Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Sunday, 3 November 2013

No controls

Another post on the same kind of theme as the last one. After finding that the lights are not subject to human control in the Bodleian Library, I went to St Anne's College (Oxford) to hold a conference in their smart new building by the front gate. All very swish and the rooms were beautifully equipped for the kind of meeting we were having. But the windows were all sealed, and there appeared to be no air conditioning. When we asked if we could adjust the heat and get some fresh air, we were told that there was no way to adjust the heat or fresh air in the room, apart from opening the two doors marked fire exit (which open onto the garden). Well, fortunately it turned out these were not alarmed, and they could indeed be opened, which we did. But the choice was masses of fresh air from an open door, or two open doors, or none at all. And is it really best to heat the room and then cool it by opening the door? And ought it not to have a supply of fresh air anyway when there are a whole lot of breathing bodies in it? Why was it made with no controls and no air vents at the windows?
It was also impossible to raise the slatted blinds (though you could adjust the angle of the slats). My impression is that they don't want anyone to have any control over anything lest they do it wrong. No one should be permitted to make themselves comfortable. There is one compulsory condition of artificial light, no daylight and no fresh air. If that's not how you like it, don't live in the "state of the art" buildings we build today in this country.

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