Friday, 27 January 2012

Why we need to use energy more sustainably

My guest blog on the British Gas Customer Newsroom website.

Two photographs illustrate the article.  The first depicts my schoolfriend, David Kidd, fitting a Navitron solar thermal heating system on my roof.  He's standing safely in a long, horizontal valley between two pitched roofs so no need for a harness.  The second shows the excellent downlights that I fitted into the bathroom cabinet recently, replacing 60 watts of halogen lights with 7.2 watts of warm white LED cabinet units from

Many people argue that we can best engage the public in climate change action using positive terms, such as money to be saved, rather than evoking fear and other negative sentiments by describing the threats of unmitigated warming.  A recent scholarly analysis of climate change communications by Jacqueline Stewart, of George Washington University, gives examples of effective and counter-productive attempts to communicate climate change but concludes only that success depends on the specific message, messenger and circumstances.

I believe people need to hear the truth about our situation - how can we care about something we aren't aware of? - but agree that this needs to be coupled with positive messages on what we can do about it.  

This guest post is my attempt to communicate the big picture on consumption, carbon emissions and consequences, together with clear proposals for personal action to reduce all three.  I am pleased that British Gas have agreed to post it on their customer website and hope that it will reach a wide audience.

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