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Links for May 26th through June 1st

by Mel Starrs on June 2, 2009

in News

These are my links for May 26th through June 1st:

  • Concentration Solar Power Module Integrates Into Side And Roof Of Buildings – min-CSP – intriguing but no data in the article to back up the theory: "The system, of which the international patent has already been requested, consists of a stationary lens and a linear absorber plate that concentrates sunlight to generate energy. This concentration system reduces the space that until now was needed with traditional plates, which move around in search of sunlight"
  • UK Climate Impacts Programme – Socio-economic scenarios – Getting quite old now (Feb 2001) but sets forward 4 potential scenarios for socio-economic situations against which climate change will play out in the UK :
    1. National Enterprise
    2. Local Stewardship
    3. World Markets
    4. Global Sustainability
    At 140 pages, it's not a quick read, but useful resource.
  • A glimpse of the future as 56% of surveyors see workload fall (Brickonomics) – More sound commentary from Brian: "But for all the figures on workload, the two bits of data that will probably reflect most the long-term effects of the recession are those for employment and for profit margins. Both continue to look grim.
    It may sound like a management course cliché but one of the biggest weaknesses of the construction industry is one of its biggest strengths, its flexibility.
    And this weakness is exaggerated by the easy willingness of firms to work at below cost.
    My recollection of the 1990s recession was the less damage was done by falling workloads, which the industry's flexibility can absorb without huge stresses, than was done by winning work below true cost or at unsustainable thin margins."
  • Monbiot.com » How Much Should We Leave in the Ground? – I had wondered about this before – good to see George has done the math for me: "Even ignoring all unconventional sources and all other greenhouse gases and taking the most optimistic of the figures in the two Nature papers, we can afford to burn only 61% of known fossil fuel reserves between now and eternity." This would result in a 2ºC rise in temperature. Adaptation, here we come…
  • Monbiot.com » Crash Landing – Monbiot being unusually level headed: "we were told by both the airline companies and the Confederation of British Industry that business flights were necessary and non-negotiable: civilisation would collapse if executives weren’t able to fly whenever and wherever they wished. The government repeated this creed, insisting that the UK economy was dependent on the expansion of Heathrow. Now we learn that these are the first expenses to be cut when a contraction begins. Businesses are discovering that there are other means of engaging with people overseas, such as email, video-conferencing and an outlandish new device called the telephone."
  • ACE – If we can’t count the buildings, how can we plan cuts in emissions? – There's an elephant in the room, and his name is data: "There is no definitive data showing precisely what the carbon footprint of Europe's buildings is. So we can have no confidence we can identify precisely what percentage of the carbon dioxide emissions by end use comes from space heating as opposed to water heating, lights and appliances as opposed to cooking."
  • Why Has Globalization Led to Bigger Cities? – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com – Great article on cities with a slant on India: "The right response to the problems of megacities is not to get misty-eyed about village life, but rather to work to improve the quality of infrastructure in those growing urban areas."
  • FT.com | The Undercover Economist | Dear Economist: Can you help me to stop procrastinating? – How to cope with procrastination: "The behavioural economists Dan Ariely and Klaus Wertenbroch conducted an instructive study of procrastination with three groups of students at MIT. Each group had to complete three assignments over the course of the 12-week course. The first group had a separate deadline for each paper, after four, eight and 12 weeks. The second group had no intermediate deadlines: all three papers were due at the end of the course. Students in the third group were asked to impose their own deadlines.
    Students with well-spaced deadlines – those in the first group and a subset in the third who had spaced out their deadlines – tended to achieve the highest grades. Students who had assigned themselves no intermediate deadlines, or had been assigned none, fared poorly."
  • A new era for public health? « – "Yet one group of very important people now admit they too have neglected the issue. The latest edition of The Lancet – probably the world’s leading medical journal – says health professionals “have barely begun to engage with what should be the focal point for their research, preparedness planning and advocacy”. Now doctors see climate change as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.
    The Lancet calls for a “new public health advocacy movement” to usher in an unprecedented era of co-operation between widely divergent spheres such as disease, food, water, sanitation, shelter, settlements, extreme events, population and movement.”"
  • Prince fails on sustainability – Building Design – A bit late getting to this one – Amanada takes on Charles: "This is where the speech unravelled for in making out “experimentation” to be a terrifying leap in the dark rather than something good based on hypotheses and a body of knowledge he came across as an intellectual Luddite, whose only solution is to retreat into a Hobbit-like world of organic earthy buildings and no cars."
  • Carbon-effective refurbishment – Modern Building Services – Ant Wilson calls for an integrated approach to refurbished buildings: "At the same time, the lower metre could be well insulated and fitted with photovoltaics (PVs) and internally lined with phase-change boards. Emerging concentrated photovoltaic energy generation (CPV has around 1000 times less embedded energy than conventional PVs, and its price is falling rapidly, which will improve the cost-effectiveness of building-integrated PV in coming years."
  • Andrew

    Hi mel

    Re the solar collector link. I saw something similar demonstrated at arups recently by this organisation: http://www.solarempower.com

  • Andrew

    Hi mel

    Re the solar collector link. I saw something similar demonstrated at arups recently by this organisation: http://www.solarempower.com

  • http://www.techdockets.com Ramakrishna

    I think the same literature has been published at solorpower website. Anyhow thanks for your literature..

  • http://www.techdockets.com Ramakrishna

    I think the same literature has been published at solorpower website. Anyhow thanks for your literature..