In Building, Passivity May be the Best Action

passivstandardSalt Lake City is going passive.  Joe and Rebecca are teaming up with Brach Design and Fisher Custom Building to build Utah’s first certified passive house.  That is the plan anyway.  Brach Design is Utah’s only certified Passive House architect and this will be his first passive house if everything turns out right.

You may be thinking, “Who gives a diddly ding dang do.”  But let me tell all you Flanders swearing neigh-sayers, this is pretty ding dang diddly cool.  Let’s not forget that 76% of all electricity produced by U.S. power plants goes to the building sector.  Passive House started up as PassivHaus in the UK, but that was too stinking European sounding for God-Bless-‘Em-Americans, so we changed it to Passive House Institute US, but it is the same thing.  Passive House is a certification that literally beats the insulation off of rating systems like LEED.  The graphic shows it pretty well (although LEED is not pictured because it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges).  But the point is that Passive House is the stiffest energy efficiency standard the world has seen by far.

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350! Spartans and Global Warming

300movieposterTheir can be glory in death.  It is true.  But Lord, not in a prolonged, asthma induced suffocation due to a humanly inhabitable planet.  But never fear!  350 is here!  Bill McKibben is still alive and kicking, and while he ain’t no Leonidas, he along with alot of others have started up  The movement and the number are based on the report put forward by the NASA climatologist guy (James Hansen) in 2007 that said that if we don’t reduce the amount of CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere to below 350 parts per million and pronto we will be screwed (meaning human life could meet some rather sucky hurdles of death).

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Earth 2100 Got me Thinking… Oh Crap


Can we get there?  Within the last 15 minutes of ABC’s show, Earth 2100, a positive picture of our potential future was painted.  (How is that for alliteration?)  The interviewed experts posed that it would be possible to perform the heavy lifting of global clean-up by 2050, with only the peripheries to remain after that.  Really?

Now, many bloggers and commentators have spoken out that the first 100 minutes of the show were simply too devastatingly depressing.  I don’t know.  I thought the bulk of the show was pretty entertaining.  Instead, it was the end that brought me crashing down into middle of the afternoon, bathrobe shuffling, bacon eating depression.  If the bright, hopeful version of our future requires us to bond together globally in loving harmony in order to completely revolutionize our cultures, values and worldviews…  I think I just peed a little.

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