Sustainability: The Stumbling Block is Culture

| No TrackBacks

From a back issue of Harvard Design Magazine:

Environmental prophets come in four types: the hysterics, who warn of the apocalypse, the assuagers, who adhere to hope, the disclaimers, who see no dire threat, and the fatalists, who see the future as steady, unavoidable, irreversible decline.

The first three types, the hysterics, the assuagers, and the disclaimers, dominate current discourse. Their views make for more effective hype for whatever public media share their political allegiances. The view of the fatalists is least palatable to society in general and the media in particular, which are thriving on a mix of fear and hope. In the absence of the fatalists, all kinds of compromises are considered able to promote sustainability, from the Kyoto Protocol to emissions trading to Smart Growth. Yet even their proponents admit that these measures cannot stop, let alone reverse, global climate change.

The reason for this is as plain as it is simple. The change in global climate is not caused by financial or technological factors alone and will not be solved just through financial or technological solutions. Global climate change results from the realities of Western, post-industrialist, capitalist culture. It is embedded in unsustainable lifestyles.

Also in the same article >>

The five material principles for a sustainable architecture:

1. Build less. Frei Otto wrote: “To build in a sustainable way means not to build at all.”(2) The replacement of existing built fabric cannot be the long-term goal of any society.

2. Everything built should be given as long a life expectancy as possible.

3. Reuse and recycling of material should be maximized.

4. Non-recyclable materials should be not be used in buildings.

5. Anything that is built should be retained, sustained, and maintained.

Read the article by Wilfried Wang.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.christiansarkar.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-t.cgi/163

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on December 13, 2005 10:52 PM.

Mystery of the Narwhal's Tooth Solved was the previous entry in this blog.

8 Big Ideas for the 21st Century is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.