Starting 16 May 2022
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Extreme weather, dying animals, plastic pollution, poisoned oceans, political conflict, poverty and inequality, poor mental heal, dwindling resources – the world’s problems are so big that ‘we’re doomed’ seems like a motto for our age.
But it’s not true – our future is still in our hands!
We can’t admit defeat before we’ve even tried. We can fix these problems with some courage, some vision and some hard work. We have to. This planet is our common home: we’ve nowhere else to live. Our children and their children have nowhere else to live.
But we can’t fix it without a plan. We can march and we can protest. We can set targets and we can declare emergencies. It’s all necessary – but nothing will change until we make a start.
We have a plan for Scotland. If we follow the plan we will live in good homes with all the heat and energy we need. We can travel more freely, eat better food, bring our land back to life, end waste and work in rewarding, well-paid jobs. We will learn a better way to live to escape for good the treadmills each of us is forced onto – all while ending our destruction of the environment.
Our Common Home Plan – Introduction
We’re launching our Common Home Campaign and hope you’ll get involved with the activities that will bring our Green New Deal to life. Over the next 10 weeks, we’ll be breaking it down into specific areas and outlining what you can do to create change, whether it’s talking to friends, writing to your MSP or joining our monthly meetings.
Our Common Home Plan – 1. Buildings
What key messages can you take from this week’s campaign focus? Here’s 5 things to tell your friends, family and elected representatives…
- We need to make buildings that last! Many modern buildings are torn down after a few decades. Buildings should have a guaranteed 60-to-100-year (or longer) lifespan.
- Let’s look to renewable materials, that actually lock in carbon. We can do this by using wood for insulation as well as structure. Could we even beat Norway’s 18-storey record of the tallest wood and glass only building?
- Only about 20% of Scotland’s construction materials are actually from Scotland! Let’s change this and source our materials closer to home. This would stimulate the Scottish economy, create many more jobs and cut down our carbon footprint.
- We have a big problem with draughty, under-insulated houses that are not energy efficient and can cost a small fortune to heat. We need to stop the heat leaks and begin to upgrade and insulate our houses so they can achieve 70 to 90% thermal efficiency.
- Let’s create jobs! By establishing a National Housing Company to carry out the upgrade, we can begin to quickly get our houses insulated, around 60,000 homes per year, while creating about 6,000 jobs.
Our Common Home Plan – 2. Heating
What key messages can you take from this week’s campaign focus? Here’s 5 things to tell your friends, family and local activist groups…
- In Scotland, 95 per cent of our heating emits greenhouse gasses – the highest proportion in Europe. We need to change on a big scale and invest in a new heating system.
- District Heating is the way to go! District heating uses a large grid system of extremely hot water in your local area, the water is pumped directly to your house and the heat is then extracted for you to use. This would provide a long-lasting and inexpensive heating system.
- Geography matters! Whatever resources are nearby should be used in order to power the district heating, for example, nearby disused mines can be used with heat recovery, reservoirs and local wood fuels.
- Let’s use the summer sun to warm us in the winter. District heating can also be powered by solar thermal energy, using inter-seasonal heat storage. This means the heat in the summer can be stored and then heat us in the depths of winter
- By setting up a National Energy Company district heating can be installed in every house in Scotland quickly, this will also create many skilled jobs.
Our Common Home plan – 3. Electricity
5 Key Messages about Electricity!
- Well, aren’t we lucky! Scotland has an enviable amount of renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, wave and tidal. As Scotland decarbonises the need for clean electricity will more than double, so we must use our natural energy sources to the fullest.No one likes the wind but……….
- One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to create clean electricity is onshore wind farms. This is cheaper than offshore wind farms and a more suitable match than solar, which is better used for heating.
- Hydrogen could be key! If Scotland were to get ahead of the game and start to develop Hydrogen technology, we could use it to store our energy for when we need it the most, power our vehicles and export it to other countries.
- A National Energy company would re-invest for the sake of the public. It could also buy current private wind farms making sure that all renewable energies are working together at full efficiency.
- We need to stop pumping Oil and Gas. But all is not lost in the North East, we need to secure jobs and supply chains by redirecting them to the National Energy company. They can then begin to create technologies, materials and equipment for our future green ventures.
Coming Next Week: Transport
Week 4: The Plan – Transport
Week 5: The Plan – Food
Week 6: The Plan – Resources
Week 7: The Plan – Land
Week 8: The Plan – Trade
Week 9: The Plan – Learning
Week 10: The Plan – Us