Comment: Climate Chaos, affordable
housing and earth healing
By Larch Maxey
(Co-founder and Committee member)
Lammas and Low Impact Development don’t offer all the answers
to all the world’s problems, but they are part of solution
to many problems, from Climate Chaos to affordable housing,
from western world obesity epidemics to global food shortages.
And the solutions LID offers are real and there for us to create
right now, not in some mythical future when we get the technical
fixes just right and we’ve spent billions on R & D!
Awareness of human impact on climate change is growing, but
not fast enough, the latest research suggests we may need a
90% cut in UK emissions within 10 years! The UK Gov target is
60% by 2050, though an 80% target is on the cards if they get
lobbied enough (email Gordon Brown and your MP, attend the climate
Demo London 8th Dec)! The reason even 80% by 2050 may be too
late is Positive Feedbacks – once things warm
up enough Gaia kicks in: ice melt increases, Carbon sinks slow
down, forests die, methane is released from permafrost, etc,
etc! We have a ten year window to reduce emissions, before human
activities become irrelevant next to the natural feedbacks which
would kick in with another 10 years of business as usual!
The challenge is big, but it’s do-able and LID can
offer one clear path where we can show how and why!
Take Carbon Neutral Housing. The UK Gov has a world leading
policy for all new housing to be carbon neutral by 2016, but
its own watchdog, just found that it is falling behind its own
targets on energy efficiency in housing (http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/article/?id=1449598).
Even worse, ‘carbon neutral’ in the Government’s targets ignores
the energy it takes to make, transport and dispose of housing.
LID offers truly affordable, truly carbon neutral housing NOW,
complete with low embodied energy and full cradle to cradle
Lid is also a hothouse for testing out new ideas – from green
architecture to food production, there is a wealth of ideas,
tried and tested in LIDs, which are now being taken up by the
mainstream. So this is where we get to do something: spend a
little time each day promoting LID and addressing climate change,
Chair, Technical Advisory Group
Planning Policy Branch
Dept. of Environment, Sustainability and Housing
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff CF10 3NQ
Email is fine and saves paper, time and money: Jan.firstname.lastname@example.org
For draft letters see the Lammas website or email me L.Maxey@swan.ac.uk