to set an example after reports that he has flown to 30 countries in the past seven months."
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/aug/06/one-rule-for-them-alok-sharma-criticised-over-flights-to-30-countries

    I'd say, give the man a free pass to do whatever it takes to bang heads together, in the run up to CoP26 November in Glasgow. Boris isn't lifting a finger because Climate gets no votes with his Little-England core. If they were both on the job, they'd do far more than 30 flights between them. Tho, flying to France and Belgium is ridiculous.

    In The Future we Choose https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-future-we-choose-everyone-should-read-this-book-matt-haig/9781838770822 , Christina Figueres, UN Exec Sec for CC 2010-16 describes over and again the indispensability of her face-to-face persuasion of intransigent Presidents, Dictators, PMs around the world, to the miraculous success of the 2015 Paris Agreement. I don't hear much about what her successor Patricia espinosa https://unfccc.int/about-us/the-executive-secretary is doing. Anyone?

    Meanwhile, Go Alok!
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021
     
    My guess is that John Kerry will have (and probably has already had) more influence on the outcome than Alok Sharma...
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    True, like Al Gore before him - who was also charged with hypocricy for his carbon footprint but can be forgiven because of game-changing impact, at the time.

    An active and committed Boris would have a) done wonders for his world-statesman image (his what?) and b) done far more than Sharma can to make a success of UK's CoP26 moment in the limelight, having personally frittered the previous moment, G7.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomIn The Future we Choosehttps://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-future-we-choose-everyone-should-read-this-book-matt-haig/9781838770822," rel="nofollow" >https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-future-we-choose-everyone-should-read-this-book-matt-haig/9781838770822,Christina Figueres

    Note that posting a URL with an immediately following piece of punctuation is not a good idea! (a.k.a. try links when you post them!) If you really must, then enclosing the URL in '<' carrot brackets '>' is safe, though probably not in this benighted forum :devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021
     
    I do know that - apologies. Who started calling <> carrot brackets - when ^ has been caret forever?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/06/close-to-point-of-no-return-climate-scientists-to-stress-urgent-need-to-act
    Too right.
    So it was The Mail, trying to upset/impede the Climate effort, to the approval of the twats who are Boris's lodestone. Beneath contempt.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomTrue, like Al Gore before him - who was also charged with hypocricy for his carbon footprint
    And Kerry doesn't have a pure green background either, neither in his personal dealings, nor in his belief that 50% of the carbon reductions needed will come from technologies that are yet to be invented. But does seem to understand the need for change.

    Maybe we could have COP27 in Sweden with Greta in the chair.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021 edited
     
    What a fab idea! It would have to be a 'sigh of relief' celebration and a newly constructive, determined collaboration on everything that needs doing for the 50yrs to come.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021
     
    Posted By: Mike1Maybe we could have COP27 in Sweden with Greta in the chair.

    Posted By: fostertomWhat a fab idea!

    Agreed, excellent idea :bigsmile: but how do you get every country to (a) send one or more representatives, all of whom must be under twenty and (b) agree to commit to whatever those representatives agree?
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021
     
    Posted By: fostertomI'd say, give the man a free pass to do whatever it takes to bang heads together, in the run up to CoP26 November in Glasgow.


    Not sure about a 'free pass' but if anything is worth investing some emissions in it's the success of the next CoP!
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2021
     
    Greta will be an old lady - what? 25? by then! Or she may well spend the next 10yrs going to university etc.
  1.  
    Posted By: fostertomhttps://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/aug/06....


    Seems to be a vehicle for the "one rule for them, another for us" political campaign, as stated in their headline and quotes from several opposition politicians who have no environment responsibilities.

    Meanwhile in the same edition of that newspaper, is an editorial decrying the rising prices of fossil heating gas and blaming the government for not subsidising fossil heating fuel consumption, and for spending money on developing hydrogen.

    Both pieces written by political journos, as they don't seem to employ anyone scientifically literate anymore, or have any editorial consistency.

    They also provide handy guides for their readers' holidays in Bavaria and Finland, and for driving massive motorhomes round the UK.

    It's concerning that public awareness of crises like CC or Covid, is shaped by media outlets that simply echo the prejudices of their readers, whether left or right, and have lost their sense of objectivity.

    As we know, the main carbon issues for UK are road transport and space heating. But flying seems to get disproportionate attention in the media. People like to blame "other people" for flying rather than face their own responsibility for using road fuel and heating fuel and taking foreign holidays.

    Edit: apparently 30,000 people are flying into Glasgow for CoP, covid permitting, which is good IMO. 50 nations sent delegates over to a pre-meet last month without attracting comment.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021
     
    Sadly, it's not just the Grauniad that fits that description. :cry: I don't know of any paper that doesn't.
  2.  
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenAs we know, the main carbon issues for UK are road transport and space heating. But flying seems to get disproportionate attention in the media. People like to blame "other people" for flying rather than face their own responsibility for using road fuel and heating fuel and taking foreign holidays.

