Why electrification is a cost-effective way to decarbonise your building, with RMI's Stephanie Greene, MD of Carbon-Free Buildings Program.

Transcript: What do buildings have to do with climate action?

TEDxLondon Climate Curious

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Description: We spend 90% of our lives inside buildings, so why do we think of wind turbines and panels, not induction hobs and heat pumps, when it comes to taking climate action? Here to explain why electrification is a cost-effective way to decarbonise your building is Stephanie Greene, RMI’s Managing Director of Carbon-Free Buildings Program. From saving you money, to giving you a better quality of life, tune in with co-hosts Maryam Pasha and Ben Hurst to learn why electrified buildings are a win for our health, our finances, and the planet. 

TRANSCRIPT

Maryam Pasha  0:00  

Thank you so much for joining us. And I want to start with a really, I think simple but essential question. What do buildings have to do with climate change?

Stephanie Greene  0:08  

It’s a great question. So first of all, thank you for having me. It’s really awesome to be here. So buildings actually contribute 40% to our global greenhouse gas emissions. And yes,

Ben Hurst  0:20  

I’m sorry. This is everything is

Maryam Pasha  0:24  

40%. You just think everything’s 40%? How

Ben Hurst  0:26  

many 40%? So at least two, what is aviation? 2% 2%? Oh, yeah, that doesn’t make sense. The numbers do add up. You’re correct. Sorry.

Stephanie Greene  0:36  

You’re right. So emissions from electricity there, right. So 10%. So like, let’s divide the 40% into four parts. Yeah. And parts, actually. Okay. So one part 10% of it, of the slice is direct on site emissions. And by that I mean, oil, propane, and most mostly gas, used to heat our spaces, and to cook with and heat our water. And then the other chunk that I am double counting 20% is from electricity usage on buildings. But I think that’s really important to note, because there’s all these solutions, we’re going to talk about, hopefully soon, about, like, how can buildings reduce electricity usage and be more efficient, and that can save emissions at the same time that we’re greening the electricity sector. And then the final 10% is from the materials that go into buildings like copper, and steel. And again, it’s important in my view, to attribute that to buildings, because they’re the demand side of that equation. It’s like they’re the ones that are deciding to use steel instead of cross laminated timber or their or instead of bamboo, right? So there’s actually different materials selection you can do or different things you can do to actually directly impact those materials.

Ben Hurst  1:46  

Because construction companies aren’t just building for fine. Lego Yeah, people, obviously to make buildings which they are feeling better about. Okay, sorry. I’ve heard 40% A lot of times, and it’s so confusing, but that makes so much more sense. And

Maryam Pasha  2:01  

so we’ve talked about how they’re 40% of emissions, right? When you mean buildings, you mean all kinds of buildings, right?

Stephanie Greene  2:10  

I mean, it’s a great clarifying question. So I basically mean, residential and commercial buildings, industrial facilities, I am excluding from that number. But the reason I love working on buildings is because we spent so much time inside of them, right. So we spend 90% of our lives inside of buildings, and we’re working in them, we are going to school in them. Yeah, we are living in these buildings. And so when you make a better building, you’re positively impacting millions of people’s lives.

Ben Hurst  2:43  

Because it’s literally where you spend the middle that almost all of your time, which is quite sad, actually. Maybe we should all go outside. It’s a really good point.

Maryam Pasha  2:56  

Buildings are something that some of us have the privilege not to think about, right? Because if we’ve always had homes, we’ve always had places to go, they’ve been relatively comfortable. They just exist. They’re just part of the landscape in a way. But can we talk a little bit about how buildings have evolved over time? And if if there is, like, ask you. This is why

Stephanie Greene  3:49  

I totally agree buildings, we sometimes say they’re like the a giant climate and health and affordability problem that’s like hiding in plain sight. And it’s almost because we’re spending all this time and then we don’t necessarily appreciate that we have to address the emissions and the challenges and buildings. So in the US electricity emissions have declined nearly 30% Over the past 15 years. And we are making a large dent in transportation emissions thanks to the advent of electrification, other technology. But building emissions have remained stubbornly flat. We basically haven’t made improvements and that’s the challenge that I’m hoping we can address

Ben Hurst  4:38  

what so why why are we not or what why is that not happened? What has been the thing that’s the stumbling block? Is it just because because in my mind, I didn’t see buildings as climb like I see. I don’t see buildings ever like I feel like I don’t even notice them, do you? Not I mean, like, when I think of climate, I think of like mountains and sea and like environment. And maybe that’s like a problem in the way that I’m viewing the issue. But what is it that stopped that change from being able to happen when everywhere else is making some kind of progress?

