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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021 edited
     
    Interesting round-up of the engineering-based climate-mitigation solutions favoured by Silicon Valley billionaires - their potential and their limitations, esp danger (or intent?) that mitigations distract from, or dilute the hard grunt of fundamental de-carbonisation:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/25/elon-musk-climate-plan-reward-jeff-bezos-gates-investments

    "β€œI think more like an engineer than a political scientist,” Gates declared in his new book"

    For example:
    https://www.terraformation.com/solutions/solar-desalinization
    but:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/24/soils-ability-to-absorb-carbon-emissions-may-be-overestimated-study
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021
     
    Yes, an interesting read. Even if the politicians limit heating to 1.5% / 2% above pre-industrial levels, that may still be (probably will be?) dangerously high, so some of those technologies may become useful in the long term.

    But decarbonisation must remain the urgent first step.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021
     
    Exactly right Mike
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021
     
    There was an interesting news story yesterday about how they are cutting down forestry commission trees in Northumberland (IIRC) in order to store more CO2 in the soil. The trick is that what they are doing is restoring wetlands, which store CO2 in undigested plant material that is many metres deep for thousands of years. Pity the Nature article is behind a paywall. It'd be useful to see what they actually said rather than what some Grauniad journalist reported.

    I'm not sure the article about what a few billionaires are doing is very helpful. At least these ones are doing something, and IMHO they've earned the right to do whatever they think is most useful. What about all the other billionaires that aren't mentioned?
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021
     
    The bog restoration was covered on the beeb- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-56450965
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: djhIMHO they've earned the right to do whatever they think
    Having a specialised talent to sequester lotsa sweated cash (aka tokens of power) unemcumbered, while the rest of us are left paying all the interest, which is forever due on all issued money, is so admirable that it 'earns' the right to deeply alter our world - 'whatever they think is most useful'? And to challenge is unfair because other billionaires are even worse (er, eh?)?
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2021
     
    The most worrying thing about the Guardian article for me is the bit where they say:

    "We don’t have time to only develop longer-term options.”

    It reminds me of the time I was working within technology companies, including a stint at Microsoft, where I was involved in systems design. I was always told that there simply is not time to do things like understand user needs and functional requirements for example. Mostly, this short-term panicked approach to design and development lead to terrible systems, time over-runs and massive redevelopment costs. Personally, I don't think Bill Gates ever demonstrated himself to be a particularly good software engineer and it took Microsoft essentially copying some of the fundamentals of Digital Equipment Corporation's operating system to create a more robust system.

    It's also a bit reminiscent of the Agile development approach, which, because it only focusses on one small observable part of the system, you often end up with a fragmented system and further fragmented problems. Many times it would be better to wipe the board and start again with proper system design.

    This all reminds me somewhat of a discussion I listened to in Marvel's Agents of Shield while watching it with one of my sons. In it they discuss how when they try to fix a problem, the fixing causes another problem they need to fix, followed by another and another. Perhaps their fixing is the problem.

    I've always found it ironic how many people in the world of systems design fail to take a systems perspective, which is what we really need right now.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2021
     
    Tom, when you've revolutionized architecture I'll be happy for you too to contribute however you see fit. Bezos has to a large extent reformed shopping. Musk is reshaping the entire motor industry. Both are also successfully kicking NASA up the butt whilst keeping them sweet. So yes, I'd rather have them 'deeply alter our world' than all the politicos and greenbeards who print money just to stay in power. Gates I have mixed feelings about - I hate the company he built but I admire his work on malaria et al. And they are all getting on and doing stuff instead of sitting around talking about making agreements to maybe do stuff in the future.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: djhwhen you've revolutionized architecture
    As a failure in that, seems I've not 'earned' the billionaires' right to 'deeply alter our world' as I think fit, unchallenged.

    More honest is to say that billionaires do that because "who will stop me?" - that Libertarian-foundational saying (1943) of Ayn Rand's architect-hero of 'The Fountainhead'.

    The notion that they have a moral right to do so - that 'might is *right*', not merely unstoppeable; that they deserve or have earned the right, is an old plank of the American Dream, but has only swept the world thanks to 40yrs of sustained propaganda vastly funded by far from benign billionaires like the Koch brothers.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracy-Chains-history-radical-stealth/dp/1911344684/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=democracy+in+chains&qid=1617010417&sr=8-1

    They want not just raw power, but to be morally approved for it. The world has swallowed the story.

