NewEnergyNews: ART CENTER SUMMIT 2008, DAY 2: THE POSSIBILITIES OF A WELL-DESIGNED FUTURE

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Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAWAII'S UTILITIES PLAN FOR 67% RENEWABLES BY 2030
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN WARREN BUFFETT'S PACIFICORP BRING THE NORTHWEST'S RENEWABLE RICHES TO MARKET?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • ---------------
  • Friday, February 08, 2008

    ART CENTER SUMMIT 2008, DAY 2: THE POSSIBILITIES OF A WELL-DESIGNED FUTURE

    Two things are uniquely true of the current crop of young adults. For one thing, as Art Center instructor Geoff Wardle pointed out in remarks closing The Art Center Summit 2008: Systems, Cities & Sustainable Mobility, this baby boom generation born of the post-World War II baby boom generation is uniquely passionate about the idea of sustainability and about their desire to live green. The second uniquely true thing about them was perfectly demonstrated by the last panel of the Summit, “21st Century Strategies”: Despite the passion, despite the widely recognized importance of being green and living sustainably, nobody knows exactly what “sustainability” is, what “green” is or how to get there from here.

    Without romanticizing or oversimplifying the past, it is probably pretty accurate to say that the similarly passionate post-War baby boomers had a relatively simpler set of challenges in their youth. Not better, just simpler. The threat of nuclear midnight hung over the mid-20th century like the nightmare that it could have been but it left little choice other than commitment to engagement. From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, it was – as John Kennedy admonished – negotiate from strength but negotiate. All those boomers could do was protest nukes until the leaders finally listened. On the environmental front, the first baby boom generation had to invent the movement, but its fights were usually local and were always about cleaning up the mess.

    The current generation has an entirely different kind of geopolitical challenge and, though Kennedy’s words might very well still be a guiding light, it is rarely entirely clear who to negotiate with. Meanwhile, diplomacy might be unremittingly successful even as a disgruntled fanatic strikes a shard of nuclear nightmare into the brightest dreams.

    As to environmental issues, when these young folks look wise men to ask what the problem is and how to fix it, they might do a lot worse than University of Houston Future Studies Professor Peter Bishop, Designer/optimistic-entrepreneurs-advocate Freeman Thomas and Axel Friedrich, Director of the Environment, Transport and Noise Divison, Umwelt Bundes Amt (the German environmental protection agency). But when these 3 elders were asked in the Summit's closing panel to succinctly summarize their ideas about how to get to a solution on sustainability, Friedrich said more government, Thomas said more entrepreneurial spirit and Bishop said it was an undelineated combination of the two.

    Glad they settled that.

    An easier to understand description of problems and solutions came from Futurist and Author Hazel Henderson. She made her presentation via satellite so she didn’t have to travel to appear. That made her carbon footprint near zero by anybody’s calculation. She didn’t have to talk about how new technology offers solutions because she was living it. She urged her audience to design the future and described how even economic statistics can be shaped to tell the truth. She pointed out to the car design crowd that Gross National Product (GNP) goes up when there is a car accident because it doesn't subtract the harm. She showed her “wedding cake” slide and pointed out that GNP only accounts for half of society’s layer cake while the “Love Economy” goes uncounted.

    The message was simple. Not easy, but simple. Live the future you believe in, even as you seek to understand it better and design it.


    Henderson's layer cake. (click to enlarge)

    The
    Art Center Summit 2008: System's Cities & Sustainable Mobility

    February 6 & 7, 2008 (Art Center College of Design)

    WHO
    “21st Century Strategies” panel: Peter Bishop, Freeman Thomas, Axel Friedrich and Jane Poynter (moderator); Hazel Henderson

    WHAT
    A discussion of “21st Century Strategies” moderated by Biosphere 2 crewmember, author and Paragon Space Development Corporation President Jane Poynter.

    Friedrich created an auto world uproar when he told German automakers these efficiency measures are more important to the next 20 years than the hydrogen fuel cell. (click to enlarge)

    WHEN
    - Bishop began by talking about society is currently shaped by its place at the end of the oil era and the end of the fossil fuels era.
    - Friedrich made the point that throughout the Summit he had heard no satisfactory definition of “sustainable” but it is not hard to see what “unsustainable” is.
    - Thomas talked about what the horse meant to people a hundred years ago, said the car was that symbol of freedom today and suggested the digital communicationwill provide that freedom in the future.

    WHERE
    - Bishop described society as now needing to cross a chasm to the next energy era and said the only question is how deep into the chasm society must go.
    - Friedrich described how to design a “city of short trips” by including regulations requiring regional production and efficient transportation systems.
    - Thomas described seeing a new development being built on the old El Toro Naval Station land and expressed disdain and dismay at the lack of design.

    Henderson showed how economic statistics need fixing. (click to enlarge)

    WHY
    - Bishop insisted government’s role is to do one thing: Internalize the externalities so that citizens can see the true cost of their choices and respond.
    - Friedrich insisted, as he always has, that efficiency measures are the only improvements needed to make cars sustainable. He talked about his super-efficient 2-seat VW that actually got 250 mpg and described the theoretical 4-seater capable of 150 mpg.
    - Thomas said that the problem with government leaders is that they lack vision so change can come only from the marketplace. He asserted that cars aren’t likely to change until gas is $10 per gallon.

    The visual theme of the Summit. One last takeaway: Keynote speaker Paul Hawken recalled Model T inventor Henry Ford's observation about the marketplace - "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have told me they wanted a faster horse."

    QUOTES
    - Friedrich: “Government must lead…Female mayors run cities differently…”
    - Thomas: “When gas is so cheap nobody is valuing what we have.”
    - Bishop: “We’re involved in a very slow moving train wreck.”
    - Geoff Wardle, Art Center instructor/Summit principle: “The word ‘sustainable’ may go out of fashion in a few months or a few years but theissue will not. The issue is here to stay…”

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