The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Why is so little attention paid to the fastest, cheapest, most effective action on climate – ENERGY SAVING?

Look how Fukushima inspired energy saving Andrew Fraser, 16 Nov 21 London SW19, UK
Gideon Rachman (Opinion, November 16) was right to spell out the political as well as technical difficulties involved in delivering the COP commitment to net zero. However, to suggest that “geoengineering” solutions some of which were reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s people of Balnibarbi (who sought to extract sunbeams from cucumbers) may provide the answers is surely to ignore more practical and affordable steps.

While there are undoubtedly exciting technical breakthroughs connected to renewables and the possibilities of “green” hydrogen, it is surprising that he and others have made so little mention of the capacity of governments to drive energy conservation programmes. Above all, these can make an immediate contribution while—literally—saving significant sums.

A good example came in Japan when — post the Fukushima disasters — a National setsuden (energy saving) campaign reduced consumption by over 20 per cent almost immediately. This involved completely sensible measures such as reducing the number of lifts operating in tall buildings, reducing air conditioning and allowing offices to operate at slightly higher temperatures, and switching off shop lighting and neon advertising after stores had closed.

Why can’t the government lead a similar drive? The Heath government ran a successful advertising campaign during the three-day week in 1974 built around the slogan “SOS Switch Off Something, Now!” If the climate emergency is as serious as scientists all assert, the same urgency is needed on the demand as well as the supply side.  

This means we must seek to drive behavioural change alongside sensible conservation policies such as encouragement for home insulation.

December 2, 2021 - Posted by | ENERGY, UK

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