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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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    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenSimon, thanks for the link, but unfortunately a common fallacy is stated as fact in the first paragraph. The overwhelming source of economic growth in modern economies comes not from consuming more natural resources. But from using more/better human resources (labour, skills, knowledge, intellect) and capital resources (infrastructure, organisations, social structures).



    Yet it is not a common fallacy just because you keep restating it is. Beyond saying it can you back this up with some hard evidence.

    Are we really using less resources to support our life styles as you state? I do not think that is the case. We might not be using some resources as much but over all I very much doubt the total global use of resources is down compared to 30, 40, 50 years ago.
  1.  
    Jonti, I dug you out data last couple of times you asserted things without data (previous page), and here's some more examples, but surely you can dig this out yourself?

    UK Gross Value Added 2019, that was derived from natural resources:
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing: 7
    Mining, quarrying, oil: 11
    Water supply: 12

    UK Gross Value Added 2019, that was not derived from natural resources:
    Distribution, hotels, restaurants: 134
    Business and Financial services 338
    Government and public services 219
    Total services 792

    Units are ‰ of total UK economy

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/datasets/uksecondestimateofgdpdatatables
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2021
     
    Posted By: fostertomIt's not just an optional belief - it's hardwired into the present money system.


    But it is an optional belief that has caused "growth" to be hardwired into the financial systems of the world. It's a human constructed system where the belief underpins the construction of the system.

    If we look at the drivers of growth over the past say 150 years or so, that growth is mainly driven by energy - i.e. the use of fossils fuel due to their energy density - not as many would suggest labour and capital, which actually only form a small part of the the whole equation.

    It seems rather bizarre to me that given how we now need to completely revise our energy dependency, whether that is replacing and or reducing energy sources and use, we seem to think that we can just carry on with the same economic systems without some sort of fundamental review.


    Posted By: WillInAberdeenunfortunately a common fallacy is stated as fact in the first paragraph. The overwhelming source of economic growth in modern economies comes not from consuming more natural resources. But from using more/better human resources (labour, skills, knowledge, intellect) and capital resources (infrastructure, organisations, social structures).

    We can become a wealthier society by increasing our human resources (eg by research and education) or capital resources (eg fibre broadband or social networks or healthcare services) without needing to deplete more natural resources.


    I concede that the statement in the first paragraph may be at one extreme of the spectrum of opinions :wink: but a fallacy it isn't. That view comes from the other end of the spectrum where many believers in the dream of decoupling lie :bigsmile:

    Whilst there are several well developed countries like the US, UK and Germany, that have in recent decades demonstrated relative decoupling, we are nowhere near knowing or understanding how or if we can achieve absolute decoupling. There are several very major problems here. One is that growth is exponential, which means that if we're going to achieve the necessary decoupling the reduction of resource use is also going to have to reduce exponentially, and within current systems, that is very unlikely to happen. Another major problem that hasn't even begun to be tackled yet is that as we decouple, for example through digitisation, then the marginal cost of those products reduces. There are many questions as to how,if this part of our economic system expands to the extent it needs to, this will impact on growth. This impact has already been seen in many areas of tech.

    The idea of absolute decoupling may have been adopted by many of the global economic umbrella organisations but I suspect that this adoption comes more from a lack of alternative ideas and a fear of actually tackling the dogma of growth. At the moment I would put decoupling in the same box as large scale carbon capture technology - not an impossibility but work in progress that may or may not yield fruit.

    As Kate Raworth says in her book, Doughnut Economics, perhaps we need to turn the approach to growth around. Instead of (I paraphrase) growth whether or not we thrive, we can learn to thrive whether there is economic growth or not.

    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThat's not to say there aren't many/obvious examples of overconsumption of natural resources that we must urgently tackle, otherwise we wouldn't be on GBF. But we will be able to tackle them using better human and social resources and still become better off than we were,


    I agree wholeheartedly that we need to resolve overconsumption and we need to better use human/social reqources and capital to to this, rather than 'energy.' But unfortunately, it would require a serious turnaround in both economic, political policy because at present there is much more of a move towards automation instead of human resource. This potentially causes problems in the very sphere we need solutions. To reference Kate Raworth and her book again, she interestingly talks about how this could be done by retrofitting instead of building new building for energy conservation. According to her view this would create a lot of jobs, and would require less energy and resource use than trying to build new.

    From the perspective of wealth, I agree there needs to be more distribution of wealth around the world, but I also wonder how we best measure wealth and that perhaps with where developed countries are, we need a more comprehensive view on that one. One that isn't largely reliant on money and possession terms.

    Posted By: WillInAberdeenUK Gross Value Added 2019, that was derived from natural resources:
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing: 7
    Mining, quarrying, oil: 11
    Water supply: 12

    UK Gross Value Added 2019, that was not derived from natural resources:
    Distribution, hotels, restaurants: 134
    Business and Financial services 338
    Government and public services 219
    Total services 792


    Hmmm.. Interesting taxonomy :wink: I do love the fact that distribution, for example, is not derived from natural resource....hotel and restaurants, none there either, as their activity has nothing to do with resources like food, nor the subsequent waste. Is there no manufacturing or natural gas? :wink:

    Sorry, cheeky :bigsmile:
  2.  
    :-) I guess ONS include the natural resource inputs in ’agriculture' but not also in 'restaurants' because that would be double counting. Likewise fuel and gas both come under "mining and oil" not also "distribution and restaurants". Weird taxonomy though!