    Correct but with insulation like EWI costing what it does and the price of an ASHP and the price of EVs or plug-in hybrids being what they are most people just can't afford to save the planet :cry::cry::cry:
    And even if people could afford the change the infrastructure (i.e. the grid) couldn't cope with wholesale change to electric whatevers.

    Over here the electric cos. have just reduced the amount of PV that can be connected on single phase (95% of domestic houses) from 5 kWp to 2.5 kWp due to grid issues.

    However a chap I know got a Merc. plug-in hybrid about 5 months ago and so far he has used about 40 lts of petrol in the 5 months, the rest of his journeys are electric only which he charges up from his PV on his roof - But then he is a dentist who as we all know are poorly paid, especially with private practice alongside NHS:devil::devil:

    IMO the answer would be massive state intervention but this would mean cross party resolve looking well beyond the next election - I just can't see that happening !
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021 edited
     
    I have a hope/feeling that one of those moments of unprecedented change-of-heart (incl China, maybe India, but leaving Aus, Russia and Brazil (unless Lula gets in) as pariahs) will happen in the nick of time before CoP25. We shall see. IPCC6 Monday should be a big shock. Hopefully.
  3.  
    Electric system in UK looks like it will cope. There have just been auctions in England and Scotland, oversubscribed, to build another 18-20GW of offshore wind. RHI at 10.5p/kWh covers the price difference of a heat pump. Most of the heat loss from houses doesn't go through the walls, and that which does doesn't matter if it's renewably powered. EVs expected to reach price parity with ICE in next few years.
    So overall there's little reason for many folks not to help tackle carbon emissions. So people I know invent excuses such as "carbon emissions are all the fault of "other people" who fly in planes" to excuse their own lack of action. The media feeds that with echo-chamber articles, such as the one in the OP.
  4.  
    RHI might cover the difference between the gas boiler and an ASHP but the ASHP still has to be paid for up front along with any heating changes needed to cope with the low grade heat from the heat pump. And of course the ASHP has to be sited somewhere suitable which for a lot of houses I can see being a problem.

    EVs might reach parity with ICE cars 'in a few years' but I'm not sure I would want a 10 year old EV car with its 10 year old battery - unless the cost of replacement batteries come down lots so I can see resale value being a drag on new EV sales. With over 40million cars in the UK and new car sales at about 2.3 million it will take a long time to convert. With the average age of cars in UK reported to be over 8 years old with 10 million over 13 years old I don't see the introduction of EVs doing too much to reduce carbon emissions and pollution in the short term much less saving the planet long term. (Oh and the average age of a car over here is about 14 years)

    However a decent (cheapish) public transport system geared to support a typical life style e.g timed to avoid the 'Chelsea tractors' doing the school runs and biased around work times as it is over here could make a big difference - providing you can then get people to use it.

    How far ahead are the plans in the UK to upgrade the grid to cope with thousands of heat pumps and EVs that are going to be needed to make any substantial difference to the carbon emissions?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021
     
    Cop26 meeting is last chance, says Alok Sharma as he backs UK’s plan for new oil and gas fields
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/07/were-on-the-brink-of-catastrophe-warns-tory-climate-chief
    Tragically conflicted.
    “The prime minister is very much at the frontline ... He is regularly talking to world leaders, making the case for more climate action.”
    Hmmm.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryWith the average age of cars in UK reported to be over 8 years old with 10 million over 13 years old I don't see the introduction of EVs doing too much to reduce carbon emissions and pollution in the short term much less saving the planet long term. (Oh and the average age of a car over here is about 14 years)

    Singapore got around this by simply requiring cars to be scrapped when they reached ten years old! Nothing to do with climate change; mostly economics I believe and maybe a little bit of increasing safety risks caused by poor maintenance.

    However a decent (cheapish) public transport system geared to support a typical life style e.g timed to avoid the 'Chelsea tractors' doing the school runs and biased around work times as it is over here could make a big difference - providing you can then get people to use it.

    I don't think that's the problem at all. People who could quite easily walk to school, or even cycle to school, simply don't and not necessarily through their choice but through their parents worrying about risks (accident, crime etc etc). Though in the country 'nearest school only' council-funded bus transport is pretty idiotic as well. When I was a lad, nobody thought anything about me and lots of others doing a twenty mile round trip bus journey and other kids doing similar distances on bicycles.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryHow far ahead are the plans in the UK to upgrade the grid to cope with thousands of heat pumps and EVs that are going to be needed to make any substantial difference to the carbon emissions?

