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Thoughts thunk at Think08

by mel starrs on May 12, 2008

in Events & Conferences

Enjoyed very much meeting fellow bloggers Casey, Paul, Martin, Rob and Phil at last week’s Think08 in the Excel centre out in Docklands.  Prior to a couple of glasses of vino, I managed to make it to a few sessions on the floor of the exhibition, as well as catching up with a few other faces on the stands.

The first session I wandered into (by accident, rather than design) was Nigel Adcock from Gleeds Energy making the case for nuclear energy as a bridge towards a wholly renewable world.  Despite the controversial topic, his audience was muted and no debate ensued.  I’m somewhat agnostic when it comes to the nuclear debate, but I’m afraid Nigel didn’t manage to persuade me to jump one way or another.  I’m still more likely to defer to the opinion of the SDC who concludes that there is no justification for bringing forward a new nuclear programme at present (follow the debate online here), but I remain open to the debate*.

I then managed to catch the Plenary session “Zero carbon: mapping a future and overcoming road blocks?” with Keith Clark of Atkins, Mike Peasland of Balfour Beatty (who I thought missed the mark entirely and banged on about his own company rather than the issue at hand), Murray Coleman from Bovis Lend Lease and Paul King of UKGBC.

Keith made some good points about the need to give ourselves permission to make stupid mistakes and to iterate knowledge, something I was actually chatting to several others about, both earlier and later in the week.  The tendency towards analysis paralysis when we don’t know all the answers is a real danger to moving forward.

Paul was his usual articulate self – he’s a great spokeman for the industry.  The exciting news is that the definition of zero carbon will be announced by the UKGBC this week.

The final session I sat in on was the BD debate – Are engineers the new architects?  And, it turns out, we are.  So there.

I’m still awaiting broadband, so making good use of my local library and their free internet.  Postings may be few and far between until I am sorted…

*BTW, this is not an open invitation to spam me with pro- and anti- nuclear links (please don’t)