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Links for December 8th through December 10th

by Mel Starrs on December 11, 2009

in News

These are my links for December 8th through December 10th:

  • ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient building labeling program – ASHRAE's BEQ (roughly equivalent to DEC) continues to be developed.
  • The Language of Sustainability: Why Words Matter | – Communicating sustainability: "Provide context for "sustainability," in that it means the ability to continue into the indefinite future by respecting the Earth's ecosystems, its limits, and providing space for the other beings on the planet to exist. Otherwise, we create perverse concepts like sustainable growth, as if we can continue unlimited growth in the face of limits."
  • The Greenest Brick is the One That’s Already in the Wall : TreeHugger – Great point: "He understands also that while a sustainable building must be durable, flexible and frugal, it must first be lovable,
    "because it does not matter how efficiently the building performs if it is demolished and carted off to the landfill in a generation or two because it cannot be loved."
  • Climate Change | Housing | Quarter-Acre Block – "But relatively high densities have little to do with the use of sustainable transport. The best performer is the Canadian capital, Ottawa, which is much less dense than Los Angeles and about the same as Melbourne. Brisbane has barely half Melbourne's density and a third that of Los Angeles, but use of sustainable transport is similar to Melbourne and more than twice the level in LA.
    Sustainable transport use has more to do with transport policy than density, which is excellent news for anyone concerned about the environment. It would take many decades and vast expense to substantially change the density of a city of 4 million people, and we don't have that much time. Climate change and insecure oil supplies are urgent problems, and we need solutions now. Fortunately, transport policies can be changed more quickly and with less disruption than urban form, so we might be able to keep our leafy suburbs and still save the planet."
  • Homophily « twopointouch – Something often on my mind. Tricky: "Often, when I read blogs and tweets, I know that the person writing is doing so because it in some way amplifies or enhances their professional career. A lot of people I connect with are consultants of some description in their jobs. Their job is to be wise and right. That makes them lovely people, by and large, but there are arguably downsides. It can very often have the side-effect of meaning that they are never going to go out on a limb or wish to seem controversial. It’s also a job where you need people to want to work with you, so you won’t go around telling potential clients or collaborators that they’re wrong."
  • House 2.0: The Copenhagen Blues – Great article from Mark Brinkley: ”Milliband minor answered thus: “By 2050, our economies will be six or seven times larger than they are now, and so we must ensure that all that growth is low or zero carbon growth.”
    I took a proverbial double take. Six or seven times bigger than 2010? That assumes something like a 10% annual growth rate every year for 40 years. And yet carbon emissions are due to fall by 80% by that time. Just how is that going to work?
    Historically, economic growth has been fuelled by carbon – almost every innovation we come up with involves substituting machines for human labour, which involves burning carbon somewhere along the line. Now we may be able to make machines which are less carbon intensive, but do you really think we will be able to get to zero carbon by 2050 whilst at the same time expanding the world economy by six or seven times?"