This Book is Definitely NOT Junk

This Book is Definitely NOT Junk

For some reason in Sustainability we are always exhorting people to know where their products come from-who is your farmer, where is that widget made?-but once they drop their waste in a blue bin they can forget about it. Adam Minter rolls back the curtain on your “recycled” waste and not just to your local … Read more…

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Down the A/C rabbit hole

Down the A/C rabbit hole

It’s the summer and air conditioning is in the news; generating a spat of articles from journalists mostly sniping at each other about whether it is a gift from God or from the Devil. A somewhat pretentious piece in the New York Times decrying our freezing buildings kicked it off, rebutted quite thoroughly only days … Read more…

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No the Breakthrough Institute, Sustainability is Not Already Achieved

No the Breakthrough Institute, Sustainability is Not Already Achieved

The summer issue of the Breakthrough Journal features an article by Jessie Ausubel which argues that “beginning in the 1970s, Americans began to consume less and tread more lightly on the planet.” The goal of this journal is to “challenge conventional progressive and environmental wisdom,” but as is often the case to be able to … Read more…

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When will we be LED to Sustainable Lighting?

When will we be LED to Sustainable Lighting?

There are plenty of worrisome trends when it comes to Achieving Sustainability but when it comes to lighting the trend is stunningly good–electricity use is falling precipitously. As we explored previously, this trend has been driven entirely by improved technology and not changed household behavior. But what is really exciting is that further technological advances … Read more…

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A Look at Technology in the Classroom in Mexico

A Look at Technology in the Classroom in Mexico

During our time teaching in Mexico, we have surveyed our students about a variety of topics, the results of which I will share bit by bit as I begin to delve into the data. To begin with I looked at the responses of the students from our interdisciplinary elective course on Sustainability from the spring … Read more…

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Achieving Sustainability with Technology: the Exceptional Case of Lighting

Achieving Sustainability with Technology: the Exceptional Case of Lighting

The electricity needed for lighting is in free fall and the reason is technology. As we discussed in the previous post, electricity used for residential lighting has (somewhat) unexpectedly begun to fall and is expected to continue to do so for the ensuing decades. Tentatively, we can conclude that neither changing consumer behavior nor saturated … Read more…

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A Paradox Grows into a Conundrum

In his 2011 book Conundrum, David Owen asks a fundamental question–can we commit to doing what is necessary to really Achieving Sustainability? Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices, to reduce our consumption as both individuals and societies on a massive scale? As his subtitle points out Owen is really asking these questions about … Read more…

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