Blog 3- Burks

The main thing I learned from the Michael Pawlyn TED talk was that we need to make some changes to better our world. We need to learn to do things and make things the way nature does. Doing that we can save an exponential amount of energy. When we commit to learning and looking at things from a different perspective such as using nature as a design tool, we can do so much for our ecosystem and future to move away from global warming. He also talked about the main three big changes that need to occur because they are very critical to avoiding global warming, 1) Radical increases in resource efficiency (examples from biology to generate building form, studying carbon molecules devised most efficient energy). In class we also talked about utilizing only renewable energy (solar and wind) building structure into earth helps regulate temps, which could be an example of increasing resource efficiency. 2) Linear to closed loop (find alternative to glass) (waste from one organism because the nutrients to another) created more value in the process of creating a circular function rather than linear. Waste is a huge opportunity. A cycle of food, energy, waste, and growth in one building transforming a space dominated by traffic reconnects people with food. This is also relates to what Jane Beynus talked about it “Closing the Loop”, using waste as a resource. When we create loops we are allowing the environment to take nutrients from every possible place. By doing this industrial ecologists are trying to stray away from linear means of production. I think that it is really interesting and ingenious concept, I just do not know how as a student and someone who is not super knowledgeable on how to create a loop system that would benefit my daily habits. I think that it is smart and if more businesses, companies, or industries moved from linear to loop then it could do a lot of good for global warming and the economy. 3) Fossil fuel to economy solar energy. Can we reverse desertification? Going beyond sustainable design but doing restorative design. Find ways to bring technology together in symbiotic structures. 10,000 times more energy from the sun than we use. “What can I add to the system to create more value?” Even Beynus said that gathering and using energy efficiently would diversify the connections of the ecosystem. She used examples of leaves and the ability they have to absorb and radiant energy from nuclear fusion from the sun. This connects because she is saying that if we look to the plants, we can learn how to use this external form of energy (the sunlight, wind, tidal and biodiesel) as means of energy to maximize diversity.

Michael talked about setting peoples souls ablaze, making group progress into what could be the most exciting phase. I definitely agree with Michael in regards to sparking a fire or passion inside people to make them ask the questions about what they are givng or taking to the “system” to make people take responsibility in a way for their actions. Beynus gave two examples about not drawing down resources that I believe could help set peoples souls ablaze in rethinking energy usage. The first was “Don’t use nonrenewable resources faster than you can develop substitutes” and the second was “Don’t use renewable resources faster than they regenerate themselves.” Both of these sound so simple, yet as a world we are breaking both of those rules constantly. I believe if more people heard this and really thought about it that some self reflection and responsibility would be taken, bettering the way people consume or are willing to consume energy.

Another way in this class that we can take responsibility for our actions and “set peoples souls ablaze, similar to the way Michael talked about is to actually raise awareness and knowledge that yes, these things are happening to our ecosystem, but there are ways to use energy more efficiently. I think learning about this in class and having everyone get up and present a section from Beynus’s article was us taking that responsibility. Then including the self-reflection from talking about it, as a learning community was all steps in the right direction as energy consumers. Also the carbon footprint calculator is a great way for us to understand the effects we have on the environment. I feel like I learned some ways that I can individually currently do better at saving resources and using them in a smarter way, like doing larger loads of laundry less amount of times to save water. Making us more knowledgeable and aware of our surroundings and the possibilities of energy use. This connects to the life principle of being resource (material and energy) efficient. Using multi-functional design to meet multiple needs with only one solution. I think that is meeting the needs that the ecosystem is showing us we have (global warming) with ideas from Michael and Jane Beynus to change the way we think and to use more resourceful systems like the closed loop. I like this principle because it is easy and an obvious change that more people or companies should take because it can produce a lot of good for our world, which makes me excited. I think it is awesome that in a few years when I am in a career that I could possibly be one of the people who can help make a change for the world in that way.

-Lauren Burks

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