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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2016 edited
     
    I spotted the follow chart which compiles information from Schilling et al. (1977) and BP Statistical Review (2013).

    http://s15.postimg.org/o3h0kkxrv/usage_petrole_graph8.jpg


    What this chart shows is that over 150 years no energy source has ever been replaced. New energy sources are merely added to the existing energy sources.

    Gas did not replace oil, oil did not replace coal, coal did not replace wood.

    Today we burn more gas than ever, more oil than ever, more coal than ever and more wood than ever before.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2016
     
    That's a bit depressing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2016
     
    What a brilliant way of looking at it - can use that!
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    Even per capita since 1900 there doesn't look like any reduction in any of them.

    1900 - about 1.6 billion people.
    2015 - about 7 billion.

    7/1.6 = 4.35. All seem to have increased more than that.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    It's population growth that's the elephant in the room, coupled with ever increasing demands and expectations of that new population.
    What's scary, is extrapolating that graph to a population of 11 or 13 billion, or whatever.
    It makes me wonder if changing light bulbs, and many other so called energy saving efforts etc. is just pi..ing into the wind. Do it to save money, or for your comfort, but saving the world.....Mmm.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    If you listen to Hans Rosling, who seems to make a lot of sense, population growth is a largely solved problem except perhaps in Africa. Essentially, we're already at peak babies - further growth is just a matter of filling in the older generations as people live longer.

    The elephant is the billion or two of us taking far more than our fair share.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    Yeah, I have listened to him and for all his academic prowess and display wizardry I don't agree.
    What happens when the other billions, rightly, all want what we have? That's why the graph is on an inexorable climb.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    Do you think his projections for population growth are wrong? If so, why?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    That doesn't contradict Rosling's basic point: when people have a reasonable basic standard of living (so most of their children survive) they stop breeding so much. It just says they can't all do it like we (as in, the richest billion or two) are doing it now. That's hardly news.

    My, and I think Rosling's, point would be that their numbers are more or less fixed now and, short of some serious genocide (which'd likely be counterproductive anyway, even if there weren't other considerations) handing out more condoms or whatever will only trim the final numbers slightly.

    I agree with you, fiddling around with light bulbs is not going anywhere; we need a drastic reduction of resource use to get close to only taking a fair share. I think the only difference between us is on which half of the problem to emphasize: our lifestyle or their numbers. Concentration on their numbers is a) not terribly useful as shown above and b) mostly an excuse to let our lifestyle off the hook.
  1.  
    Some interesting points in here too:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/19/population-crisis-farm-animals-laying-waste-to-planet

    "Population growth is outpaced by the growth in our consumption of almost all resources. There is enough to meet everyone’s need, even in a world of 10 billion people. There is not enough to meet everyone’s greed, even in a world of 2 billion people."
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2016
     
    I'm with Ed on every point there, esp Rosling
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2016
     
    Posted By: Ed Davies The elephant is the billion or two of us taking far more than our fair share.



    Posted By: Doubting_Thomas There is not enough to meet everyone’s greed, even in a world of 2 billion people."



    Posted By: fostertomI'm with Ed on every point there, esp Rosling



    OK, who is going to make the first move and "downsize their demand" especially if we're all part of the, "greedy industrialised West", taking more than our "fair share".

    Let's be knowing how YOU have or haven't fared in that area, like I said lightbulbs don't count, nor does pontificating from the sidelines, without some personal effort.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2016
     
    How about living eating sleeping a deep new (or rediscovered) awareness that moves towards critical mass? 'Walking Your Talk' is only one of the ways people can do that, but it appeals to those who want to feel superior. Slavery wasn't abolished by everyone giving up their slaves.
    • CommentAuthorvord
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2016 edited
     
    There isn't much information widely available to help people with the best intentions to use less resources in the long term. For example I have concerns about the use of waterproof membranes. I can see why they are necessary from a technical point of view to prevent a building from failing, but living in a 17th century building I can also see that things fail after a while. I doubt there would be any 17th century sealing tape left around here even if it had been available at the time.

    Stuff is disposable these days, even new houses. The energy costs for constantly replacing all this stuff seems rarely accounted for. I think the feel good brigade will be set on the wrong path by market economics.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2016
     
    In the process of building (rather slowly) an off-grid house with the idea of reducing my use of fossil fuels and emissions of COâ‚‚ drastically.

    In general, though, that's only a step or two up from replacing light bulbs. The change needs to be across the whole of society to make much odds.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2016
     
    Posted By: vordI have concerns about the use of waterproof membranes. I can see why they are necessary from a technical point of view to prevent a building from failing ... I doubt there would be any 17th century sealing tape left around here even if it had been available at the time
    BTW, they're not necessary to prevent a building from failing.

    So here's a way, common amongst GBF members, alternative to 'Walking Your Talk' in everyday life, of "living eating sleeping a deep new (or rediscovered) awareness that moves towards critical mass" - designing/building, as a mission almost, for long robust life, maximum carbon sequestration, minimum cradle-to-grave-to-cradle life-cycle impact, in fact less-than-zero life-cycle impact, so that what we do actually assists the planet to clear up the mess we've already made.

    Admittedly the last is hard to practice - in fact none of us have much idea how to go about that imperative - so far.
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