Thursday, 18 October 2018

List Of Tips

It is a relief that the latest IPCC report Global Warming of 1.5°C has been largely well received. We can tell because there has been a spate of Lists Of Tips for people to reduce their emissions. Many repeat some of the old Urban Myths. Carbon Conversations shied away for giving List Of Tips (although we did list over 100 actions with their comparative impact) but presented Rules Of Thumb for sustainable housing, travel, eating, consumption and talking to friends and family.  I have extracted them below from the old "In Time For Tomorrow, the Carbon Conversations Handbook"

1.       Small is beautiful
The smallest you can manage with is the best; smaller houses, smaller appliances, shorter showers are all winners.
2.       Monitoring is a must
If you measure it you can manage it. Unless you read your meters regularly you won’t be able to see whether the changes you are making are having an effect.
3.       Insulation! Insulation! Insulation!
Insulated lofts, walls, floors and pipes are all winners. Heavy curtains and window shutters will also help. It’s hard to overdo insulation. Aim to use no heating or air conditioning at all.
4.       Plan for the sun
Remember that solar gains are good in cold weather. Plan for shading to prevent overheating in hot weather.
5.       If in doubt, switch it off!
It’s never more efficient to leave things running when you’re not using them.
6.       Ditch dinosaurs
It’s sometimes better to get rid of an inefficient appliance, even though it still works.
7.       Build tight, ventilate right
Draughts are not a good way of getting fresh air! Make sure your house is air tight and has the necessary ventilation in the form of fans, and windows that can be opened.
8.       Recognise expertise
Look for builders and architects with real experience of low- energy construction. Don’t get confused by internet chat.
9.       Be kind to yourself
Your green solutions are more likely to succeed if they are also comfortable and convenient.
10.   Talk, plan, do
Talk to the people you live with, make plans together, act on them.
11.   Distance matters
Long journeys, whether for commuting or overseas holidays, cause the greatest emissions. Reduce them as much as you can.
12.   Is your journey really necessary?
Consider the alternatives, before reaching for the car keys.
13.   Slow is good
Choose a slower means of transport: walk or cycle instead of driving; take the train rather than flying; if you drive, reduce your speed. Enjoy the journey.
14.   The more the merrier
Full cars and buses are more efficient per passenger. Offer and accept lifts as often as you can.
15.   Look at your lifestyle choices
Keep the effect on your CO 2 output in mind.
16.   Air travel is always worse than you think
Avoid using the plane whenever possible.
17.   A sustainable diet is a healthy diet
Following a sustainable diet is also good for your health.
18.   Go easy on meat, fish and dairy
Reduce the amount of meat, fish and dairy produce you eat. Substitute beans, pulses, nuts and seeds.
19.   Fruit and veg are fantastic
Prioritise foods from the bottom two layers of the healthy diet pyramid. Put vegetables, fruit and grains at the heart of your diet.
20.   Avoid air freight: choose local and seasonal
Out of season, perishable fruit and vegetables clock up high emissions as they are usually flown in. Local, seasonal fruit and vegetables have the lowest emissions. Favour fresh and unprocessed
21.   Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet,
especially frozen foods and items with multiple ingredients.
22.   Avoid waste
Only buy fresh foods you are sure you will use. Learn to use up leftovers. Reduce the amount of food you throw away.
23.   A high income usually equals high emissions
Try to spend in the low-carbon sectors of the economy
24.   Beware of rebound
Be careful what you do with any money you save
25.   Try to live on less
Think about what really makes you happy
26.   Think before you buy
Shop for items with a long and flexible life
27.   Remember your ‘R’s
Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle
Talking to friends and family
28.   Listen
Empathise, accept, offer support, don’t judge.
29.   Speak from the heart
Express what you feel, notice your own responses, reflect.
30.   Understand ambivalence
Accept that we all have mixed feelings and struggle with our inner conflicts.
31.   Roll with the resistance
Focus on feelings and find a new angle if you hit a brick wall.
32.   Don’t expect instant change
Work through the complex feelings so that change becomes permanent.
33.   Nourish your creativity
Take care of yourself and seek support.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Making New Housing Sustainable and Energy Efficient.

A short talk to the Calder Valley Community Land Trust on the 22nd August 2018

"I have a little to add to the presentations by Duncan Roberts[1] and Marianne Heaslip[2].
I started work as a building services engineer, the job of making sure the heating, ventilation, lighting and plumbing work. These are essential elements for creating sustainable buildings and have been involved in low energy projects, modelling and measuring for some years.
I would like to introduce 3 ideas that I think helps keep sustainability on the project agenda.
Avoiding sustainability slip,
The value of measurement,
And on being a good citizen.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Friday, 17 November 2017

Mill Road Depot redevelopment

The Cambridge Council Depot on Mill Road is being relocated and the site redevelopped for housing. This has been on the cards since 2014, when the Local Plan idenified the site as suitable for housing. After a consultation exercise, the council approved a Planning and Development Brief, but also set up the Cambridge Investment Partnership, a jount venture with Hills to undertake the development. After further consultation, the CIP have developped a proposal, which I feel is significantly flawed.

In general, the proposals offered by the CIP are not in keeping with the Mill Road Depot Supplementary Planning Document adopted by the City Council in March 2017, and have not taken into account the views of local residents expressed at previous meetings about the site.
In particular, I have concerns about issues relating to:
Urban Grain
Open Space and Gardens
Community facilities and additionality
“Affordable” housing and alternative tenures.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Rejected by the Labour Party

Subject: Re: Supporter Application
To: Supporter Applications
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015

Dear Labour Party
Thank you for your email.
I do not understand why you have rejected my application. Your email is
particularly unhelpful since it does not explain the process of pursuing "an
application to join Labour as a full member" and the phone number given does not