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Editors Comment: We must all take responsibility for climate change!

It’s always my fault! I have noticed through the years that Paul Braithwaite is responsible.
Editors Comment: We must all take responsibility for climate change!
It started a long time ago. I was at the 21st birthday party of one of the girls in my gang (yes, it was a long time ago but I can still remember) and my friend John sidled up to me and suggested we give the young lady in question the bumps.

I declined to join the group. Next thing I know was that three others had grabbed the girl and I had to grab her arm as she went over to stop her falling on her shoulder.

After she received 21 bumps, her mother came over to me and said that if she had hurt herself, she would hold me responsible. (I have not lied to you about this. I have no reason to.)

That was when I decided that whatever I did, I would get the blame.

However, I did not realise everthing was going to be my fault.

In the past when there has been a recession, it has been my fault because I did not spend enough. In a boom time, it has been my fault because I have been spending too much.

And I seem to be in trouble now as society careers towards more and more debt. Somehow, it is my fault that too many people have too much debt.

Climate change is also my fault. I have been too free with my emissions, I am told. I have got to cut down.

I have a condensing boiler with a weather compensation kit and modern radiators and I turn them off as much as possible. (Mrs Braithwaite looked accusingly at me recently when I insisted on turning the central heating off on a warmer day in November just before she went and took a larger fleece out of the cupboard and put it on.)

I have got to recycle. I have a green wheelie bin (as well as a black one for ordinary rubbish) into which I put as much recyclable waste as I can. I can honestly say I take a pride in my recycling. (But, frankly, having been a journalist in the grocery trade, I look at countries such as Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands and see how little the supermarkets here do to help with recycling.)

I have got to stop using my modest (diesel) car. If I could get to where I am going without a car I would, but have you ever tried going on holiday in this country without a car?

Anyway, why should I do any of these when mums take their children to school in gas-guzzling Chelsea tractors and the Americans drive around in Hummers?

Look at Andy Stamford’s article in Air Conditioning World this month.

In spite of all the work done by our industry to cut emissions, there is always someone who wants to blame emissions on air conditioning. But everyone has to take responsibility for climate change. And everyone has to do something about it. What if we all took one less air journey a year? (Think how much managerial time and energy it would say if your company installed video conferencing facilities – or is going abroad a perk for the bosses?).

What about shops and offices turning lights out after 10pm at night? What about turning the lights off in the offices of my local town hall at night when they are not being used?

It is all about how much we care. We can all blame someone else but it is up to us to do our bit. We should be patting ourselves on the back for a job well done so far and then we should get on with doing more.

Plus, if you need someone to blame then blame me, I’m used to it.

It’s not that I am paranoid or anything, it’s just that everyone else does so why should you be different?

Paul Braithwaite, Editor
1 December 2006

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