A frightening creature compounded of incongruous elements. Frankenstein was a monster. A large hideous animal or thing  a monster house. Monstrous Hybrids, according to Jane Jacobs, occur when private and public interest get mixed like in the mafia system Frankenstein products or monstrous hybrid material occur when material get mixed in a way that their future recycling is made extremely difficult if not impossible.
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Soft Energy Path

The Soft Path Approach is an energy model that put the accent on value rather than product. The concept was first created during the 70s OPEC-orchestrated energy crisis. It is still giving us a useful tool for understanding how energy affects society. Soft energy path is not about technologies but about values and a set of choices that take explicitly take into account key environmental, economic and social considerations. The soft path concept proposes an opposing, alternative view to the traditional energy policy that is relying on centralized, large-scale, capital-intensive technologies to meet rapidly rising demand. The key points behind a soft path approach are:

  • Minimizing energy demand is far the most effective strategy for sustainability
  • Renewable energy sources address sustainability and security over the long term
  • Scale and diversity criteria are concerned with societys social and economic adaptability and resilience

Amory Lovins cites five characteristics of soft technologies:

  • They rely on renewable energy flows that are always there whether we use them or not, such as sun and wind and vegetation: on energy income, not on depletable energy capital.
  • They are diverse, so that as a national treasury runs on many small tax contributions, so national energy supply is an aggregate of very many individually modest contributions, each designed for maximum effectiveness in particular circumstances. .
  • They are flexible and relatively low technology – which does not mean unsophisticated, but rather, easy to understand and use without esoteric skills
  • They are matched in scale and in geographic distribution to end use needs, taking advantage of the free distribution of most natural energy flows.
  • They are matched in energy quality to end use needs.

from: Rocky Mountain Institutein detailsee also: Energy XlnkS63C XlnkC17E1


Improving a product, a service, a system with respect to their environmental impact. If efficiency is measuring by the amount of material, energy, labour or money required to produce something, eco-efficiency is the amount of environmental impact required to produce that thing. In both cases, the objective is to maximize the formula OUTPUT/INPUT i.e [products]/$$ or [products]/[GHG emission]. The limit of the concept of eco-efficiency is that it will still produce waste, toxics, air pollution or depletion although in smaller quantities. Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart want us to consider instead the concept of eco-effectiveness (see this term)
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A different approach from eco-efficiency – doing more with less environmental impact – eco-effectiveness is doing it right, being effective with respect to a rich mix of considerations and desires. It means producing the right thing, the right service, the right product, the right system – rather than making the wrong thing less bad. Eco-effectiveness is doing the right thing ather than doing things right. A cherry tree, which produces hundreds of blossoms and fruits for birds and humans so that eventually on pit will fall on the ground and produce another cherry tree won’t be efficient by modern standards. But the cherry tree does not deplete its environment, provides food for its surrounding eco-system and has survived for millions of years. Eco-effectiveness does not mean less. Who wants a cherry tree with less fruits or less flowers. Eco-effectiveness does not mean less waste – there is no waste in nature. Contrary to industrial or development growth, eco-effectiveness does not mean less growth, because nature grows the right things and grows them productively engaged with the rest of the eco-system.
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Footprint (ecological)

The ‘ecological footprint’ of a specified population is the area of land and water ecosystems required to produce the resources that the population consumes, and to assimilate the wastes that the population produces, wherever on Earth the relevant land/water may be located. Term coined by William Rees of University of British Columbia (Canada).
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The decreasing carbon to hydrogen ratio in fuel. From prehistoric ages, about 750,000 years ago, until the beginning of the 19th century, wood was the main source of energy. Since society has moved from wood, to coal, to oil to natural gas, to – soon- pure hydrogen. Wood has 10 atoms carbons for 1 atom of hydrogen. Coal, 1~2 Carbon for 1 hydrogen Oil, 1 carbon for 2 hydrogen Natural Gas, 1 carbon for 4 hydrogen. Burning Carbon produces CO2 a Green House Gas. Burning Hydrogen produces water. Together with energy conservation, Decarbonization of our economy is a sustainable solution to Climate Change.
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A metaphorical firm, imagined by Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller. A growing megacorporation flooding the world with needless knick-knacks. Working life’s hours away at that sort of enterprise soon reduce people to robots – a heavy price to pay for security. This creates a fortress-building, conservative mind, adverse to change. Investment, equity and fear of ageing take precedence on imagination and creativity. For Bucky, there is another path for security: being too fast and agile to hit. This strategy requires taking chances and thinking for yourself.
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Literally, “That exists nowhere, a no-place (u-topos). An ideal? Maybe, but programmed, organized, planned. In the worst case, an imposed ideal. It is not a new concept, Platon, Thomas More or Fourier have all invented and described Utopias. It may describe both an ideal society that will exist some day or an imaginary society that will never exist. In the first case, it is an objective to reach, in the later, a situation to avoid. In all cases, utopias are always dangerous ideas as they presuppose brainwashing, constraints, and may favor totalitarism.
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The capacity to produce a work. For ancient Greeks such as Aristotle, it was a force either in potency (dymanis) or in act (energeia). This idea was formalized in the 19th century by defining the unit of energy the Joule representing a force of one Newton multiplied by one metre. The energy of an object may have multiple forms: potential (its weight multiplied by its height), kinetic (its mass by the square of its velocity), calorific (its temperature), elastic (energy stored in its molecular structure), chemical ((nuclear(Einstein’s E=mc2) etc,… Energy cannot be created (first law of thermodynamic) only changed from one state to another and in the process it gets degraded (second law of thermodynamic). Not all energies are the same, you can produce heat with electricity but cannot run a computer on heat. Gravity produces the highest quality of energy and heat the lowest. When everything will be at the same gravity level and the same temperature, no work can be done anymore. Renewable energies are not creating energy only transforming solar energy into some more useful energy: mechanical, electricity, hot water, or simply food. Today’s source of energy is principally from fossil fuels, often by simply transforming into heat (by burning) the chemical energy accumulated plants and animals over millions of years. This process creates over the long-term three major issues: · It cannot be sustained forever – fossil fuels are getting exhausted. · It is a significant source of air pollution, not only by putting back into the ecosystem CO2 that was captured by these organisms but also by releasing toxic material such as sulphur or mercury. · Two-third of fossil fuel reserves are in developing countries, which are consuming only one third leading to social unrest and geopolitical conflicts. Same as water, energy – the lack of it or its unequal distribution, is a major challenge for the 21st century.
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Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is the only sustainable energy source. Not relying on depletable fossil fuel, producing no air pollution, and capable to be located near the consumer, renewable energy presents great promises but also enormous challenges. The main renewable energies are all derived from solar energy:

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Micro-Hydro
  • Rapidly renewable biomass

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