Blogs

Agro Housing -- To Dwell is to Garden

May 31, 2008 - 01:59:59 PM

Agro HousingAgro Housing

Knafo Klimor Architects of Israel - Winners of the 2nd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing. China 2007

Conceptual Approach
According to a UN report, in 2010 about 50% of the Chinese population will reside in cities. This huge migration from rural regions to new urban megalopolises will create a dramatic cultural and social crisis, a loss of existing traditions and considerable unemployment. Massive urbanization will form random communities, severely deplete natural resources, exhaust urban infrastructures and transportation systems, and will increase air and soil pollution.
The concept of Agro-Housing is a new urban and social vision that will address problems of chaotic urbanization by creating a new order in the city and more specifically, in the housing environment.
Agro-Housing is a program that combines a high-rise apartment complex with a vertical greenhouse within the same building.
The idea behind Agro-Housing is to create a close to home space where families can produce their own food supply according to their abilities and choices. This will allow the citizens more independence, freedom, and additional income.  READ MORE »


Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia

May 09, 2008 - 10:31:59 PM


May 2, 2008: The Buckminster Fuller Institute is pleased to announce that “Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia”, submitted by Dr. John Todd, has been selected as the winner of the 2008 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

Buckminster Fuller often pointed out that, “one of the most important facts about spaceship earth is that it didn’t come with an operating manual”. Dr. Todd’s pioneering work and vision represents an essential chapter of the operating manual Humans must urgently complete. His profound understanding of biological systems will revolutionize the way we think about our place on the planet and our connection to the land and its resources.  READ MORE »


IMAGINE A WORLD by Amory Lovins (presented at RMI's 25th Aniversary Gala August 2007)

May 09, 2008 - 11:37:42 AM

RMI25 Gala ALovins SpeechLet me tell you a story...

In the early 1950s, the Dayak people in Borneo had malaria. The World Health Organization had a solution: spray DDT. They did; mosquitoes died; malaria declined; so far, so good. But there were side effects. House roofs started falling down on people's heads, because the DDT also killed tiny parasitic wasps that had previously controlled thatch-eating caterpillars. The colonial government gave people sheet-metal roofs, but the noise of the tropical rain on the tin roofs kept people awake. Meanwhile, the DDT-poisoned bugs were eaten by geckoes, which were eaten by cats. The DDT built up in the food chain and killed the cats. Without the cats, the rats flourished and multiplied. Soon the World Health Organization was threatened with potential outbreaks of typhus and plague, and had to call in RAF Singapore to conduct Operation Cat Drop — parachuting a great many live cats into Borneo. (See: "How Not to Parachute More Cats")

This story — our guiding parable at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) — shows that if you don't understand how things are connected, often the cause of problems is solutions. Most of today's problems are like that. But at RMI we harness hidden connections so the cause of solutions is solutions: we solve, or better still avoid, not just one problem but many, without making new ones, before someone has to go parachuting more cats. So, join me in envisioning where these linked, multiplying solutions can lead if we take responsibility for creating the world we want.  READ MORE »


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Sustaining Life - How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

April 30, 2008 - 12:54:02 PM

This amazing book should be a part of every course on biology in every high school! ja

The Earth's biodiversity—the rich variety of life on our planet—is disappearing at an alarming rate. And while many books have focused on the expected ecological consequences, or on the aesthetic, ethical, sociological, or economic dimensions of this loss, Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, to be published in May, 2008 by Oxford University Press, is the first to examine the full range of potential threats that a loss of biodiversity poses to human health.  READ MORE »


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Climate Alive!

April 16, 2008 - 09:21:12 PM


PRESS PLAY

CLIMATE ALIVE ! An *excellent* seven-minute film about Asheville North Carolina's role in understanding climate change.

"The need has never been greater for accurate and understandable information about climate change and its impacts.

The Centers for Environmental and Climatic Interaction (CECI) is a non-profit partnership among government, academia and industry that provides trusted climate change information and analysis to policymakers, business leaders and the public.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, home of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, CECI provides innovative education strategies, natural resource impact analysis, visualization technologies and other tools for making crucial decisions.

Leading edge visualization tools, including geodomes designed and produced by the Asheville-based company, The Elumenati , are a key component of the city’s climate services skill set.  READ MORE »


Light, Compatible, Free Online 3D Globe

April 13, 2008 - 10:07:36 PM

Reviewed By Brady Forrest at O'Reilly Radar

Poly9 has released a new free 3D globe called Free Earth. It uses Flash, but requires no other download and cross-browser. That spinning blue marble is really sweet looking.

Using their Javascript API you can add placemarks (as you can see below with the tarsier marking the O'Reilly offices), video, and control the globe's movement.
Right now there is no zoom, but they are in the process of getting satellite imagery. According to CEO Greg Sadetsky, "The plan is to have a licensable product for commercial use, and a free product for everybody."

Poly9 is a group of hackers in Quebec City.  READ MORE »


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