    You can look up the other sectors, eg Manufacturing: 99
    (Again, that's not double counting the natural resources consumed by digging up the raw materials - rather it's the wealth created from human resources and infrastructure who turn the materials into something useful)
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2021
     
    Posted By: SimonDit is an optional belief that has caused "growth" to be hardwired into the financial systems of the world
    It's been that way, in Europe, since the 1300s, when Arabic mathematicians advised Kings and Princes on how to reverse the growing independent prosperity of peasants-become-traders incl issuing their own promisory notes. If royalty would outlaw the latter and 'own' all the money, keep it in short supply and as it were rent it out for use (i.e. charge interest on it) then they'd have a tidy regular income, growth and prosperity would revert to sluggish but they'd get more of it (nearly all the 'cream'), and the new 'free' class would struggle. So its roots run deep, and suit the owners of money; the character of capitalism was set. It won't be easily changed.
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2021
     
    Posted By: fostertomIt's been that way, in Europe, since the 1300s, So its roots run deep, and suit the owners of money; the character of capitalism was set. It won't be easily changed.


    Indeed, it is entrenched almost to the extent that many don't even notice to question it. Classical Chinese thought dating back 2000 years views growth as a natural component of any complex system. However, the fundamental difference with the classical Chinese view - and possibly the origins of growth in western contexts? - actually understands and explicitly states that growth is never a constant (contrary to our current growth models and policies) but rather it oscillates like any natural systems does, sometimes there is strong growth, sometimes there is almost none and sometimes it's negative or even catastrophic. The problem with the modern entrenched approach is that it aims to produce growth whatever the wider environmental circumstances, which any common sense would tell us, nonsense and a fallacy. :wink:

    This is something some leading 'different' thinkers in economics are beginning to understand, but yes, just as with our energy transformation, this one is also going to be a bit of a climb :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2021 edited
     
    Spot on, the Confucian understanding - it's why east Asians especially the vast Chinese section of it, do feel disconcertingly 'from another planet', to westerners. But they're right. Fantastic new book https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=web+of+meaning&ref=nb_sb_noss_1 goes deep into what the world needs to 'get'.
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2021
     
    Posted By: fostertomSpot on, the Confucian understanding - it's why east Asians especially the vast Chinese section of it, do feel disconcertingly 'from another planet', to westerners. But they're right. Fantastic new bookhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=web+of+meaning&ref=nb_sb_noss_1" rel="nofollow" >https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=web+of+meaning&ref=nb_sb_noss_1goes deep into what the world needs to 'get'.


    Interesting link, thanks. I was just looking for a new audio book to listen to! Seems similar but different to my work where in my Master's project I imported and integrated areas of systemic classical Chinese thought into western Psychological Coaching in order to contribute to approaches in human development and learning in organisations. That's been the basis of my work ever since. I teach Tai Chi Chuan too :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2021
     
    Wow - when's your book comning out?!
  3.  
    Posted By: SimonDHowever, the fundamental difference with the classical Chinese view - and possibly the origins of growth in western contexts? - actually understands and explicitly states that growth is never a constant (contrary to our current growth models and policies) but rather it oscillates like any natural systems does, sometimes there is strong growth, sometimes there is almost none and sometimes it's negative or even catastrophic.

    Hmm - sounds like the UK housing market
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2021 edited
     
    Yeah man it's like evryfing innit
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: fostertomWow - when's your book comning out?!


    Haha, thanks, maybe I'll get the time once I've finished building my house! That has been a lesson in chaos - can't believe the construction industry actually manages to function. :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungary
    Hmm - sounds like the UK housing market


    Possibly couldn't be a better example :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenJonti, I dug you out data last couple of times you asserted things without data (previous page), and here's some more examples, but surely you can dig this out yourself?

    UK Gross Value Added 2019, that was derived from natural resources:
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing: 7
    Mining, quarrying, oil: 11
    Water supply: 12

    UK Gross Value Added 2019, that was not derived from natural resources:
    Distribution, hotels, restaurants: 134
    Business and Financial services 338
    Government and public services 219
    Total services 792

    Units are ‰ of total UK economy

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/datasets/uksecondestimateofgdpdatatables" rel="nofollow" >https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/datasets/uksecondestimateofgdpdatatables


    I had a quick look but could not find the links on the previous page. A comparison of the electricity market shows that overall consumption has dropped since 1970 but a closer look shows it is because the amount used by manufacturing and other heavy industry has been offshored. Actual household use has almost doubled which is what I suspect has happened in general.

    I do not think it is either ethically correct nor honest to just look at what is used in the UK. I also think you have to look at the resources used in all manufacturing for good which end up in the UK market as in the end the usage is caused by demand in the UK. This is something I have stated in other posts.
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2021
     
    It's very nascent but any thoughts on mycelium insulation?

    Super sustainable
    Conductivity of 0.024W/m.K
    Can't buy it yet afaik

    https://www.biohm.co.uk/mycelium
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2021
     
    Posted By: jms452It's very nascent but any thoughts on mycelium insulation?

    Super sustainable
    Conductivity of 0.024W/m.K
    Can't buy it yet afaik

    https://www.biohm.co.uk/mycelium

    Hmm, web site with more style than substance. No reference I found to the test that established the claimed conductivity in particular. Not much in the way of facts at all. I wish them every success but at the moment I'd have to say it's not one for widows and orphans (are we still allowed to use expressions like that?)
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTime20 hours ago
     
    Historic Scotland have been installing some hemp based insulation in their Edinburgh lodge building. Uploading some pics they kindly sent me in case of interest.
      IMG_0007 (003).JPG
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