Last week saw a spate of news stories predicting a cold winter. Articles appeared in the Sun, the Times (paywall), the Independent and various regional newspapers citing an academic paper, by the climatologist Mark Saunders of University College London, making the claim that various predictors (“solar and stratosphere cyclic signals”) were indicating the likelihood of an unusually cold January.
In our opinion, long-range weather forecasting has more in common with tasseography and chiromancy than useful meteorology. The mathematics of chaos theory places a limitation on predicting weather cycles, namely: the impossibility of accurately representing the initial conditions and the impact of recursive feedback cycles. These factors make predictions beyond a few days wildly inaccurate as immeasurably small variations in temperature and pressure flare up into disruptive weather systems. However, it takes more than the flap of a butterfly’s wing to stop a climatologist attempting to predict what the weather will be like a season or two hence. And, of course, the media will report these predictions because ‘Scientists predict coldest winter in 30 years’ makes a good headline.
Reality for Rough Sleepers
The reality for people living (and dying) on the streets is that every winter is too cold. With the numbers of rough sleepers increasing, every effort needs to be made to provide people with the shelter they need. Whether the average temperature is 6°C (a stormy wet winter) or 2°C (a freezing snowy winter), rough sleepers need to be provided with options that don’t leave them exposed to the elements.
One such option could be Kanndoo’s planned micro-dwellings. We have a design for lightweight, modular, scalable, transportable shelters capable of being mass-produced at a low cost. We intend to leverage the goodwill of the public to gain access to areas of private land upon which to locate these dwellings. In this manner, a national network of dwellings can be set up. Access to the micro-dwellings will be provided by using our software to unlock digital locks.
The project is still in its early stages, but we have high hopes for this model. We aim to solve the problem of rough sleeping and create a wealth of employment and business opportunities in assembly, installation and management of the micro-dwellings. Further into the future, we envisage the general public paying to stay for the night in similar dwellings designated for public use. A bed for the night in a city-centre located micro-dwelling could be cheaper than a taxi ride home. We want to become the Uber for housing.