Friday, October 21, 2005

Just read a quite worrying post on City Hippy, a fantastic British site about green living, that people are warning that we might be having a natural gas shortage over here this winter, as it is supposed to be colder than any winter since 1995/6. There could be rationing, with UK businesses facing a possible 3-day week to save energy use so they don't have to tell us that we're only allowed heat four hours a day.

This is insane.

North sea natural gas production peaked in 2000, and the only thing that they seem to have done is to arrange for a pipeline from Norway that won't even be completed until 2007/8. They would have had years to see this coming, and it's been five years since peak production. Surely that means that they should have done something to fix it besides an idiotic pipeline from Norway?!

I agree with City Hippy that something needs to be done now, and think that their idea of rationing energy at home now will probably save some heartache down the road. But the government needs to start a massive campaign of public education, telling people that it just isn't acceptable to have the thermostat set at 30 degrees all winter. In addition to the many other stupid things that people do, such as keeping the heat on, then opening all the windows to "get some fresh air".

I think the problem is is that most people aren't connected enough to their environment to realize where any of their energy comes from, or where their waste goes and what it does after they bin it, or where their food comes from. Without understanding this, at least a little bit, it makes it difficult to get their head around the fact that they're screwing everything up. Penny Poyzer and her show, 'No Waste Like Home' was a good start, but we really need to be ramming it down people's throats to make a difference. And not only people, but businesses too. Even more so, actually. The more business has to think about their actions, and be forced to take responsibility for them, the better off the consumer is and the less energy will be needed.

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