"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"Growth Could Happen in a Different Way"

Wired reports: China Builds a Bright Green Metropolis.


inel said...

"… free from legacy designs and technologies tailored to the world of the 19th and 20th centuries. That is a huge advantage."

Too true.

Also, the fact that we need to be "addressing the central problem of this age — resource efficiency — and how it relates to cultural, social, and economic development."

There are parallels between this story and the Google networking video referenced in your previous post; I expect you noticed. The change of aspect from which to view the problem, the "… radical new approach to (fill in as appropriate) design…" and the dramatic scope with special detailed concerns—bird conservation, in this case; the eagerness to ask new questions and solve a unique, complex problem, instead of relying on old questions and solving them the traditional way.

Good example of what can be done, with the will to take on a challenge.

Fergus said...


What impresses is the will of the state to think big and back up its intentions. If only we could see more of that in the developed world.

Other than that, I'd say that the RMI should be very pleased with themselves: it looks like the Lovins' message is coming across big time.

Interesting to compare this project with the mind-bendingly narrow-minded thinking going on behind the plans in the UK to build tens of thousands of new homes in one of the most vulnerable (to sea inundation) areas in the whole country.

Heiko said...

I am conflicted about it, on the one hand, it looks like an exciting project in many respects, eg the biomass CHP side, where it is even possible I may have some involvement at some stage,

on the other hand, there's the British experience with densification:


And, I'd say the land in question is also "in one of the most vulnerable (to sea inundation) areas in the whole country."