    I don't know. I was surprised by
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenElectric system in UK looks like it will cope.
    because the last I knew we were in great trouble when the remaining nuclear stations switch off shortly. Maybe things have changed?
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021
     
    When I first read about Alok Sharma and his 30 countries-visits during the COVID pandemic my immediate reaction was "rather you than me mate" rather than the usual "one rule for them and another rule for us" as if such trips are some sort of a junket. I used to work for a multinational company as a project manager in the 90's/early 00's and for a few years I would say I averaged one flight per month to somewhere in Europe or USA (occasionally India too). The glamour soon wore off and it became a real drag. Imagine the same situation today if my boss decided that I should visit all these places during a pandemic - what a prospect!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2021
     
    Posted By: Jeff BWhen I first read about Alok Sharma and his 30 countries-visits during the COVID pandemic my immediate reaction was "rather you than me mate"

    Absolutely
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomCop26 meeting is last chance, says Alok Sharma as he backs UK’s plan for new oil and gas fields
    Plus (as I've previously mentioned) scrapping the Green Homes grant, continuing to allow the sale of peat, planning major road building schemes, freezing fuel duty, cutting electric car subsidies, allowing above-inflation railway ticket rises, helping Mathias Cormann become OECD boss, failing to meet their own tree-planting targets and - according to National Audit Office projections - expected to miss their climate change targets from 2023 to 2032. There is no credibility.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Mike1planning major road building schemes
    To be fair:

    Government to review its strategic plan for major road and rail schemes, to ensure it meets net-zero commitments"
    https://www.iota.org.uk/blog/government-to-review-its-strategic-plan-for-major-road-and-rail-schemes-to-ensure-it-meets-net-zero-commitments

    "A review of national policy for national networks is to be carried out by the Department for Transport. It comes against the backdrop of the Welsh Government’s decision not to build any new roads and calls for similar measures in England."

    Good point:
    “Almost half of our £27 billion programme for England’s strategic roads, though often described as for road-building or capacity expansion is, in fact, for renewing, maintaining and operating the existing network or for funds to improve safety and biodiversity, deliver active travel schemes and tackle noise or pollution."

    One strange bit:
    "potentially of increases in driving when electric and autonomous vehicles become common"
    I thought part of that deal was expectation of less demand / less vehicles / less congestion, due to sharing/on-demand services and, with autonomous, close-coupled road-trains.
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryEVs might reach parity with ICE cars 'in a few years' but I'm not sure I would want a 10 year old EV car with its 10 year old battery - unless the cost of replacement batteries come down lots so I can see resale value being a drag on new EV sales. With over 40million cars in the UK and new car sales at about 2.3 million it will take a long time to convert.


    To this end the benefit in kind system is doing pretty well at boosting new EV sales to those who drive for work. Tesla model 3 was the top selling car in the uk last quarter so future second hand EVs are in the system. Tesla also have the best managed batteries so I'd happily buy an older one. For a local-run-around/second-car an old Leaf is now quite practical & economical (they have probably the simplest battery tech and have typically lost maybe 20% over 5-8 years).

    Not sure about Hungary but England is pretty much perfect for EVs geographically/climate/density.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021
     
    I dont see what the fixation with EVs is as a means to cut transport emissions. Last time I looked, around 70% of journeys were 5 miles or under which is an easy bike ride. Once acclimatised 10 miles is a straight forward ride.

    Add in the obesity/city air quality crises we have and it seems a no brainer to me to divert all road building budget into decent cycling infrastructure to the extent that people want to cycle/walk, as urban driving/parking is too inconvenient/restricted.
  5.  
    The biggest problem with cycling IMO is the weather - rain or the threat of rain puts many off.
    When I was in the UK I used to cycle to work 12 miles each way (including Portsdown Hill for anyone who knows the Portsmouth area)
    If it was raining in the morning I got in the car, rain in the evening was no problem as I didn't mind arriving home wet.
  6.  
    >>>> PiH: How far ahead are the plans in the UK to upgrade the grid to cope

    Looking good AIUI, there are new transmission lines in place to move wind power from Scotland down to England and the grid is extending offshore to link round the offshore farms. There are more interconnectors happening into the European grid.

    On the distribution side, the thinking seems to be that the network has a large capacity, which is only fully utilised for a few peak hours of each day. The thinking seems to be to push the EV charging out of those peak hours, to utilise the network when it has plenty of spare capacity. The government has just confirmed legislation in the Autumn to force all new EV chargers to be 'Smart', IE with a higher price for peak times, and with remote throttling back of the charging if the local network is overloaded.
    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1462511/electric-car-charging-station-driveways-new-rules-energy-bills

    National Grid are "confident there is sufficient supply
    to meet peak demand this winter" without the nuclear stations but are issuing contracts to "prepare for some
    tight periods"

    https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/203051/download
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenNational Grid are "confident there is sufficient supply
    to meet peak demand this winter" without the nuclear stations

    Sorry, but where do they say that? I see "While we remain confident there is sufficient supply to meet peak demand" in one place and in another I see "We assumed that the rest of the nuclear fleet is available w ith an availability of 76%, based on the average of the last three winters". Is there somewhere else that contradicts the second quote?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomA review of national policy for national networks is to be carried out by the Department for Transport
    But no change in policy until it's completed (“no later than spring 2023”), despite Parliament having declared an 'environment and climate emergency' over 2 years ago.
   
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