If we were in denial about how long it would take the climate crisis to hit us in “temperate” Britain, this week has offered the proof that it’s here.
Are we heeding the warning? As we return to temperature-controlled office buildings in a city where only last week hundreds of homes were devastatingly flooded, the concern is we’re not.
Extreme weather is now a given, be it heatwaves, heavy rains or hurricanes, yet London’s love affair with statement glass tower blocks entirely unsuited to withstanding such events is still at full throttle.
Developers and planners in thrall to the 20th-century’s “financial district” aesthetic wield cranes laden with enormous glazed panels throughout the capital, despite the greenhouse effect such buildings create.
Not to mention the fact that the relentless air-con heats the outside environment, making it hotter for everyone else.
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The UK is a world leader in environmentally friendly building expertise. The trouble is most of this knowledge is currently deployed abroad because there is a lack of demand from home-buyers and businesses and a lack of strategy and regulation from government.
We’ve got the tools and the ideas. If this past week has shown us anything it’s that we mustn’t wait any longer to use them