‘People will go Cold this Winter’: Is it time to start Rationing Energy?

Place a Ban on Outdoor Gas Heaters

Amidst calls to place a ban on outdoor gas heaters, is it time for us to start thinking about rationing energy, or would that be a sign of Government overstepping the mark. Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman debate the issue on Newstalk Breakfast.

Environmentalist Duncan Stewart has said the use of ‘shameful’ outdoor heaters should be banned.

He was speaking amid calls to conserve energy this winter as the cost of living climbs.

However there are no plans from the Government for such a ban.

Duncan told Newstalk Breakfast this is the ‘most wasteful way’ of using energy.

“They’re radiant heaters…gas, but also electricity – and both are doing massive damage.

“I think we need to realise you can’t be more wasteful with energy: this is the most wasteful way of using energy”.

He said only ‘the rich’ can afford these heaters.

“Probably most of our population now are going to suffer really badly from energy shortages and high prices of energy this winter.

“To have a situation where people can go and sit outdoor, and squander energy – where cafés and pubs use this as an attraction to bring customers to their particular pubs.

“It’s the rich, basically, that can do this”.

Put to him that any COVID surge would move people outdoors, he said they should be prepared for it.

“If I want to sit outdoors that’s fine, I should be dressed for the occasion.

“But if I do go, and if I find one of these, I immediately leave.”

Asked if this is a move toward heat-shaming, he said: “We have to live our lives within a level of where we’re being responsible.

“Trying to justify this is not the way to do it: this is shameful.”

He added: “The other side, in my view, is not a very responsible side when we have such issues with greenhouse gas emissions.

“And this is such a visual way of showing waste – we have so many people poor now that will have problems trying to heat their homes and with shortages”.

Also speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said no such ban is planned.

“The approach we’re making won’t be to ban or indeed even to put the guilt finger at any one person or any one activity.

“But it absolutely makes sense for us to reduce our energy now.

“Firstly for climate reasons, but secondly that high price of gas is going to make those incredibly expensive.

“I think every business is going to have to decide, and every household, without anyone putting a shame or guilt on them – how can we reduce our energy to save us money, to be part of what’s going to have to be a collective effort through a very difficult wartime period.

“I would very much agree with Duncan on the sense of stopping that use, but I don’t think the way to go is in a banning, shaming”, he added.

Credit to : Newstalk

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