    The fear is that the if the timid world and corrupt politicians decide whether or how to 'deeply alter the world', nothing will happen. That may be a valid outcome, or it may be a perpetual failing; either way, it's humanity's unfinished business, touching all of today's grand issues. To throw in the towel on that, instead to give all the power and trust away to a new aristocracy disproportionately composed of the clinically sociopathic/psychopathic/narsisistic
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackmccullough/2019/12/09/the-psychopathic-ceo/
    is both defeatist and magical thinking.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021
     
    Well Tom you are the "Timid World " just like the rest of us, I guess. If you don't like it, go try to change it, you at least have that freedom.
    We don't have to shop at Amazon, we don't have to buy a Tesla, we don't have to book a flight with Space X.
    Instead we could shop on Banggood, or buy an EV from one of BYDs subsidised portfolios and prop up a Chinese global industrial takeover.
    If and when the latter occurs and the world has swallowed the "benign China story" and the the politburo rules the roost you can wave goodbye to any chance of " Deeply altering the World" or indeed any form of discourse that may challenge it. Pick your team.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021
     
    You mean that giving billionaires (that means Chinese billionaires as well as western) an 'earned' right to do what they like is the 'get real' way to prevent Chinese world domination? I don't follow that.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021
     
    Chinese billionaires sing from the same song sheet the state,- de facto they are the state, at least if they value their lives.
    Like I said pick your side, you are at least free to try to dismantle the flawed Western values that you seem to despise, a freedom even the Chinese billionaires don't have against their state.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021 edited
     
    No prob - I can pick sides, while Boris simultaneously smarms for trade and rattles his fearsome sabre. China unimpressed. Still leaves my question.

    But while on this side-trip, the best way the west can contain China must be by 'soft-power' to strengthen and spread 'Western values' like societal shaping by democracy (or the consensus-seeking evolutions of same that are available) rather than by giving that up to no-allegiance billionaires who have 'earned' the right to decide for us.
  1.  
    And whilst we are talking about billionaires having 'earned ' the right to run the world, - don't forget George Soros who tells the EU what to do (and has been invited by the EU so to do) and meanwhile offers to lend them money (at a rate) to help them do his bidding.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021
     
    Leaving aside that private money lending at interest shouldn't happen at all (whether to strapped governments too scared to print their own, or as the chief means of creating general-market tokens of exchange out of thin air) I have no objection to Soros or any billionaire advising and lending to governments.

    If advising is just a polite word for 'telling what to do' by blackmail (e.g. threat to create a run on a currency) or is democracy-capture by corrupt/lobbying, then the onus is up to the government to reject, resist or legislate to prevent.

    I'm saying what we should require our governments to do to toilet-train the raw power of billionaires. Don't blame the billionaires, even the ones demonised in Hungary - they can't help it, poor things.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2021
     
    It used to be that the state's main priority was the welfare and safety of its' citizens but this has changed in recent decades to the welfare and safety of the economy.
  2.  
    It's bad enough having politics creeping onto GBF, but I could really do without the religious tropes. Please folks, any chance we could stick to talking about green building? There's plenty of other places where anyone can air their political beliefs.

    My mum told me that in polite company, one should avoid discussing politics, religion, and there was something else too....
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenIt's bad enough having politics creeping onto GBF, but I could really do without the religious tropes. Please folks, any chance we could stick to talking about green building? There's plenty of other places where anyone can air their political beliefs.

    My mum told me that in polite company, one should avoid discussing politics, religion, and there was something else too....




    Will; There's nothing wrong with Toms thread, or any other subject matter. It's just in the wrong category, it should be in "Free Speech"
  3.  
    Well, I'm only slightly Jewish by descent, but enough to be sickened when people throw around mad conspiracy theories about rich Jewish financiers somehow pulling the strings of governments in some sinister unseen way. That trope is centuries old, we all know what it is code for, and where it ends up.

