How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
Imagine nature's most elegant ideas organized by design and engineering function, so you can enter "filter salt from water" and see how mangroves, penguins, and shorebirds desalinate without fossil fuels. That's the idea behind AskNature, the online inspiration source for the biomimicry community. The featured pages are a good starting point. Cross-pollinating biology with design. [more inside]
The Solar Decathlon is a just-completed competition in which 20 teams of college and university students competed to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. View a photo gallery or take video tours of the homes. Inhabitat has been blogging the event - here's their view of Germany's winning entry. [more inside]
Passivhaus/Passive house design that saves mucho energy, does not require air conditioning, does not require heating even when outdoors it's 10 below! Since, for example, more than 30% of energy consumed in the UK is for homes and 82 per cent of that is space and water heating, [Monbiot, "Heat,"chapter 5, "Our Leaky Homes,"] changing our standards of home design is important. Diagram shows that basic solar design concepts are well understood and technically easy to implement in new construction. [If only my house could be turned 45 degrees!] Possibly through ignorance, and partly through the desire to cut corners instead of doing things right, we do not make these wise concepts a priority. There are lots of cool alternative building techniques, many of which are traditional and being revived. This leading design standard saves 90% of energy used in the home. Here in Canada it's called the net zero energy home.