What a nice sunny Sunday morning in spring time! We had our first breakfast this year on the balcony. Everyone seems to be eager to get a piece of sunshine these days. But there are also sad things going on. My neighbours have taken down a big tree, the second within the two years that I have lived here. Now they sit on their fully tiled courtyard to enjoy the spring time sun. At the same time, some of my neighbours at the site where we are building our new house, asked me when we will take down the big tree on our ground??? Why should I? Well, it is a birch and it makes so much dirt, was the answer. Oh, these terrible trees - only dirt, wilderness and shadow. I do not have words for.
Apart from the boring view on tiles instead of nature, what will these people do in summer, a summer like last year? It was very hot and long-lasting. People still think it was an extreme summer, but that will be the new norm in just a couple of years. Don’t they understand that trees could help them to cool down?
No, instead I see more and more individual air conditioners popping up. They seem to think, that those are the only methods available to cool down apartments. Trees, proper shading and ventilation ... - these passive solutions to at least reduce the heat load before using air conditions are simply not in their mind. They have seen these individual air conditions in southern countries during vacations. It is the most visible element of cooling; so, they simply copy this model.
I think we should not blame them. What have we, the experts and politicians, done to communicate good solutions to them? We have funding programmes, incentives and consulting services for private house owners and builders targeted on energy saving, but nothing for climate adaptation measures. Now, as we face hotter summers, we do not have any rollout of broader programmes for Information on more effective cooling of our building stock and open space, like with district cooling or green infrastructure. Now would be the perfect timing before everyone else is using their own single air conditioners. Yes, let’s learn from the South, but let’s pick up their good traditional Solutions instead of the ineffective ones that even fuel climate change further. Let's enjoy the generous support of trees at no costs!