This story is a follow on from the British Standard Fire Test of an earlier post. It is the story of how an attempt to be innovative with design in the aftermath of a major natural disaster foundered on the rocks of tick-box regulation.
Tag Archives: sustainability
“There is surely a correspondence between an exhausted culture and a populace devolved so far into mental dullness that it can’t recognize its predicament. We don’t seem to get how much the industrial production spree of the past 200 years has just plumb worn us out, not to mention the ecosystem we were designed to dwell in” writes James Howard Kunstler under the title “Modernity Bites” this November 26, 2012.
James’ thesis is that we are at the end of the industrial era and that the economic structures it has spawned are imploding around us.
What if we just accept the reality that the industrial spree was a self-limiting adventure and now we have to move on?
I’ve been inspired recently by genuine grass-roots community initiatives to regain control of their energy security as a buffer against increasing costs and supply disruptions through investment in cooperative style renewable energy. The City of Victor Harbor in South Australia in particular has made an impressive start – more below, but first some background.
The Question: (from Europe)
Within a business / home environment what should be considered to be the least environmental pressing way of doing the dishes:
washing dishes by hand?
- automated cleaning of dishes?
buying disposable tableware, plates and cups?
There are so many variables here that no single answer will be the best choice. The impacts of each option above could be large or small depending upon context.
We need to dig a little deeper to find the best approach
With the passing of poet Gil Scott-Heron this week, I’d like to dedicate a few lines here to reflect on his work, particularly his recurrent themes of freedom from oppression and peace. He died on Friday May 27 in New York after becoming ill during a trip to Europe.
Born in Chicago April 1st 1949 Gil was often called the godfather of rap for his groundbreaking spoken-word performances set to music, a tag he disliked. He recorded more than a dozen albums, but was probably best known for his 1970 song ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’.
“You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip, skip out for beer during commercials, because the revolution will not be televised.” Continue reading
Have we been barking up the wrong tree with alternative energy policy, research and development? Ted Goranson, scientist, author, philosopher and architect seems to think so. In his recent (April 2011) article on the subject he argues that there has been too much focus on funding shovel-ready projects, which really only aim to make sub-optimal schemes less troublesome. We need a game changer he claims, such as the integrated circuit, radio or electricity were. Such a paradigm shift requires a space-race scale investment in basic science. Continue reading
Artist Hans-Jürgen Schult has made garbage, or trash in the American idiom, the source material of his life’s work. His latest piece “Trash Hotel” develops his fascination with the detritus of modern life and takes it to a new and somewhat ironic apogee. His project has attracted an unlikely sponsor, the internationally top selling beer brand Corona Extra, who feature the hotel as part of their ‘save the beach’ campaign. Thanks to Mr Schult and with a nod to Planet Shifter Willi Paul, I’ve had a bit of a rethink about garbage.
In the short time I’ve been participating in the Linked In networking forum I’ve connected with some diverse and amazing people from all over the world. These people have self-identified with certain interests in sustainability and ways toward a more positive resilient future.
A stand out contact is Mr Willi Paul from Northern California who launched his Planet Shifter initiative on Earth Day 2009. Willi is proof positive that there are people out there doing marvellous things to help make our future look more optimistic. I was honoured and delighted when he asked me to be interviewed and thereby join the extensive ranks of folks on similar journeys.
You can view the interview at:
Consider this: ‘Is it wrong to assume that a huge step to finding solutions to global problems, and averting future crises, will be taken if we can think in the spirit of community and fraternity, not as individual entities? When we accept that this is a world of people all alike, of families all alike, of communities all alike – of countries facing the same challenges – of human beings ultimately seeking the same thing – then we will truly be in a position to foster well being, security and happiness’ The King of Bhutan (2008). The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is the home of the Gross National Happiness index.
Stuart McMillen provides an analysis of why wind power can be considered as a reliable source of energy, even when the wind isn’t blowing…