We read this blog this week and love it. It’s a great insight from Jim Scheer in SEAI on where the energy and climate sector are in Ireland right now.
He expresses a frustration which we share, in that the pathways we are currently taking are veering away from where we actually should be going. He says “We can’t afford to build hopes, and comfort levels, on solutions that distract us from the ultimate goal, or kick the proverbial can down the road. Our choices must be based on facts, robust analysis and readiness to act at pace.”
Strategies such as continuing to connect houses to the gas grid is just diging a bigger hole for us to remove ourselves from in the future. Essentialy we won’t / can’t be buring oil and gas for decades to come. Installing a new gas or oil boiler now means it needs to come out in the next 10 years tranferring the cost on to the home owner for replacement. Much cheaper and more sensible to install a heat pump now.
Jim goes on to say:
“The arguments for these new connections ignore a host of issues and alternatives: the fossil fuel lock in, the time delay to any meaningful contribution to renewable gas, the cumulative emissions to our atmosphere in the meantime, and future costs to these consumers to make them climate and net-zero emissions compatible. Most importantly, much better technological alternatives exist that could deliver more rapid emissions reductions, consistent with a net-zero pathway, that also meet our legally binding carbon budgets. ”
As such, if the traditional reasonable choice is fossil fuel then being “unreasonable” is actually the sanest way to proceed. We agree with this and look forward to being unreasonable in the face of the continued installation of fossil fuel heaing systems. We’ll leave the last word to Jim:
“Instead of being held back by all of our reasons for not dropping fossil fuels faster, we need to embrace the core reason for acting, namely survival. We’ve done it before. The response to the recent health crisis brought many of us together for a common purpose. It’s time to stop lying to ourselves about what is reasonable. Is it unreasonable to want the right solution? Is it unreasonable to recognise that adding fossil fuels just costs us more money and lost time in the long run? Is it unreasonable to want to offer homeowners the chance of a better more reliable, sustainable and economically advantageous source of heating? Is it unreasonable to care about surviving? If so, then I guess I am unreasonable. But let’s be honest, in that case, true progress will only be made by the unreasonable man or woman.”