Stephanie Greene  5:12  

Yeah, there’s a number of reasons. The first I’d say is just awareness and awareness from contractors, awareness from homeowners and portfolio owners, so people that own large commercial buildings. And if policymakers don’t know that it’s not just building efficiency that needs to be part of a Climate Action Plan. It’s also getting rid of those onsite emissions that 10% chunk. that needs to be done economically with electrification. So we need to electrify buildings, we need to make them highly energy efficient, that piece has been addressed before. And then we also need to eliminate the emissions from the materials that go into new construction. I think it’s those two pieces haven’t been acknowledged recently. They haven’t been on the map in terms of climate policy, as much as transportation and electricity happened. And then the second challenge is it as actually so I think we can build new construction really well. We actually, like have the technology today to build zero carbon buildings. And in many cases, they are lower cost to build than carbon intensive buildings, but retrofitting buildings. So these like old buildings were sitting in in New York, right? This building’s probably been sitting here for 150 years. Yeah. Right. And so that’s the that’s the second challenge is there’s inertia in the system, we have buildings, and they sit around for a really long time, right? And then the cost to retrofit a bad building can can at times be high. Yeah. So we have to figure out the right incentive structures to make that happen. Because I

Ben Hurst  7:01  

was going to ask is the solution here that we like not knock down all the old buildings and like rebuild carbon neutral ones, or we, you were talking about, like electrification, what percentage of buildings? Are we talking like, nationally, like, globally, what percentage of buildings roughly, are not electrified? Already? Because in my mind, I’m like, oh, like, obviously, everyone is using electricity or lack? Or when are we talking about clean electricity, which is maybe a different conversation?

Stephanie Greene  7:30  

Yeah. So in the US, we have 110 million buildings. And 70 million of those are burning fossil fuels on site for gas, oil and propane. So a very significant percentage of buildings are not electrified.

Maryam Pasha  7:47  

Right, right. And yeah, I think that’s a really actually good clarifying point, because we’re like, but we have electricity. Right. Yeah. The point is, is where is it coming from? Like, is it what is what is fueling? The point is, what is fueling the electricity, right? Like, is that part of the problem here?

Stephanie Greene  8:05  

Well, actually, so Rmi, has done research to show that, basically, if you have a gas furnace, or a gas, heated water heating system, or a gas stove, it makes sense if and if it’s at end of life, it makes sense to swap it out for an electric appliance today, because over the lifetime of that appliance, the electricity mix, due to our wonderful renewable energy targets and goals, is going to get clean enough to make the greenhouse gas emissions from that switch, worth 98% of the US population and in locations where they live, that’s going to be the case so and then those 2% of cases you might need on site solar or something to basically fuel that replacement. But basically, and that has not always been the case, right? So 20 years ago, 30 years ago, our electricity mix was not that clean. And so this has been a change. And it means that the economics and the greenhouse gas benefits from electrification have gotten way, way better.

Maryam Pasha  9:09  

So let’s, let’s unpack that a little bit. Because I think that’s a really interesting thing we don’t think about like, so when electricity comes into your home. Yeah, right. From the power grid. It’s coming from different sources. It’s not always just coming from gas or coal. It could also be coming from renewables and it’s mixed in the grid. Is that what you mean? Yes. And so more renewables come like on on stream, the less gas and coal used, then the greener it becomes?

Stephanie Greene  9:40  

That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And many utility jurisdictions as well as across the country have targets to make the mix of that electricity, more and more renewable or zero carbon over time. So California is a great example where they have been ratcheting up their targets for years and they basically Have a plan to have a zero carbon electricity system. And so if you can electrify and in states that have targets, it makes a lot of sense.

