One of the catalysts for making the Bright Green Future possible is for the mainstream vision of the future -- what I sometimes call the "baseline scenario" -- to take on characteristics that make the WorldChanging vision no longer seem quite so radical. If smart grids, hybrid vehicles, and green buildings are part of the default image of tomorrow, then energy-producing materials, sustainable urban design, and biomimetic architecture will appear as exciting possibilities, and entirely within reach. One good way to checking out the state of the zeitgeist is to look at business magazines, especially the old-school, pre-dotcom journals.
BusinessWeek looks to be a bit ahead of some of its competitors in terms of checking out how the world is changing. We've linked to their articles a few times, and while they will by no means provide shocking new insights for even casual WorldChanging readers, they do give a good sense of how Bright Green ideas are being translated for a conventional wisdom audience. Last week's BusinessWeek (cover date Sept 20) is no exception: the technology special report, "A Low-Cost Energy Future," shows both how close the mainstream world is to the Bright Green vision, and how far it has yet to go.
A Low-Cost Energy Future is a set of articles covering alternative energy technologies, hybrid cars, and a particular emphasis on green buildings.
The remaining three articles all focus on what can be done for individual homes to give them greener footprints.
I bet the Bill Moomaw who is building the zero energy house is the same Bill Moomaw who teaches at Tufts and has been campaigning to raise awareness of global warming for the last decade or so. He is a smart and engaged man in a variety of ways.
Can you tell me where I can find an engineer that will help me produce the autocad program I need to prove electromagtics can be made into a serious renewable energy source? E=MC2 is not that had of a problem to solve, I just need someone to help me figure out the firing system.
Doesn't sith grade science teach us that like poles repel each other? Every wonder how much energy would be produced if 2 electromagnetic of the same polarity had a 100,000 volts dropped across them? While I don't know exactly how much energy that produces, I do know better than to do the experiement without someone that knows what they are doing?
Seriously though, if anyone knows of someone who has an autocad that can produce a 3D model that works I'ld like to talk to them about creating a motor that'll blow peoples minds.
Interesting... 'Bright Green' has a good kind of ring to it, as does the concept of 'energy-producing materials'. Devices that can produce a net return on the energy invested in their construction (by tapping renewable sources i.e. tidal & solar), but which don't compete directly with conventional agriculture, start to look like gold dust in an oil-starved world...
I used your link to the original article and applaud Professor Moomaw's efforts! His greatest contribution will be the educational impact this will have on others. His timing could not have been better as people are reeling from the impact of oil prices on their daily lives and are now willing to consider alternative energy ideas.
We need to envision buildings as energy sources rather than energy consumers. Buildings can become the framework on which we can build a decentralized energy network.
One example a school that generates more power than it uses:
You would be surprised what visions conventional wisdom has for homes of the future...
A 12000 square foot 3 story home where the entire bottom story is garrage and storage area and the entire roof is a enclosed greenhouse backyard 30 feet in the sky covered in a solar cell material that lets in JUST the right amount of light and heat and absorbs or reflects the rest.
Several cars of various sizes and purposes all robotc in nature sit at a charging station/hydrogen generator depnding on tech nd blah blah blah...
Up a ramp that retracts when not in use you find the first floor and various rooms such as computer rooms and entertainment rooms and kitechens and so on.
Then the third floor will have all the bedrooms and more netertainment rooms and anouther puter room and exercise rooms and movie room and blah blah blah room and thinguy room...
The a ramp will lead up to the "outdoor" backyard area and maybe even a swimming pool.
And the entire thing will have been built by robots and be concidered a low -middle income home.
Also very likely the home will have a smallish wind turbine right on top of it as being that tall the wind level should be rather good.
But it wont be green as the entire thing will consume tons of energy and every room will be full of light and stuff.