“environmentally friendly” architecture apparently NOT “for the birds”

People (or sometimes “students”) often ask me about what I think the best ways to “save the planet” might be.  I respond to their (misguided) inquiries with this shocking (Z0MG!!!!1!) double-whammy of a question:

What makes you think that our planet NEEDS saving? And what makes you think WE could do anything about it if it did?

This often draws disgust, ire, and/or confusion (again, students).  Please allow me to briefly elaborate:

a.  Our recorded knowledge of global climate extends back only the last hundred or so years, and the methods used in recording data are varied and often inaccurate.  (Read State of Fear by Michael Crichton for more info.)

b.  Mankind is a natural part of the biosphere, and has been for the entire existence of our species.

c.  The idea that we, who are such a small, utterly insignificant, speck on our planet (in terms of total mass, time of total existence, etc.) could through our actions “destroy the earth” is the absolute height of human arrogance, and simply illustrates how little we really understand about our universe.

Take THIS STORY, for example (click).

For all our good intentions, we are still just poking about in the dark with a stick when it comes to “eco-friendliness.”  The overwhelming fact that politics and media distortion take a front seat in the debate only slows the march of science and true understanding.

So before you beat yourself black, blue and GREEN, stop and think about what you actually know and don’t know.  Do it for the birds.


7 Responses to ““environmentally friendly” architecture apparently NOT “for the birds””

  1. 1 opit
    November 24, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Man has been anywhere near this numerous and playing with high-energy applications for how long ?
    Historical perspective is all well and good : comparing apples and oranges is not.

  2. 2 johnseeking
    November 26, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for the comment, olde phartte. 🙂

    The point I’m trying to make, borrowing from your illustration, is that we shouldn’t be making movies, carrying placards, and running around screaming “Save the Apple!” when we barely know about much more than the peel, and a few guesses about the effects of some microbes on its surface.

  3. 3 opit
    November 27, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    I posted one article about the head of the Smithsonian quitting last year. The government had trashed the scientific accuracy of representations of a display regarding the seriousness of warming.
    Before you worry too much about appreciating true severity you might wander around comparing shots of the polar ice cap the past few years. There’s much more than that around : hit the BBC and wander around a bit for a bit of ‘culture shock’.

  4. 4 johnseeking
    November 28, 2007 at 5:59 am

    I’m not (a) saying that the polar cap is NOT melting or that (b) we shouldn’t make an effort to reduce industrial emissions. I’m just saying that until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that mankind’s activities are causing global warming, that it’s not part of a natural process/cycle that has spanned geologic time, I’m not going to live in panic mode, and have that kind of hysteria dictate my every personal and political choice. I’m choosing to NOT be an eco-lemming.

  5. 5 opit
    November 28, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve heard sympathies for that point of view from places I wouldn’t have expected it – and have respected in the past. Certainly I’m old enough to recall any number of ‘doom and gloom’ scenarios that didn’t pan out. A person cannot live in hysterics and expect any kind of ‘quality of life’. The European report, however, was held up because of exactly that objection – and released anyway because it was believed to have satisfied them.
    Oddly, the U.S. has been engaged in ‘weird science’ -denial – the past several years. Tammy over at Blue Girl Red State http://bluegirlredmissouri.blogspot.com/ was scathing. When a research scientist/college instructor gets on a rant caustic commentary ensues. If you want dates – you’ll have to dig them up. I’ve not on a conversion mission.

  6. 6 johnseeking
    November 28, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    It’s news to me that the “denial” has been slanted away from eco-alarmism… in the circles in which I run, all reports are to the contrary.

    Glad to see you aren’t out to convert me, by the way.

    EDIT: Ouch. Checked out Blue Girl’s blog. My head almost exploded. I’ve seen less painful MySpace profiles.

    — johnseeking, self-proclaimed wingnut

  7. 7 opit
    November 28, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    HeHe. Chill. Red has a heart of gold – but is a ‘somewhat intemperate’ granny.

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The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
November 2007
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