Maryam Pasha  10:11  

So if I’m looking around the house, right, where are the places that my emissions exist? So you said like, so gas, stove, gas stove. boiler, what else?

Stephanie Greene  10:23  

Yeah. what you can do the number one best possible thing you can do is in your home. And if you’re a renter, you have other power, we could talk about that. But if you’re a homeowner, it’s your you can immediately your gas furnace, your gas water heater, and your gas stove. If you can electrify those appliances, and potentially electrify your transportation at the same time. That is the number one biggest impact you can have on your home. I would also just say you should pair that with energy efficiency. So I just got a really awesome installation, upgrade to my house in Colorado. And so now I’m using way less energy. So now when I go to switch out my gas furnace, I can right size, that heat pump, I’m not going to overpay for heat pump like I can make sure it’s not. It’s highly efficient. And I’m not paying more for my energy bills when I electrify

Maryam Pasha  11:31  

and this is a huge problem in the UK, right? I mean, yeah, very, very anyone from the UK knows the house is not efficient, because we’re freezing all the time in the winter. And we’re boiling all the time in the summer.

Stephanie Greene  11:43  

Yeah. And so I would actually say as Amory Lovins, our founder likes to say you got to do the right things in the right order. And I would say you have to start with efficiency to make sure you’re not leaking air at out of your infiltrating air into your house, that’s actually just making your house the wrong temperature in the first place. Like fix that. And then you can electrify everything, and you will make a significant dent on carbon emission.

Ben Hurst  12:07  

So is that things like replacing windows and stuff because I always thought this was the conversation about like electricity and houses was just about switching off the light, Jeremy, and maybe that’s just the way that I was raised. That was, that was the core issue in our household that we left the lights on. But I always thought that that was like the most serious thing and like the biggest waste of electricity in inverted commas. But it sounds like it’s not even so much about wasting electricity in so much as it’s about where the electricity is being sourced.

Stephanie Greene  12:39  

It’s about both Okay, do you think that yeah, I mean, you don’t want to, you don’t want to use more electricity than you have to because then your bills are higher. And you’re, you know, you’re requiring more build out of renewables than we need. And, you know, customers of utilities are the ones that that pay for these large build outs. And so you as a utility customer would see that in your bill. So at the end of the day, it’s important to conserve, it’s important to have really good insulation. And that’s like wall insulation, and just make sure your home is tight. And then the best part is when you electrify you’re actually making your home healthier, because you’re not having you know, gas stoves release nitrogen dioxide. And that’s a really harmful pollutant. And so you are creating healthier indoor air quality, you are in many cases, creating lower energy bills for your house, and you’re doing something good for the climate.

Maryam Pasha  13:33  

Okay. So I mean, like, I love I love this conversation. Um, you mentioned something earliest, definitely that I wanted to pick up on, which was our renters and linking that to the idea of how does this apply to people who are in like low income communities?

Stephanie Greene  13:47  

Yeah, it’s a really great question. So just to give you some numbers in the US, you know, those 70 million homes or buildings I mentioned, that use fossil fuels on site, 26 million of them are occupied by low and moderate income households. And many of those households are suffer from high energy burden, which means that they might have to actually sacrifice basic needs like groceries, or other really critical needs for their household in order just to keep their lights on. And that’s a terrible situation, right. So we need to make sure basically, that portfolio owners, multifamily owners or landlords in general, have the right incentives to electrify and make energy efficient, all of their buildings. And some of those incentives did come into place with the inflation Reduction Act, and others also make really good economic sense for the portfolio owner, especially in new construction.

Ben Hurst  14:49  

What is the inflation Reduction Act? Sorry? Yeah, that’s

Stephanie Greene  14:53  

a great question. So the inflation Reduction Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. And it’s one of the most monumental climate bills, and that has ever been passed with anything.

Maryam Pasha  15:11  

To call it the inflation, there’s a reason there’s no climate. I literally have never seen so many people who work in climate in America so happy as I’ve seen.