    There's no place for that stuff anywhere on the internet and particularly not on GBF.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenWell, I'm only slightly Jewish by descent, but enough to be sickened when people throw around mad conspiracy theories about rich Jewish financiers somehow pulling the strings of governments in some sinister unseen way. That trope is centuries old, we all know what it is code for, and where it ends up.

    There's no place for that stuff anywhere on the internet and particularly not on GBF.


    Agreed but that is not a reason to ban political discussions.
  4.  
    George Soros who tells the EU what to do

    I have no objection to Soros or any billionaire advising and lending to governments. If advising is just a polite word for 'telling what to do' by blackmail (e.g. threat to create a run on a currency) or is democracy-capture by corrupt/lobbying.....reject, resist or legislate to prevent.


    Doesn't sound like political discourse to me.
    https://www.adl.org/blog/the-antisemitism-lurking-behind-george-soros-conspiracy-theories
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen There's plenty of other places where anyone can air their political beliefs.

    .


    I am totally in agreement about your points on anti Semitism. There is no place for them and they should not be tolerated but called out as I believe my post made clear. My comment about not being a reason to ban political discussion was in answer to your comment made in the a prior post which I realise I should also have included for clarity. I have included it now just to make clear why I made my original comment.
  5.  
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenrich Jewish financiers

    Sorry - who mentioned rich Jewish financiers ?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenWell, I'm only slightly Jewish by descent, but enough to be sickened when people throw around mad conspiracy theories about rich Jewish financiers somehow pulling the strings of governments in some sinister unseen way. That trope is centuries old, we all know what it is code for, and where it ends up.

    There's no place for that stuff anywhere on the internet and particularly not on GBF.

    Agreed.
  6.  
    Posted By: Mike1
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenWell, I'm only slightly Jewish by descent, but enough to be sickened when people throw around mad conspiracy theories about somehow pulling the strings of governments in some sinister unseen way. That trope is centuries old, we all know what it is code for, and where it ends up.

    There's no place for that stuff anywhere on the internet and particularly not on GBF.

    Agreed.

    Agreed
    But I'm still not sure how rich Jewish financiers and antisemitism crept into this thread.
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2021 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Peter_in_Hungary</cite>Agreed
    But I'm still not sure how rich Jewish financiers and antisemitism crept into this thread.</blockquote>

    Seriously Peter? Is that an attempt at humour?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2021
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungary
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenrich Jewish financiers

    Sorry - who mentioned rich Jewish financiers ?




    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryAnd whilst we are talking about billionaires having 'earned ' the right to run the world, - don't forget George Soros


    πŸ™„
  7.  
    I mentioned someone by name with no mention of ethnicity or religion, just commenting upon their actions of which I disapprove e.g. funding NGOs that support the migration across the Mediterranean sea which in turn encourages the people traffickers in N. Africa and adds to the unfortunate plight of the migrants rather than helping to solve the problems in the home countries.

    Criticizing someones actions can not be construed to mean that the criticism is because of their ethnicity unless such is mentioned, rather like criticism of some of the actions of the state of Israel is not in itself antisemitic.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2021 edited
     
    I totally agree with PiH's last para there. He is innocent of anti-semitism.

    That said, George Soros has been specially villainised in Hungary, by very nasty right wing politicians, media and presumably a large like-minded section of the population - and that's been undoubtedly for anti-semitic reasons. So, that being the special case, to me it was imprudent for a Hungarian resident to bring George Soros into it, inviting exactly the hair-trigger sensitivity that's happened here.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomI totally agree with PiH's last para there. He is innocent of anti-semitism.

    That said, George Soros has been specially villainised in Hungary, by very nasty right wing politicians, media and presumably a large like-minded section of the population - and that's been undoubtedly for anti-semitic reasons. So, that being the special case, to me it was imprudent for a Hungarian resident to bring George Soros into it, inviting exactly the hair-trigger sensitivity that's happened here.


    And there in lies the problem. Declaring innocent followed by ..... It is so difficult to find who is responsible for the migration of people across the med as so many people, institutions and countries are to blame. The EU, UK USA, NATO, Russia are all to blame as well. I am not sure it is right or possible to single one person out.

    This whole episode on this thread shows the potential problem with discussion on the internet. It is so much easier to get a point across in person as you are also sending so many signals as to how you are saying something. Words alone rarely paint a full picture.
   
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