Bob Whitmarsh’s letter to the Hampshire Chronicle: close those open shop doors
At a recent meeting of Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) the question was raised ‘Why do shops leave their doors wide open in cold weather?’ In a recent survey of the Broadway and High Street in Winchester I noted 47 shops with their doors wide open when the outside temperature was only 6°C. Although I did not check the inside temperatures on that day it is common experience that many shops set their heating relatively high and far above the legal minimum for a workplace of 16°C. So it is not hard to imagine what happens to a lot of that warm air.
Almost everybody now recognises the reality of global climate change. It is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide, now and over the last 150 years or so. Most greenhouse gases are produced by the burning of fossil fuels and it is fossil fuels that we largely rely on to generate electricity in power stations and to burn in our central heating boilers to keep warm. So when a shop keeps it doors wide open it is not only wasting heat - and therefore energy - but it is also contributing quite needlessly to the emission of greenhouse gases and therefore to global warming.
Some shopkeepers will argue that they blow a screen of hot air over their doors to trap the warm air inside the shop. While this may be partly true consider where the energy comes from that needlessly heats up the air to as much as 30°C and runs the powerful fans that blow the air? Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s back to greenhouse gases again. Others will argue that it is ‘company policy’ as determined by ‘Head Office’. Perhaps Head Offices will begin to change their minds if enough customers, and readers of the Hampshire Chronicle, make their feelings known to local shops. Your readers who would like to know more about WinACC can look at our website www.winacc.org.uk
Dr. R.B. Whitmarsh