Sustainable Thoughts: On Blogging and our World

As if windmills aren't already beautiful enough.

My direction with this blog has been leaning towards sustainability lately, and although I plan to incorporate architecture into as many post as possible, I will also be posting a few things on the subject of sustainability because I have recently begun to sense the impact that we, especially as architects, can have upon the future of our world and health. School's winding down and that means that I will be getting to all the subjects I've been neglecting lately, as if anyone even reads this blog, atleast there isn't anyone I know of...YET. I'll just keep telling myself that pretty photos will draw people in.

Read this 8-week series of articles about sustainability from Slate.com, the Slate Green Challenge. It gives an overview on different aspects of sustainability with basic facts and simple suggestions on how to live a more sustainable life.

Most of you might think that this whole sustainability shtick is just environmentalist dogma, but much of the data is well founded and should be taken seriously. I know that the Kyoto Protocol and various other actions have been made to slow the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere, which I am concerned about, but the subject of sustainability is what interests me most. Our world-wide dependence on natural resources will only last so long. We might have ridiculous global warming a century from now and be much less affected by it than by the fact that many of our industries have halted due to the fact that we have not more oil, steel or even water left to be harvested on the planet. We must embark on a mission to find alternative, sustainable sources of energy because future generations will depend heavily on them. The answers will not be cheap and although sustainability has become somewhat of a buzzword there are plenty of people that have no knowledge of or interest in the movement.

Additional resources:

Treehugger TV --- especially an interview with Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of the book Plan B 2.0

via Transstudio.com: Raw Material Time Horizons, Remaining Aluminum Stores, Global Oil Estimates,

check out my previous post VIDEOS: Sustainability


Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's great to see that you're putting your natural endowment to work in a worthy way.

Regarding sustainability: Nuclear fusion may be the azoth. I'm encouraged to see that much of the developed world (including Putin's Russia, which has recently enjoyed a surge in its influence not seen since the Soviet era due to skyrocketing commodity prices) coming together to pledge several billion dollars to create a nuclear fusion reactor and subsequent power plant a few decades down the road. France, which gets about 80% of its electricity from nuclear (if memory serves), has been really spearheading the effort.

Regarding global warming: I'm not convinced it's a threat. For virtually all of humanity's existence, extreme cold, not heat, has been an existential threat. Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia were emptied during the most severe period of the last ice age (20,000-15,000 years ago, and then with the atavistic snap known as the Younger Dryas from 12,500-10,000 years ago).

About 25% of the world's oil reserves are in the Arctic, and as the ice caps soften and temperature moderates, they'll become more accessible (although that doesn't do much for sustainability!). Russia east of the Urals is almost uninhabited even though it's a land area larger than the continental US. Greenland and northern Canada also have great expanses that the developed world will potentially be able to settle in the future. Most of the warming has been concentrated in cold places like these (Siberia especially). Agricultural yields and economic activity both flourish during warmer, wetter periods.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned as well (and these have been exhaustively showcased in the popular, uncritical media), but I don't buy the apocalyptic hysteria that if we don't transfer X amount of dollars and stifle economic growth by a magnitude of X, and fast, we'll melt.

Even if anthropogenic warming is occuring, economic viability of alternatives is the only way out. The EU's growth rate in emissions is higher than that of the US, and only a couple of the 180+ Kyoto members are on track to meet their stated emission goals. Even if Kyoto went fulfilled, the total reduction would be dwarfed by China alone which will add over four pounds of emissions for every one pound the entire Kyoto clan reduce in the next several years ((and India will go tit-for-tat with all of the fancifully successful Kyoto nations combined).

Btw -- Try blogger beta out. It's much more user-friendly (it creates hyperlinks for all your titles, lets you edit your template without html, and makes for easy post categorization) and the search function works better.

11:10 AM  

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