Stephanie Greene  15:22  

Yeah, and we So an example is that low and moderate income households can receive up to $14,000 and upfront incentives to make their homes more energy efficient and electrify their homes were an example of of the type of incentives that come out of the inflation Reduction Act. So that means you can get a rebate. Like if you want to buy a heat pump, you can get 1000s of dollars off the cost of that heat pump, basically making it less expensive to buy a highly energy efficient electric heat pump compared to a gas furnace,

Ben Hurst  15:57  

which also in the long term will save people and it will save you money. Exactly.

Maryam Pasha  16:02  

Can I ask a really basic and kind of geeky question. Can you explain a heat pump to me?

Stephanie Greene  16:07  

Yes.

Ben Hurst  16:08  

Oh, what? Yeah, what is a heat pump? Sorry, I realised that I’m sometimes I’m like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I, I kind

Maryam Pasha  16:14  

of know what it is. But I feel like I’m guessing. And I would love to know more about what it is.

Stephanie Greene  16:18  

Yep. Okay, so I’m going to answer, I’m going to try to answer it really simply too. So it’s basically an appliance, I think of it as a reverse refrigerator, refrigerator takes air, and then it pumps it through, and it makes the air inside the refrigerator cold, right. And then you can reverse that flow of air and heat up the air in the reverse direction. So a heat pump can be like a refrigerator and a reverse refrigerator, it basically is an air conditioner, and a space heater the same time. So this is also why I like heat pumps, because it takes air, it’s very efficient, it takes it’s just changing the temperature of the air. And that is highly energy efficient. And it also means you’re getting two appliances in one. And so if you have to replace your air conditioner, or your gas furnace, you could replace it with a single appliance, a heat pump. And this is also really important for many people in the Western United States are noticing that they’re actually feeling like they need air conditioning, when they didn’t used to. This is because we’re seeing the impacts of a warming climate. And so I bunch of people in Washington State never had air conditioners, and now they are seeking to buy them. It’s like, Wait, stop, don’t buy an air conditioner, buy two appliances in one buy a heat pump?

Maryam Pasha  17:42  

And is that different than a ground source? Heat Pump?

Stephanie Greene  17:45  

It’s a great question. So I just described an air source heat pump. But yeah, there’s a ground source heat pump that basically uses air from the ground.

Ben Hurst  17:58  

That is accurate.

Stephanie Greene  18:00  

it’s kind of like a type of geothermal resource. And it is, it takes the air from the ground, and it uses that to bring air into your home because

Ben Hurst  18:27  

the air in the ground,

Maryam Pasha  18:28  

yes. Oh, sorry.

Stephanie Greene  18:32  

An air and ground source. Heat pumps are great, especially in cold climates. air to air heat pumps are really great in warmer climates, but there’s just there’s a lot of different technology options, too.

Maryam Pasha  18:42  

That’s what that’s what I was gonna say it sounds like the thing is that we we have just overcome so fluid in a certain set of technologies that we’re comfortable with. But actually, there’s a whole other set of technology that exists that’s there that you can buy. That’s great for efficiency, climate and everything. And is I feel like the barrier to entry for people is that it’s just a whole new set of language and things and we don’t feel comfortable with it, and feel like oh, that’s not for me. That’s not for me. I don’t know what it is

Stephanie Greene  19:09  

exactly right. And one thing I will say is heat pumps have gotten way better in the past five to 10 years. And so many contractors are not actually familiar, especially with the highly efficient cold climate heat pumps that exist. And so, you know, most people, you’re not gonna, like go research this stuff, you’re gonna go your contractor, and you’re gonna say, hey, my gas furnace isn’t working very well. What should I do and the contractor is probably not going to say, hey, you should replace it with a heat pump. Right? But I think that’s another aspect of this awareness building and contractor education. As we get more and more heat pumps out in the world. This needs to be something the workforce is really capable of installing and excited to recommend. Because they works really well and I think some contractors may have had bad experiences with the heat pumps of 15 plus years ago I

Maryam Pasha  19:59  

feel about without Atrix job, like, you know, whenever you’ve talked to someone who’s like, I hate electric stoves, it’s like, are you talking about the coil ones? Yeah, like the washing over the coil ones. But I was like, yeah, no one has those anymore. Like you need to, you need to, like be like, Oh, I drove an electric car 25 years ago and it wasn’t any good. I do think that there is, there’s a thing with new technologies, if someone has a bad experience with it, or it’s tough, or it’s not quite good, it takes quite a long time for them to then trust to like, have that interaction with it again,

Ben Hurst  20:33  

smartphones. First time he did it, use that never again. And now he’s like living his dream on it, or Samsung, or whatever it is. Yeah. It takes time, right? It takes time to update the systems and stuff.

