rare is the bus that
can keep both on board end at
I grew in West Michigan and in winter time, I was taught, snow on a roof was a good thing.
In winter time, what snow on the roof meant was that house was well insulated against the cold.
If it wasn’t, if heat was escape through the roof, the snow on the roof would melt and the roof would be bare.
Insulated a home against the cold wasn’t cheap but it was cheaper than running the furnace all the time.
After 50 years in the snow I moved south to the Atlanta area.
Atlanta is known as the place that invented the two story mobile home.
Okay not a mobile home but a two story modular home.
Five Four and a Door they called them.
Five rooms on top, four rooms and a front door on the bottom.
They built them fast and they built them cheap.
One of the cost cutting measures was to build these homes without any insulation.
In the south who needed?
It didn’t get cold.
Or at least that cold.
Who needed to keep the cold out.
The sad part of the story is that was the wrong question.
Down south what you wanted to ask, what you needed to ask, was how do you keep the cold in?
One thing saved the south after World War 2.
One thing made the big cities of Atlanta and the one in Texas possible.
That was air conditioning.
Living in Altanta we ran the air conditioning a lot.
We had a house with full southern exposure.
We had a house with no insulation in the attic.
In the summer the AC ran all day and all night.
Sometimes we could get the indoor temperature upstairs to around 80 degrees.
No insulation did save money.
For the builder.
I am thinking about this about reading the best discussion of being green that I have found lately.
Muddled, top-down, technocratic: why the green new deal should be scrapped by Aditya Chakrabortty just resonated with me.
I loved the line, “Rare is the bus that can keep on board both Sadiq Khan and John McDonnell, and take them to totally different destinations.“
Maybe because so much of the green issue is our fault.
Maybe because so much of the green issue is typified by the thinking described in my insulation story.
Maybe because the article just made harsh sense.
The next few decades will not be about inventing entirely new things but substituting for what we already have. Installing heat pumps and ripping out boilers, using renewables rather than fossil fuels, relying on battery power over the internal combustion engine: moving to a lower-carbon future is not going to be a great, dramatic transformation – it will be slow and chronic, and frankly more expensive to societies reared on cheap food, cheap energy and the idea that the rest of the bill for both those things will be picked up by someone else, perhaps yet to be born.
Will it happen?
It depends on leaders and leadership I guess.
I for one can’t wait for the candidate who says at a debate, my plan is, frankly, more expensive to societies reared on cheap food, cheap energy.
Maybe arks ARE the answer?