Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’


Now I’m really scared…Financial meltdown foreshadows sustainability crisis

September 20, 2008

I’d been a disappointed proponent of allowing capital markets to place a value on sustainability.  I naively believed that anticipation of rising energy costs and emissions controls would drive investment in alternatives.

Today, it’s obvious that our market system is so greed driven that it can’t plan a quarter ahead let alone build something with returns over several years.  To compond problems, our government is handing out “get of out jail free” cards to Wall Street that further absolve of fatal lacks of strategic sustainable  thinking.

I mostly agree with the Government’s actions but think that we’re entering a era of required external oversight to ensure sustainable business practices. 

If you carry this thinking just a little farther, it’s obvious that the markets are never going to be able to foster sustainable technologies and practices without similar external (governmental) pressure.  I still think that economic incentives are the right approach for changing individual behavior, but short-term profit and entrenched interestes (oil & gas, etc) create too much pressure for the market figure this out alone.

While I would like to see less government involvement, we have to demand legislation that creates “artificial” incentives for sustainablity (alternative energy, recycling, and conservation).   This is our wake up call: the mortgage meltdown is a paper loss because the homes still exist – sustainablity is about real assets being lost forever.


Peak Oil Meet Up

July 19, 2008

I was invited to the Peak Oil (aka “crude awakening“) meet up today at Lester Germanio‘s sustainable food/water/shelter project deep in the heart of West Lake Hills.  While the project is breathtaking in both actual views and vision.  I’m having trouble reconciling the obvious benefits of “living off grid” aspects of this long term project with seeing this as reproducible model for other people to follow.

I’m looking for ways that the body of society becomes sustainable collectively not just individually.

Lesters courtyard is cool and inviting

Lester's courtyard is cool and inviting

Here are all my pictures.  Lester’s project is very thought provoking.  His designs (will) include double roofs to manage heat and collect rain water.  A huge cistern and water tower.  An integrated garden and root cellar.  The project, boostrapped and self-built, has been going for quite a while and encountered plenty of governmental road blocks.


Dollers, not sense @ Austin Green Event for Kids

June 13, 2008

Yesterday I pulled something really really creepy out of my washing machine. It was a “sustainable doll” that my son made at the Austin Green Event for Kids non-event. He’d thrown it into his clothes hamper had I’d washed it – the doll’s fabric had bled dye on his previously usable clothes.

Play things for green children?

While my kids enjoyed the craftiness of making a doll from scraps, kids are always re-discovering uses for materials anyway. While I was looking at the dye running off the wet doll, I realized that no modern American child is going to choose this toy over their other choices just because it was made with recyclables. The idea of greening our children by substituting a rag doll for Barbie is naive.

Let’s not dumb down our children’s ability to green their play. Let’s find some real ways to create fun and teach sustainability. Let’s ask THEM what makes sense.