GUEST COMMENT: It’s time to change our tune

GUEST COMMENT: It’s time to change our tune

No one surely lives in a world now where the poetry of ‘preposterous oiks’ such as Black Sabbath or The Pistols of Sex is so offensive that they are not recognised and fondly remembered by all? We’ve all heard of them (well my generation has) but not many have formed a true understanding of their written word.

Sure, one might not relish in the immediate idea of dinner with either but one has no choice but to believe (subject to long, loud evenings of research) that indeed, they truly do have a point to make and that our musical lives have never been the same since their natural propagation in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s? Love them or loathe them, they (and their ilk) changed everything by altering the flavour of our musical and political perceptions.

Who listens to the music and who reads and understands the lyrics? Who understands the abbreviation RTFM?

I am minded by these two stalwarts of musical dissent in this instance of their written mistrust of bigger society and alienation from a more, and continuingly, controlling world. Their poetry is consistently pungent through time and I would ask the reader to consider this; in the 60s and 70s, world societies rebelled; ‘against the man’; against war; against nuclear power. But did it achieve anything? War is happening pretty much all the time, we are now understanding that nuclear power might just be quite a green and 365 reliable energy source and ‘the man’ is once again infringing on our lives.

My point is, does anything really change? Will we ever get the true accountability that is the only path to transparency, fairness and, fundamentally, efficiency?

Many of us in the energy business have been bleating about wastage for years now, and about how, even with new building regulations, still have some of the poorest built homes in the western world and yet some of the highest profits made by the developers. We have established organisations and membership arenas everywhere crowing with self-adulation, desperately trying to justify their position in the world and yet we still waste so much and we still ‘tick box’ our educational statistics to make our world look good on paper.

Well our foolish illusion is over, the cat is out of the bag, messers Ozzy and Johnny actually did have a point (of course they always did) and if we are to rectify our waste, ‘the man’ has to be taken down. Big business has to be accountable, it mustn’t be allowed to grow more powerful than publicly elected governments and individual skill and responsibility must be allowed to flourish.

This point of view is likely to get me in trouble and is obviously a personal one, but I am not alone in thinking this. My above, musical metaphor simply attempts to engage thought and most importantly, fairness to an ever worrying public that we fundamentally serve.

I am reliably informed by the higher echelons of our industry that even a small change in policy can take years to achieve and is tiring in the extreme. I and others are now completely sick of this pace that tries to make snails look like Usain Bolt! This is clearly ‘spin’ and does nothing to convince even the marginally informed.

We are in a crisis of our own stupid making, a crisis of lack of accountability, a crisis of knowledge that has been left to tick box apathy & misguided policy, a crisis of industry apnoea, a crisis of fuel zealotry that wholly damages public sympathy and most of all, a crisis of utter nationwide waste that no one seems to even want to talk about or acknowledge.

I feel very strongly that we all have an active part to play in stopping this waste. We have very inexpensive tools and products right now that will slash emissions, get our millions of boilers running correctly and allow engineers to fully understand whether different heat sources are suitable for their clients’ projects and financial well-being.

There simply isn’t an excuse anymore that we don’t have the tools or the knowledge base to really make a positive move forward in our efficiency responsibilities as engineers. Accordingly, I would ask everyone reading this to have a listen to the words of Ozzy and John, turn that wonderful poetry into action by ‘sticking it to the man’, make our industry think for itself, follow the science and established mathematics and really make a difference as engineers of the future. We owe it to ourselves as engineers!


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