12th November 2019
Alright. Heating. I wrote about thermostats in the Standard yesterday and have caused fury. In the piece, I wrote about the recent tweet which went viral, showing a Nest in a cage having been locked up by an Ealing landlord. I went on to say I was on his side having recently engaged in a thermostat war with my flatmate, who would get home every night and whack it up to 24 degrees at 3 in the morning so I woke up and thought I was on fire.
I’m very sorry to anybody who though I meant literally that all thermostats should be locked in cages so the elderly and other tenants sit shivering in their houses. What kind of idiot would suggest that? Me, apparently. I really, really didn’t mean that. And to be fair, nor did I write that. It’s HERE if you want to read it.
My point remains that many of us are still pretty feeble when it comes to the environment. We know there are fires in Australia and flooding in Britain, that record heatwaves are on the rise. And yet we’re terrible ourselves at the small stuff. As I wrote, I normally forget to take a plastic bag to the Co-Op, I sometimes lob my yoghurt pot in the wrong bin. It’s a form of Nimbyism. Other people can worry about the fires and the floods! I’m just going to hop in my car and drive 50 yards to the shops. The same applies to heating. Smart thermostats have made it ludicrously easy to flick the heating up when we’re sitting on the sofa. We barely have to move, it’s a tap on an app. I’m just as bad. Ooh, there we go, nice and toasty. But our heating systems at home are a carbon problem and the emissions from our homes are up there with cars. I don’t believe we all need to freeze to death, as various people seem to think. I’m just not sure we need to set our thermostats at 24 degrees and we’re increasingly going to have to face what some may deem ‘inconveniences’ – using less plastic, using less water, eating less meat or no meat – to guard against whatever may be coming down the line towards us.
Whenever stuff like this happens online, my name further enrages people who make pretty wild judgements about me on the basis of what I’m called. That I can handle. I have a properly stupid name, I know it gets people’s backs up and I’ve been making bad jokes about it ever since I started writing. But never mind the name, I’m just sorry if in this case a point flippantly made has upset you.