Friday, December 23, 2011

"Sustainable Development"

As an architect, I am compelled to listen to my colleagues blather on endlessly about "sustainability." It's annoying and elitist, because the implication is that the way we practiced architecture before 1990 or so was somehow wrong. Worse, there is a kind of vibe about the whole thing "sustainable" architecture is in some way morally superior.

Here's an excellent blog post by Willis Eschenbach that takes down the myth of sustainability:
Here’s the ugly truth. It’s simple, blunt, and bitter. Nothing is sustainable. Oh, like the sailors say, the wind is free. As is the sunshine. But everything else we mine or extract to make everything from shovels to cell phones will run out. The only question is, will it run out sooner, or later? Because nothing is sustainable. “Sustainable Development” is just an airy-fairy moonbeam fantasy, a New Age oxymoron. In the real world, it can’t happen.
As they say, read the whole thing.


Blogger E's Merry Styles said...

I believe it can. I'm in the process of taking my house off the grid. I plan to install a year round green house, pv solar panels, and a pellet stove. It means I make my own food and generate my own energy. I think sustainability is something to be worked towards, starting with a model of "more sustainable". If everybody did this, consumption of energy and resources would go way down. It could pave the way to increasing the technological sophistication of sustainability and change the way people prioritize their lives and spend their dollars. I don't think we can expect governments and corporations to make any sweeping changes, but individuals could conceivably do this, but probably won't. It's only airy fairy as long as people think it's impossible. Your premise that it's impossible is, my friend, a logical fallacy.

11:09 PM  

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