31 Jan Halifax Metro: Tristan Cleveland has some tips for Halifax after a C+ grade on climate change action
Imagine a man who rolls cigarettes in hundred dollar bills. Should he stop because it will one day give him cancer or because it’s a stupid waste of money?
Doesn’t matter, he should stop. The same goes for climate change. Yes, CO2 will make hurricanes like Juan a regular part of life, but if that’s too hard to imagine, we should still stop spending millions on heating air that leaks into the sky.
This Thursday, an international youth group, iMatter, will present Halifax with a C+ for how we’re doing on climate change. We need to do better, so here are a few ideas to waste less and, while we’re at it, cut back a bit on catastrophic disaster.
Next year we finally blow up Cogswell.
Since we’re starting again from scratch, it will be cheap to lay pipes and heat all those buildings from a common source. That means way less energy going up through chimneys, but even better, we can use heat from the sewage treatment plant. Estimates peg the savings at about a million dollars per year.
Halifax Water is happy to run the new system and all we need is a thumbs up from the province to require all the new buildings to hook up to it. If it works, we should do this everywhere we can. In Denmark, no less than two thirds of households use district energy.
Energy Efficient Buildings
If you invest in the best insulation for a new home, how long do you think it takes for the lower energy costs to start saving you money?
Incredibly, the answer is “immediately.” The amount you save on your energy bill is bigger than the cost it adds to your mortgage.
When homes are built to sell, there is no incentive to insulate sufficiently because heating them is someone else’s problem. By requiring better standards, we can save a lot of people a lot of cash.
Here’s something we’re leaders in. Over 400 homes have been hooked up with shiny new solar panels in Halifax thanks to loans that usually, again, cost less than the amount they save you.
You should sign up for this, right here: halifax.ca/solarcity. Even solar electricity is now available. The program, however, should be expanded further to help people finance better insulation for leaky homes.
Bad enough our grandkids will judge us for causing climate change. Imagine when they find out we could have saved a ton of money while stopping it. What excuse will we have? Investing in the fight against climate change is just smart money.