Climate Change like never before
Those of you that remember the inferno that was the Grenfell Tower will also remember the fact that many people perished in the council building in the upmarket area of Chelsea.
Whilst there is never just one reason for tragedies like this, there is one large factor that contributed to the high death toll. The Green targets of the U.K.
At the time of the inferno the U,K, was legally committed to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050. Funnily enough this has since been increased to 100%
This has meant some large amounts of public money is required to achieve these rather high targets.
Strict borrowing limits set in 2012 meant the councils including the Chelsea/Kensington area had to cut costs.
When it came to the building needing recladding the Council was faced with the task of both reducing the carbon footprint as well as keeping the purse strings tight.
Despite the residents wanting a different cladding system the Committee on Climate change (CCC) advised the local authorities that the Styrofoam thermal insulation and installing boilers complied with the reduction in their carbon footprint.
This insulation system is the system that allowed a small domestic fire to rapidly engulf most of the building, resulting in the loss of 72 lives.
The residents had voted for a fire-retardant zinc cladding to be used but the authorities chose the cheaper aluminium composite material (ACM) with flammable plastic insulation.
An enquiry into the fire revealed a secret meeting was held and the construction company agreed to a reduction of $1.2 million. The lower cost cladding became the accelerant for the fire but also poorly fitted plastic windows and faulty fire doors also contributed.
Months prior to the fire the residents were so concerned about the fire risk that they had formed an action group which actually issued a warning in a blog post called “playing with fire”
One last aspect also didn’t help the tragedy which was the firefighters issuing a stay put order while they battled the blaze. unfortunately this also was not the best call to make.
However, in trying to reach the climate change targets this building is not the only building that has been clad with this system.
The Government has put money into a fund to help reclad buildings but have said owners will also need to stump up some money. $2.5 billion has been put into the fund and the BBC is claiming some 3,000 buildings have applied for money from this fund.
In Manchester a tribunal has ordered that residents will have to pay $15,000 each as their share of the recladding to make their buildings safe. Until this cladding is done the residents are having to pay for round the clock fire wardens in their building.
In the meantime, whilst all these building have now non compliant cladding, apartments cannot be sold or remortgaged.
One couple are having to contribute $600 per month for fire wardens on top of the mortgage and are facing bankruptcy due to the costs. They also feel they cannot start a family due to the building being unsafe to bring up children in.
All this is down to some interpretations of models that are meant to tell us that we are on some crash course with climate catastrophes.
Once again, the computer models are found with blood on their creators hands.
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