A Heated Exchange In The Architect’s Journal

Title:  Is global warming hot air? Date of Issue: 13 Jan 2011

At the end of last year the price of natural gas fell to the lowest price in December since 2001.

Yet on top of some of the most expensive domestic energy anywhere, UK consumers are soon to pay another £500 a year to subsidise our suicidal green energy policy. Future generations are destined to pay for more idle wind farms, doomed renewable experiments and the latest blind dash into nuclear energy production.

The Cancun circus on global warming last month again showed us the monster we have created. A parallel universe that spews ridiculous statements like “man will control the earth’s temperature to within two degrees”. Yet, despite a new government, we are still destined to mortgage our descendants to support this nonsense.

In the meantime, the so-called scientific consensus on man-made global warming is looking short on evidence and is effectively propped up by dubious computer modelling, the raw data from which nobody seems to want scrutinised too closely.

Our industry has spent the last 20 years or so trying to create energy out of fresh air, desperately trying to re-invent the laws of physics while the architectural profession has built numerous ugly, green-looking eco-buildings to spread the gospel. Has this resulted in the expansion of useful renewable-energy technology? No, but in the last five years, gas extraction technology has developed so fast that we now have enough known reserves spread worldwide to serve us for the next 100 years.

We must build cost-effective, efficient, low-energy buildings. But why, when we have worldwide gas reserves and anthropogenic global warming is far from certain, when I programme in a highly efficient, simple, maintainable, controllable gas boiler into a SAP calculation for a new house, does it spit it out and force me to specify the latest “renewable” toy: an untried, untested, unserviceable electric gadget supported by a priceless photovoltaic that my great, great granddaughter will still be paying for.

If we don’t come to our senses quickly, this country will have fuel poverty on an unthinkable scale. The emperor really does have no clothes on. The problem is, we can’t see him in the dark.

Andrew Tull, RIBA member, Canterbury, Kent

Title:  Heated global warming – Date of Issue:  24 Feb 2011

I wonder what qualifies Andrew Tull, RIBA member (AJ 13 01 11), to write on “global warming”. If his opinions were personal, the AJ might have been well advised to leave them private. If they were professional, they might be construed as being in breach of the ARB’s Code of Conduct.

Michael Woodman-Smith, Atelier Woodman, Bristol

Title:  Still heated – Date of Issue: 10 March 2011

Sadly Michael Woodman-Smith’s attitude (AJ 24 02 11) demonstrates with tremendous clarity the point I was making. The day that questioning “facts”, “opinions” or so-called “consensus” becomes a breach of the ARB code of conduct, he can be assured I will happily see my name removed from the register.

Andrew Tull, partner, CDP Architecture, Canterbury, Kent