Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally
Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson
Epilogue: Retrofitting Buildings Viewed as a Civil Engineering Project – Just Do It
Michael Kelly For the first time in history, the world has been interconnected by a global wide band-width communication system. What has come to the fore in popular and public discourse? It is a litany of Malthusian problems confronting the planet, from overpopulation, through resource depletion, environmental degradation, climate change to the down-sides both of poverty and of affluence, and financial chaos. Furthermore, sensitive sensing techniques provide daily evidence of the way in which humankind’s behaviour is perturbing the ecosystems of the planet. If we imagine someone in 2050 writing the history of this time, when we have begun to articulate the challenges in front of us, how will they judge the nature and scale of our responses? We have had the benefit of the Stern report on the economics of climate change for three years now. The discourse in international government circles has been based almost entirely on economics. Even the otherwise excellent UK Government’s recent national strategy for climate and energy, The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, mentions engineering only eight times, all in passing, and the analytical supplement has no mention at all! Until we start to think of the retrofit of the existing building stock and the renewal of the national infrastructure of transport, energy, waste and water as a single integrated and complex civil engineering project to be delivered over 40 years, we will run the risk of falling far short of responding on the scale that will be necessary to reach a climate resilient,...
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