Pump up the Heat

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Pump up the Heat

I am old enough to remember when the biggest threat to the planet was global cooling.

Yep. In The early 1970, the big fear was that we would all be living in igloos with huskies instead of Hondas in the driveway.

In 1970, respectable newspapers like the NY Times and the Washington Post were awash with headlines like: “Colder winters herald dawn of new Ice Age” or  “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming”.

NASA, who had just put the first man on the moon, said: ‘The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.’

I’ve just looked out the window and there’s no sign of snow. Just Dominic Raab topping up his sun tan on a deck chair.

So scientists get things wrong.

Which brings me to heat pumps. In its infinite wisdom the government has decided that, like Class A drugs, it will be illegal to sell gas boilers after 2025.

So every new home will have to have a heat pump, which are pricey little items. Around £10,000 is an average for a new one and retrofitting costs about the same. (At least I think so; no one know really knows).

They work by taking heat from the air or the ground (think boreholes), compressing it and then sending it around the house. They’re slow – forget about suddenly deciding to jump into a hot shower and not very efficient (lots of insulation please).

Now a heat pump at £10,000 may not make a lot of difference to the lentil-eating, sandal-wearing, electric-car-driving ‘environmentalist’ living  in a £1million — £2 million house in North London, but it will make a hell of difference to a price of a new £55,500 flat in Middlesbrough.

Before Extinction Rebellion turn up and glue their hands to my door, I agree that much of the evidence points to human activity contributing to climate charge, be it global warming or cooling, but it’s a GLOBAL problem. Think China.

Maybe a more careful second look is in order before we jump headlong into initiatives which bring little benefit and a lot of costs and distress.

Boreholes! The mere thought.

But anyway, like the cavalry in a cowboy movie, there may be relief at hand.  There are still some scientists who believe that the next ice age is just around the corner arriving just in time to cancel out global warming.

Have a good weekend

Tom