Stephanie Greene  20:47  

That analogy, that’s great. And induction stoves, induction stoves are amazing, right? Like, I’m a very avid cook. And I also was the person that said, Ah, I hate electric stoves. And then I used an induction it actually just took getting a little hot plate $60 on Amazon plugged it in. And I was like This thing’s amazing. And it’s actually more controllable than gas. Yeah. Because it’s normally

Maryam Pasha  21:10  

you have been in like, a battle with your parents to switch out there. Yeah, they’re

Ben Hurst  21:15  

not gonna do it. They’re not gonna do Oh, no, we’re gonna have to wait until it dies. Yeah, well, I was gonna say, no. Sorry, Mom, I love you stay around for a long time. But yeah, I think they’re, because there’s been a lot of money on it, they’re really committed to. But I think that argument about like, efficiency is, is super important as well, right? And the quality of it is at the point now,

Maryam Pasha  21:38  

I think that especially in the UK, what’s gonna start happening is that it’s the cost now of like, of running our homes is going to become so prohibitive for people that in the past, it was just a small group of people who were on like prepaid metres or, you know, were really, unfortunately, because they were poor, no one cared about them. And no one was listening to them really had, you know, as is always the case, and now we’re looking at like, 40% of the British population having to make decisions about their energy usage because of costs. So we’re gonna start wanting to have conversations about better appliances, different sources, you know? Yeah,

Stephanie Greene  22:16  

yeah. And one thing I’ll say, there’s so many benefits of it all electric efficient home. And another one is that you don’t have to deal with the volatility of gas prices, right? Electricity prices are set in tariffs by the utility. The point is, they’re much more stable in their cost structure than fossil fuels.

Ben Hurst  22:34  

Yeah. So if we’re talking about energy efficient homes, yeah. So we’re talking about homes where people can live and it has like a much smaller footprint on on the climate is are these solutions scalable? Like, globally, is the heat pumps work everywhere in the world? Like, no matter where you are, you can just get a heat pump, and it will solve the problem or we talk is there like different things that people need to be doing in different places? It’s

Stephanie Greene  23:04  

a really great question. So my team operates in we have a China office, and we have an RMI partner in India. And so in China, for example, in the northern really cold parts of China, you have these district heating systems. And so in those cases, it’s a it’s a different solution, you would have to you replace basically, it’s more like power generation, right? So you got to replace that coal or gas fired power source for these large district heating systems with renewable sources. And that’s something the good news there is it’s not an individual homeowner needs to make that decision, it actually can be done at a really massive scale by the government and the middle regions of China. So the Yangtze River Delta region is one of them. There’s 220 million people that live in this one province in China, right? That’s two thirds of the US population of people. Scale, right? Yeah. And so that show an example there is that a bunch? Historically, because it hasn’t been cold enough, they are not part of the district heating system. So instead, as as consumers are getting wealthier, it does get uncomfortably cold in the winter. And it gets uncomfortably hot in the summer. And so consumers are beginning to adopt individual appliances, and we’re working on a project to say, don’t get a gas furnace, get a heat pump, and here’s why you get two in one. And it’s more cost effective and efficient. And so that’s a good example of the type of thing we’re doing in China in India. I’ll say this solution does not heat pumps in India.

