At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the world finally woke up to the reality of climate change and began the arduous task of freeing itself from dependence on fossil fuels. But the time lag in the Earth's ecosystem is such that our best efforts to cut carbon today will make little difference to the changing climate of the next 30 years. As we work towards a secure, low-carbon future, we must also address the changes that are already taking place in the planet's climate. We must learn to live with higher temperatures, intense rainstorms, rising sea levels and prolonged drought. We must also confront the secondary impacts of climate change, especially on energy and food security. Britain has a mild, temperate climate where occasional weather extremes tend to have serious impacts because we are simply not prepared for them. Yet across the world, communities have been living with such extremes for millennia.
If we have the imagination to learn from others and rethink the ways we build and live together, we can face this unsettling future with confidence. Homes for a Changing Climate celebrates this collective wisdom, exploring traditional and contemporary responses to the challenges of climate and illustrating the many ways in which houses can be designed, built and adapted to cope with these challenges. Examples are drawn from across Europe – from the supervolcano of Thera to the 100mph winds of the Western Isles – and from cutting-edge eco-building projects in Britain. Based on the climate projections for the UK published by the Met Office in June 2009, Homes for a Changing Climate combines inspiring case studies, striking photography and practical advice. Homes for a Changing Climate is a book of imagination and hope in uncertain times.
1 The future unfolds
5 Threatened coasts
7 Energy security
8 Food security
Will Anderson is a researcher and writer with wide interests in the environmental field. At the turn of the century he left a long-standing career in public health to gain a degree in Energy and Sustainable Development, a first step in his personal journey to address the challenge of climate change. He subsequently built 'Tree House' in Clapham, one of Britain's few genuinely 'zero carbon' houses and the subject of his book Diary of an Eco-Builder. Will is now Senior Researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Energy, www.cse.org.uk. His website is www.treehouseclapham.org.uk .