Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sustainable Energy or Sustainable Life


Sustainable Energy
Sustainable Life

The question is posed to me on a regular basis; "Why, on a Sustainability Blog, do I support the use of coal?"

The analogy comes to mind of a surgical patient faced with the stark choice of either losing a leg or losing their life. In other words, reduce carbon emissions - or stay warm and stay alive. What are we aiming to be sustainable about? Those at the bottom of the food chain will have a very different take on energy policy.

I Support - Beating Fuel Poverty

My support is for the thousands of people who cannot afford proper heating for their homes. My search is for the cheapest and best possible value method of providing heat. I do not support the use of coal as such - only that it is the cheapest option. If people are going to go cold this winter, I would prefer coal heat to no heat.

Ireland is in a deep depression, many people are struggling to make ends meet, some near suicidal in their desperation, this is not the time for them to engage in the luxury of sustainable energy - it is a time for sustainable life.

Heat is a Matter of Life and Death

Studies clearly show an increase in what is termed "Winter Excess Deaths". In Ireland that figure stands at 650. In a particularly severe winter, the figure will increase. I honestly believe that the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland should be focusing most of their energy at Fuel Poverty.

Fuel poverty stands at an estimated 40%. This is an unacceptable, immoral, unethical, unholy, and toxic situation.

The situations is all the more of an insult to those affected because of the grossly immoral imbalances at the other end of the income scale. For instance, Ireland pays it's top earners twice the average, and county managers get twice the salary of the Spanish Prime Minister, and it goes on - and on - and on - and on - and on - and on. We lack clear moral leadership from most of our leaders, we lack any discernible ethics in business, banking, law, and the public sector.

Crisis in Ethics

Irish President Michael D. Higgins

It is interesting that our President, Michael D. Higgins has chosen "Crisis in Ethics" as his presidential theme for next year.

In a recent interview he poses the following questions; "... how are you going to lodge ethics in society?"  " ... can economics be made ethical?"  and stated that; " ... there is a serious bureaucratic problem in this country." and that he finds it shocking how; " authoritarianism emerges"

I hope the country will listen to President Higgins. 

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