Ben Hurst  24:38  

Okay. I was just about to say you’re the best heat pump salesman I’ve ever met in my life. I feel it’s different. Yeah. So

Stephanie Greene  24:50  

and then we have to think about all these climate zones across the world that are that are hot climate zones, right. And so in India, the challenge here is to make sure only One in 10 Indians actually have an air conditioner today, as the climate gets hotter, it is not just a comfort issue, it is a survivability issue to make sure that Indians have access to cooling that is affordable. And that is efficient, right? And so we’re doing work to figure out how do you make super efficient room air conditioners. And we ran something called the global cooling prize a couple of years ago that showed that it’s technologically feasible to have a room air conditioner, that’s five times as efficient. And so now the project is to get that to scale with a bunch of manufacturers. And then there’s also all these amazing passive cooling techniques you can do. And so you could have reflective paints, and you can build buildings differently, were actually those buildings are then more resilient when a heatwave comes through, and you don’t even need an appliance in the first place. So I view India as it’s really an efficient cooling challenge is the main solution there to an efficient building.

Maryam Pasha  26:04  

I mean, that is, so like, I love the idea that, you know, you’ve got this one problem, it manifests differently. And there are all these different solutions. I think what I really, you know, because when we started this episode, you’re like, 40%, like that is like heavy every single, heavy. Yeah. But the thing is, is we have the solutions here, right? Yes, this is one of those problems where we just have to do it.

Stephanie Greene  26:26  

That’s exactly right. And so that’s something that gives me so much hope in the sector is. So again, I’m just gonna use us numbers. But I explained we have 110 million buildings, 90% of those are single family homes. And so if you just think for a moment, anyone that lives in a single family home, if every single person is makes a commitment and says, Wow, it’s going to be more affordable, it’s going to be healthier, and it’s going to be better to have an all electric efficient home, we will solve this problem. The technology exists today. We know how to instal these things. And so it’s just a better solution.

Maryam Pasha  27:07  

So I want to because you talked about the US and we talked about these like homes that we need to like the retrofit, right? Things we need to we’re taking existing buildings, and we’re making them more efficient, and greener, etc. What about in other parts of the world? Is it the same challenge? Or is it a different challenge? Oh, we talked about like heating? And but I mean, in terms of the building’s themselves? What’s the what is it in other parts of the world?

Stephanie Greene  27:32  

It’s really great question. So the thing we’re working on there is we have to build new buildings, right from the start. And the good news there is, as you said, we have the technology, in most cases, it is more economic to build a highly energy efficient all electric building. And then we need to be mindful of the materials that are going into that new construction. So building square footage the size of New York City, so like a one one New York City, is built every single month in the Global South, and will continue to be between now and 2050. Right? mind boggling, it’s totally. Yeah, it seems like it’s like a good business to be in. And then think about it right? All the concrete and steel that is going to go into that new construction. That’s that 10%, I was mentioning before, right. And if we can influence that to make sure there is low embodied carbon, low, low carbon concrete that is put into those buildings, instead of the current high carbon concrete, if there are solutions found to produce steel with green hydrogen or other solutions, or just to use less concrete steel in the first place. There’s bamboo and mass timber and other solutions that have way less carbon intensive production methods that are part of the solution there. And then the second step is to make sure you’re using low or zero embodied carbon materials, and then make sure that those buildings are all highly energy efficient and electric.

Ben Hurst  29:03  

So, again, something that’s actually achievable if we can get there, the scale,

Maryam Pasha  29:08  

and I feel like these will be better, like nicer buildings to live in. I don’t know why I get that sense. But it feels like, you know, instead of being in a building that’s not suited to the climate, like in terms of the weather, and instead of it being I don’t know, it just feels like it’d be a nicer experience. Is that something that you’ve, you’ve found?

Stephanie Greene  29:25  

Yes, we have a tonne of research that suggests that, for example, green buildings or others that are highly energy efficient or electric. So not only is there healthier indoor air quality, but worker productivity increases, you feel better inside the building. You can, you can notice it. And certainly buildings that have more natural light, for example, and use less lighting so you don’t even have to turn on the lights at all right? Yeah, those kinds of buildings there. It substantially increases worker productivity, and it’s just a mark comfortable space. Yeah.

Maryam Pasha  30:01  

So it’s not like we’re looking to like, because I think sometimes when we talk about climate, and we talk about the the changes, we’re gonna have to make to, you know, be able to stay in within safe or bounds of territory. It feels like it’s an all sacrifice conversation, right? It’s all like things, we have to give up things, we can’t do the things we actually in this case, I feel like it’s saying, Actually, these buildings on a lot of rooms are actually not very nice to live in, and they’re not very good for us. And we can actually both be better for the climate and better life quality of life. It’s not about sacrificing.

