Last Friday, 20th September, many adults around the globe joined the youth movement started by the inspirational Great Thunberg by going on ‘strike’.
Whilst I completely share the sentiment of the protest, I couldn’t have joined the strike, and it’s nothing to do with what my boss would have had to say.
I get why the students are protesting, why they are so angry at the apparent inactivity of the politicians and policy makers, and I completely agree that they have an absolute right to demand that something is done to help protect ‘their’ future and the future of humanity.
I will carry on helping to save the planet in the way I know best
Time to step up
Individuals can and are making a difference and, as my colleague Russell Jones has written about many times on The Hub, there are simple things we can all do. This can be as straightforward as driving more sensibly – if you have to drive, or cutting out meat once or twice a week, and all of these individual acts will collectively make a difference.
And governments certainly need to be part of the solution, so again, the collective pressure of individuals striking or protesting or writing to their politicians, will make a difference.
But there’s a third element that has an equally important role to play and that is the business community and the manufacturers of the equipment, food and buildings we all need.
A great place to start
In terms of the buildings, the construction industry is making strides in developing ‘greener’ buildings although there is still a long way to go.
When it comes to building services, the manufacturers need to develop innovative and effective solutions that really can help minimise mankind’s impact on the environment.
We all need comfortable places to work and live in and, due to the vagaries of the British weather, these need to be heated (and sometimes cooled) throughout the year – we can’t simply go back to living in caves.
What we do need though is the most energy efficient methods of generating this heating and, when necessary, effective ways of using excess heat produced from cooling to offset energy demand in other areas of a building.
That is why I believe it is so important that we continue to work tirelessly to promote the idea that there are effective solutions, available right now that can mitigate the effects of climate change whilst delivering the comfort that we all need.
For me as a product trainer, I see it as vital that I carry on pushing the highest standards of design and installation of the equipment I train people on.
So, when they install air conditioning or heat pumps, they do so in the most effective way they can, and deliver a system that will work to maximum efficiency throughout its working life.
Greener and greener
George Clarke has written many times on The Hub about how the construction industry is still in the dark ages in terms of the way houses are built, and I think he has a point.
Commercially, I believe that greater strides have been made and a quick look at architectural and construction titles will demonstrate the innovation that has been made in terms of better ecological design. We are also seeing more examples of plants being used as part of the building, helping provide solar shading and water storage.
I also know that there are now fantastic heating, cooling and ventilation products that really can deliver modern levels of comfort in some of the most energy efficient ways possible.
As the power grid gets ‘greener’ through the use of more renewably generated electricity, these systems also become even more sustainable.
So no, I won’t be going on strike any time soon. I will carry on helping to save the planet in the way I know best.
After all, there is no Planet B, is there?
Ben Bartle-Ross is technical trainer at Mitsubishi Electric delivering courses on both air conditioning and heat pumps.