Future Visions – St Albans 2030

I recently had the pleasure of contributing to a document, along with a number of other residents of the St Albans and District area – a report “Future Visions 2030” which was inspired by the LGIU 2043 Town Hall and was a part of the truly magnificent Sustainable St Albans Week.  Various people gave short accounts of life in 2030, and of steps that are being taken on the journey to a sustainable future, now.

My piece – in the style of my LGiU thing – was a conversation between two people and had to be cut down to fit the publication.  (I also did an extended version of my LGiU piece, here.)  

Here’s the full Future Vision thing anyway:

It’s a Big Lunch street party in July 2030 and two neighbours are chatting as they shelter from the inevitable rain … let’s listen in …

“I think you’re new aren’t you?”

“Yes, we moved in two months ago.”

“Welcome to the street! So why did you move here?”

“Well the usual I suppose – move out of London but quick in for work, get an extra bedroom for the same money, good schools for the kids, and the carbon thing, obviously.”

“Same with us.”

“Did you know about carboneutral when you moved here?”

“Well, we’ve been here since 2016, and it was just starting to come in then, it was just a thing with some of the local shops and the markets, when they all put a carbon price on things so that we could see what it was costing.  Then the hackers at Silicon Abbey created the Carboncounter app, and people could see where they were on the league table of carbon counted products.”

“A league table?”

“Yes, it started as a league table for people to see how much they could buy that was carbon counted – pretty soon we had people who made sure that they carbon counted everything, which is when Waitrose and Morrison’s got in on the act.”

“They were the first were they?”

“Yes, well, every supermarket does it now, but those two were the first, putting carbon prices on everything in the store – they did really well, and the others had to follow.”

“When did the Carboncap come in?”

“Well it started experimentally; a few people said that now they were counting everything they should try to stay under the sustainable fair share of Carbon for the year.  And it kind of took off from there, now almost everyone does it, especially since the Snorbens payment card keeps track of what you spend on petrol, and outside the District, and converts it into a carbon estimate.”

“The amount of carbon neutral stuff in the shops really helps”

“Well we’re the obviously place for companies to try out their new carbon neutral products.  Like this local beer ‘Greenhouse Guardian’ we’re drinking!”

“Cheers! And it’s great the way so many people and businesses have come to the area because of Carboneutral – it really seems to work for them too”

“You’d be amazed how many people have stopped doing the commute because there are great local jobs now – and that saves carbon too.”

“Not to mention blood pressure – last week I got stuck at St Pancras for two hours because of a signal failure at Radlett.”

“That’s nothing I once had to …”

(I think we’ll let the voices fade away now).

Jonathan Flowers

A Harpenden resident, impatiently awaiting the arrival of Greenhouse Guardian ale. 

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