There are many ways for looking at housing: climate change, local environmental impact, community spirit, security, affordability, asset values &etc. However, finding a political narrative to address these issues is difficult because public awareness is low – I blame the ‘don’t inform and educate just entertain‘ BBC for that. The topic is also biased by self-interest, creating beliefs that cannot easily be shifted by facts. One of the most difficult issues is climate change, which is not given the importance it demands, in particular the greenhouse gasses emitted as a result of construction – the embodied carbon – is rarely mentioned. This first note is about embodied carbon.
“… economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies.”
One corollary of this must be that world economic activity should increase but the consequent greenhouse gas emissions do not cause dangerous climate change. This means emissions should remain within certain limits until greenhouse gasses can be extracted from the atmosphere. This extraction is thought to become possible in the second half of this century. Some rough calculations are presented below to explore the meaning of ‘green growth’.
Sea level rise is complicated. But some people think its future course is oh so simple, and the recent visit by a certain Mr. Wakefield showed just how determined he is to stick with what I call the “simpleton’s view.”
On LBC radio this morning, James O’Brien discussed the housing crisis. He had a “penny drop” moment:
In 1971, Maggie Thatcher banned councils from borrowing to build houses. This has meant that private landlords have taken over much of the rental market and are making a killing through rents, many of which are paid through housing benefit. Private landlords are being paid increasing amounts from government expenditure
Subsequent governments haven’t changed the restrictions on councils – even the Labour governments of Blair and Brown.
I am a climate researcher, professor for physics of the oceans and have worked for eight years as advisor to the German government on global change issues. I regret to have to tell you that hereby I cancel my subscription to the New York Times in the wake of you hiring columnist Bret Stephens. Let me explain my reasons.
When Stephens was hired I wrote to you in protest about his spreading of untruths about climate change, saying “I enjoy reading different opinions from my own, but this is not a matter of different opinions.” I did not cancel then but decided to wait and see. However, the subsequent public defense by the New York Times of the hiring of Stephens has convinced me that the problem at the Times goes much deeper than a…
It’s time to work out organisation and electoral algorithms to make an electoral pact work if the Labour Party splits.
I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1964. Never liked “the Party” much but have liked many fellow members. I still pay my dues because the alternatives are worse.
What abut a split?
Then both sides won’t be so dogged by the sins of the past. Like …
Blair’s academy schools
Milliband’s failure to oppose Universal Credit that is impoverishing section of the poor. (Labour Party Lord: ” They knew. As useful as chocolate teapots”)
Limp action on climate change. (Blair sacked Michael Meacher remember.)
Apart from ‘that war’ the Labour Party’s record is still the best and that leads many party members to want the Corbynites to hand over to the old Blairites – without Blair of course – in order to regain power and relieve so some of the pressure on the poor and the environment.Continue reading Let’s think of a plan for Labour to split→
House price inflation has loaded enormous costs on the poor and the young and has been a bonanza for the affluent and the old. This realisation has had increasing coverage in the posh media. The coverage has greater emphasis on intergenerational effects rather than the effects on rich and poor because even the affluent classes are worried about housing for their children, who don’t want their children to rely on their parents.
In order to get some idea of the different effects of the housing market on the affluent and the poor, I downloaded, house price data from the Land Registry for the years 2000 and 2010. I then looked at the changes in house prices for the most affluent areas compared to the least affluent areas. (I used the P2 People and Places Demographic Classification for this exercise).
Adjusting for inflation between 2000 and 2010, I found that property of the most affluent areas increased by just over eight times the average income in 2010. Property prices in the least affluent are rose by a factor of two. However, according to the 2011 census, only 20% of households in the least affluent areas own their homes. In the most affluent areas this rises to 90%.
Summary: House price inflation has given most households in the most affluent areas large increases in their net wealth, at the same time most households in the least affluent areas will have paid increased rents.