August 11, 2022

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column |  War speeds everything up

column | War speeds everything up

There was a long line in Croiscade West. There, a free power box was delivered with tow strips, coolant chips, LED lights and a water-saving shower head. It’s kind of a duct-tape-type climate solution and as a duct-tape fan I don’t mean it negatively. Sealing cracks and holes in older homes can save a huge amount of gas. A small chip against a poorly insulated outer wall behind the radiator saves 20 percent.

The very simple measures were dangling somewhere at the bottom of many households’ priority lists, but now they are rising just as fast as the price of gas. From the gas leak in Aerdenhout to the smallest of social rental homes, everyone is suddenly in a rush to make them more sustainable and insulated.

It’s a bright spot, in these dark times now half of Europe is on fire spontaneously and we’re almost 40 degrees again. After ten years of trying to make it more sustainable (with confetti energy ceremonies, charity and lots of insulation subsidies), things are now going poorly. The market is doing its hard work. They make meatballs from companies that use only green cosmetics and count every fossil combustion in the end products. no escape.

In this way, there is a very cautious hope that the last two blows with a sledgehammer – the pandemic and war – will help us become more sustainable and curb that third crisis – the climate. First, Covid has chained humanity in chains, including all of its vehicles. During the lockdowns, nature has flourished, and it is surprising to see that in addition to all of the Covid patients, the general health of the people has benefited from this as well. Gynecologists suddenly noticed fewer premature deliveries, cardiologists saw fewer heart attacks and aortic aneurysms, and pediatricians saw fewer asthma attacks. The reason is still not clear, but a few particles could be a big part of the explanation.

Plus, the pandemic has meant the ultimate integration of Zoom and work from home. Traffic jams disappeared like snow in the sun. Flying for business has recently rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but it could catch up. Anyone who would like to see each other again in person at our annual catch-up conventions and fairs. This catch-up can also apply to tourism. CEO of Etihad Airways Named current holiday wave as ‘revenge tourismIs everyone really going to get on the plane for every change? And is this still the case after recent trials at Schiphol and other European airports?

Then the war. At first, it seemed like this could be disastrous for all climate efforts. Number one of the most polluting human activities are coal and lignite power plants, and it is precisely these that are rekindled. Drilling new oil wells is suddenly much more financially interesting now with prices rising. Thus, the Russian invasion was a step backwards in more ways than one.

But investments in coal-fired power plants are not imminent. It appears to be a short-term solution as Europe closes all the cracks at breakneck speed, reaping all the fruit and trying to find a new energy security as quickly as possible. If Russia succeeds in doing anything, it is now and forever clear what an unreliable energy resource and how aggressive we are to accelerate the detoxification of fossil fuels.

I see bright spots. Meat substitutes are now cheaper than meat. Electric driving is three to four times cheaper than driving on gasoline. Germany puts aside political taboos at top speed on Autoban to reconsider and Kernstige to postpone again. In the Netherlands we are building a hydrogen plant, and in Finland there is the first sand battery that heats homes using stored solar and wind energy. Developments in nuclear fusion accelerated again.

This makes war. It speeds up developments. Even with close to 40 degrees, I still rely on human ability to get ourselves out of trouble over and over again.

Roseanne Hertzberger He is a microbiologist. Maxim February absent this week.

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