Stephanie Greene  30:37  

That’s exactly right. And I think I think we have to just get out of that mindset, it is actually, a green building is a much better building, it’s a more productive building, it’s a healthier building, and it’s more affordable. And so like the future of these buildings is a better future. I’m excited about this future. I think I mentioned this statistic to you. But a child growing up in a household with a gas stove has a 42% increased risk of developing asthma symptoms. And that is the same as growing up in a household with a smoker. And so that’s a good example of like, wow, you have an induction stove, induction stove for cooks, it’s better to cook with an induction stove. Yeah. And so it’s a better cooking experience, it’s a healthier experience. And it’s more affordable.

Maryam Pasha  31:27  

And it feels like who, you know that that statistic around the gas stoves and the asthma, you know, we know for example, now that like you don’t smoke indoors, if you smoke at all, you got to do it outside, right. Like you don’t do that, because you don’t want to poison the people around you. I think the more and more we understand exactly how these everyday things that are part of our lives are bad for us, the more intense you know, it’s just because, you know, human beings like this, like it affects you directly, you’re gonna take action more quickly. Right. And they feel like there was just I kind of feel like this, I want to like I was I like picturing like, the kind of world we could live in. And I love the idea of like these, like beautiful, and like cool slash warm when necessary, like houses that aren’t that feel airy, like you can feel like you can breathe inside. It just feels like a that is something I feel. You know, it’s like the difference between trying to stop things happening. But struggling and striving towards something positive. I feel like the conversation here is about striving towards something really, really positive.

Ben Hurst  33:43  

And it feels like something that’s like, on the horizon, right? Like it feels like something that’s possible and achievable. And like better. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to my heat pump.

CLIMATE CONFESSIONS

Maryam Pasha  34:59  

So, Stephanie, do you have a climate confession? Oh, yeah,

Stephanie Greene  35:37  

I have a lot. I have a lot of climate confession. Oh, wait, sorry. It doesn’t need to be about buildings or anything. Oh, yeah. Okay. Well, my climate confession is. So I have one car. So I am happy that I’m not a two car family. But that one car is a gas powered Subaru and I drive it a lot to and from the mountains where I live in Colorado. And I’m hoping one day, I’ll swap it out for something electric, but I haven’t found something I can drive to and from through the snow that meets my needs. Yeah. And honestly, it’s pretty expensive to do it. So I haven’t made the switch yet.

Ben Hurst  36:16  

We have to, I’m going to find a survey of how many Americans American climate scientists drive electric cars, or drive gas cars. Here is

Maryam Pasha  36:29  

here, as you realise is that is that we will we live in? Yeah, yeah. So like, it’s fine to like, get a tiny little goes away. And like drive it and pick up your kids or whatever it is in the city. But yeah, if you’re driving across actual terrain, yeah, there are there the options are expensive. Yeah. And if they are between

Stephanie Greene  36:48  

Yeah, and sometimes, I mean, we I am an adventurous person. And so is my family. And we are sometimes driving off in these crazy dirt roads to go into the mountains. And I need to know that I don’t have to rely on a charger for those stuff. But I will say I’m really optimistic for the future. Like I think, you know, the costs are coming down. There’s incentives to continue to bring the cost down and I think the Chargers are gonna go in in the ground. So I am optimistic that

Maryam Pasha  37:22  

as we’re getting more mileage, right, the batteries getting better. So you know, if you start getting like six 700 miles, every charge that it’s getting easier to like not feel so worried that you’re gonna like flood out. Yeah,

Stephanie Greene  37:35  

but I still drive that car around. I love it.

Ben Hurst  37:38  

It’s terrible.

Maryam Pasha  37:41  

Thank you so much for joining us. It has been a fascinating conversation about buildings and about people and the way we live and the way we could, we could live in the future. And remember,

Ben Hurst  37:53  

Stay curious.

EPISODE ENDS

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