“Home buyers are forced into unaffordable, car based lifestyles.”
A plot of land big enough for a house costs roughly £500 at agricultural prices. In the York area, for example, a plot’s value becomes £50,000 once the planners’ give building the go ahead. There is no difference in the land: just its name on a certificate in a council office. This is an unearned bonus to the land owner, which starts the process of building expensive dwellings designed for unsustainable lifestyles.
More often than not, new houses are built with little regard to public transport links or cycle routes to town and with little in the way of local facilities, such as corner shops or local greengrocers, home buyers are forced into un-affordable, car based lifestyles.
The “carbon budget” is an estimate of how much CO2 we can still emit, but still have a good chance to keep global warming from going over the 1.5°C limit into “dangerous” territory. The budget has recently been revised (upward, thank goodness) to about 420 GtCO2 (420 billion tons of carbon dioxide).
Staying within the 1.5°C limit doesn’t make us “safe” — there are still consequences of climate change, dangerous and costly, and we’re already paying the price despite not having hit 1.5°C yet. But going above 1.5°C takes us into what is best described as: nobody wants to go there.
With winter snow in the northern hemisphere, we tend to forget the heat that summer brings to the southern half of the world. It can get pretty hot down there. The Guardian reports that Australia is entering the third day of another terrible heat wave, remarkable not just for how hot it is, but how much of the country it covers: basically, all of it.