How We Are Screwed, And By Whom
Listening to the radio today 6 January 2023: ". . . upgrading insulation, using heavier curtains, even a door draft excluder, and things like watching the thermostat will save energy." This last thing is of course something we should all do, but many people rent. Renters are already in financial stress (and I don’t care who you are, if you can afford to pay the rent and to consume enough energy to be comfortable, and enough food to be healthy, and to run a car then you could - and probably should - try to buy) and you know damn well their landlords won’t pay to insulate their money-making boxes.
So the tenants pay. They pay for heavier curtains and draft excluders that won’t work because the windows are single insulated, ceiling insulation is ineffective to non-existent, and so to save a bit of energy they pay to either buy extra warm clothing because they live in an indoors “outdoor winter wonderland” they pay in medical bills and lost wages because it’s now proven that even a relatively small drop in temperature is enough to inactivate the body’s first-line defences against illness.
Just as "separate and wash plastics and glass before recycling them" made US responsible for corporations' refusing to accept their waste back, now we're bearing the cost of energy corporations’ refusal to upgrade to renewable sustainable energy. We pay multiple costs for that refusal, too. Electric vehicle uptake being slow is in part due to energy costs, the energy corporations’ reluctance to upgrade their grids to cope with more energy, and lack of capacity in many places to sustain a larger population of EVs.
Because sustainable renewable solar and wind energy is derived from heat that would already have landed on the planet, using more of it is in effect just moving it around the planet geographically. And we can now actually beam some of that heat back out to space using technology being tested now. So just by making energy cheaper instead of more expensive (by switching to 95% renewables) all those things could be getting done instead.
But nope. We get to pay extortionate prices for an insufficient and unreliable supply of energy that’s also contributing to the climate extremes that lead to us needing to use more energy. . .
Gosh. Someone’s got it made, don’t they? Just not us. . .
And this shouldn’t be able to happen in 2023, we should be so far along the path to where everyone can live a good life, just not an extravagant one. Staying warm and healthy is not an extravagance.
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