Hi, Dale here. Welcome to Mi Net Zero! In this blog, we explore the why, what, and how of net zero living.
In this post, I want to start with the why, as in why net zero?
Well first, going back to basics, as we’ve become aware of the existence of greenhouse gases, global warming, and resulting climate change impacts, the need to stop burning fossil fuels has become evident. Beyond 1.5 degrees of warming, tipping points are likely to be crossed that have the potential to cause runaway warming that will wreak havoc on human and natural systems. On my favorite YouTube channel, Dave Borlace summarizes the problem as spelled out in the latest IPCC report. (I highly recommend him for both climate science AND new technology reviews. He strikes a good balance between realism about the problem and hopefulness about potential game-changing solutions.)
Second, we’ve also realized that fossil fuel pollution is causing serious health problems that are distributed unfairly to the poor. Those who are least responsible, both locally and globally, suffer the most. We have a HUGE opportunity to create cleaner, healthier, more just ways of living.
As global leaders and scientists have searched for solutions, the overall goal of net zero carbon emissions has emerged.
A major strategy for achieving net zero is to electrify everything in our economy including industry, transportation, and the built environment, including residential construction. (This book is a must read if you want to more fully understand this powerful strategy.)
For homes, the practical strategies are to improve the envelope (energy efficiency based on better insulation and airtightness) and to replace fuel-burning appliances with heat pumps and electric/induction stoves. There is now money in the form of tax rebates to help fund these improvements.
Many experts believe a net zero future will save us money.
In order to hit society-wide net zero by 2050, there is urgency to electrify gas appliances as they fail (vs replacing with new gas appliances that will potentially burn fuel for another 25 years). Now is also the time to build all new buildings to net zero standards, or least be net zero ready pending a net zero energy grid.
In summary, why net zero? We believe a net zero future will yield HUGE life-saving health and environmental benefits. We also believe it is achievable and worthwhile, on both economy-wide and personal infrastructure scales. We will continue to work to optimize our recipe, practices, and partnerships to make net zero accessible to everyone.
Thank you for engaging! Let me know what you think!
I invite you to bookmark this page and check back to learn more about how your home is your key to net zero living.
I will aim to post by noon on Fridays. Next week is Why Net Zero Homes?!