Whiterock Operations Building

The White Rock Operations Building, completed in spring 2003, was designed as a green building, through the fundamentals of an integrated design approach. The City, as a Client, was fundamental in setting the direction and objective of a “deep green” development. The new facility, used primarily as a base for public works and engineering staff, was actually the redevelopment of a site of an old sewage treatment facility. Using LEEDTM as a guide to sustainable building design, the design team was able to improve air quality; enhance liveability; use renewable energy along with conserving it; implement water and storm water strategies that meet best management practices; and reduce solid waste.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: Whiterock Operations Buildingin detail XlnkS60C XlnkC1786

Vancouver Island Technology Park

Deemed a showplace for environmentally sensitive development and sustainable green buildings, the Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) offers universities, technology and research companies an ideal place to bridge initiatives. VITP focused on the renovation of an existing 165,000 square foot hospital building. The BC Buildings Corporation is using VITP as a case study for their work in developing the LEED certification for broader use in British Columbia. Educational materials and tours have been developed to educate the community about VITP’s specific green attributes.
from: Keen Engineeringdocument: Vancouver Island Technology Parkin detail XlnkS60B XlnkC17A6

The Selfish Gene

This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction. It is designed to appeal to the imagination. But it is not science fiction: it is science. Cliché or not, ‘stranger than fiction’ expresses often how the truth is felt. We are survival machines-robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. As Richard Dawkins writes in his introduction: this is a truth, which still fills him with astonishment. Dawkins explains the arduous theory of evolution with great simplicity and expresses his ideas in a way that non-scientists can understand. In this book he also introduce the notion of meme, a self-replicating ‘cultural gene’, which leads to he concept of (human) cultural evolution versus natural evolution and the hope that humanity is more than just a mechanism for replicating DNA molecules.
from: Richard Dawkinsin detail XlnkS60A XlnkC18CE

Solar Manifesto

In the decade since the ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, the response of the world’s governments and authorities to the threats to the global environment has been to enforce the reduction of energy consumption and harmful emissions – solulions primarily based around conventional energy resources and conventional thinking. The question is, though, whether this strategy is radical enough to address the key challenges now facing the environment, and whether it can be effective in avoiding catastrophe on a global scale. For Herman Scheer, the answer is a definite no. In this fully updated edition of A Solar Manifesto, he once more attacks the lack of political will to find answers outside a conventional frame of reference. Climate change, pollution, deforestation, destruction of the ozone layer, poverty and the population explosion are all problems created or exacerbated by the use of conventional energy. Seven years after the first edition of this book, answers are now more urgently required than ever, as current policies serve merely to alleviate the escalating symptoms rather than attempting a cure for what could become a terminal affliction. Herman Scheer shows that this crisis may yet be reversed – but it can only be made to happen through a fundamental change in political and economic strategies, paving the way towards a global solar energy economy sustained by new social principles. A Solar Manifesto champions the replacement of fossil and nuclear fuels with solar energy, as a real solution to the threat to the environment and associated social consequences. Scheer constructs a radical yet innovative political and economic model and argues the case with passion and conviction for the global solar economy as the route to a sustainable environment. Thought-provoking and profoundly challenging, this book will be an inspiration to anyone concerned with energy and the global environment.
from: Hermann Scheerin detail XlnkS609 XlnkC18CD

Plan B

Modern civilization is in trouble. We have created a bubble economy, one whose output is artificially inflated by overconsuming the earth’s natural capital. Nowhere is the bubble economy more evident than in the food sector where the world grain harvest has been inflated by overpumping aquifers, a practice that virtually guarantees a future drop in production when aquifers are depleted. The wakeup call may come soon. In China, where water shortages are already shrinking the food supply, the grain harvest has fallen from 392 million tons in 1999 to 340 million tons in 2003. Within the next year or two as its grain reserves are depleted, China’s 1.3 billion consumers will begin competing with U.S. consumers for U.S. grain. Given China’s trade surplus with the United States of over $80 billion and strong buying power, this has the potential to drive up food prices worldwide. The resulting political instability in food-importing countries may convince us that business as usual-Plan A-is no longer a viable option. The alternative is Plan B-a worldwide mobilization to stabilize population and climate before these issues spiral out of control. The goal is to stabilize population close to the United Nations’ low projection of 7.4 billion, to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2015, and to raise water productivity by half. Lester Brown puts forth a workable blueprint that can be enacted now. Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble is a way of sustaining economic progress worldwide, an alternative to continuing environmental deterioration and eventual economic decline.
from: Lester Brownin detail XlnkS608 XlnkC18CC

Stupid White Men

Michael Moore’s critic of today’s USA is refreshing and very entertaining. Remember when everything was looking up? Then the government was running at a surplus, pollution was disappearing, peace was breaking out in the Middle East and Northern Ireland, and the Bridge to the Twenty-first Century was strung with highspeed Internet Cable. Well, so much for the future. Michael Moore the award-winning provocateur size up the new century and that big ugly special-interest group thats laying the waste to the world as we know it: Stupid White Men. In his book, Michael Moore will use well-documented facts and data to explain why: – The election of the current US president was in fact a coup. – You should never take a plane in the US – It is still bad to be black – US is an uneducated (and therefore idiot) nation – Everyone is the greatest threat to the environment – The end of men is near – America is one big happy prison
from: Michael Moorein detail XlnkS607 XlnkC18CB

Biomimicry

Biomimicry is a revolutionary new science that analyzes nature’s best ideas-spider silk and prairie grass, seashells and brain cells-and adapts them for human use. Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus takes us into the lab and out in the field with the maverick researchers who are applying nature’s ingenious solutions to the problem of human survival: stirring vats of proteins to unleash their signaling power in computers; analyzing how spiders manufacture a waterproof fiber five times stronger than steel; studying how electrons in a leaf cell convert sunlight to fuel in trillionths of a second; discovering miracle drugs by observing what anima1s eat-and much more. The products of biomimicry are things we can all use-medicines, “smart” computers, super-strong materials, profitable and earth-friendly business. Biomimicry eloquently shows that the answers are all around us.
weblink: Biomimicry Web Sitefrom: Janine Benyusin detail XlnkS606 XlnkC18CA

Recommended Reading by Sustainability Now.

Sustainability requires lateral thinking and the acquisition of a vast array of new knowledge. Suggested reading include topics such as art, biology, cosmology, ecology, energy, ethnology, geology, history, philosophy, politics, physics, sociology, etc,. Follow the READ! stream below to discover books that will change your life!
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Sustainability 2003 Award went to the GVRD

APEGBC has awarded Sustainability 2003 Award to four projects of the Greater Vancouver Regional District that are part of the Sustainable Region Initiative. The projects are: The Little Mountain Reservoir Reconstruction Project, The Cloverdale Sanitary Sewer Overflow Facility, The SEE-Gen Burnaby Incinerator, and The Integrated Utility Corridor. See the links below to the E-Cairn Series for a description of all the nominations for the 2003 Sustanability Award.
document: Sustainability Now Vol 3 No 1: Awardsin detail XlnkS604

Aside

The seven social sins are politics without principles, wealth without work, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, education without character, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.– Mohandas Gandhi