Carbon Footprint. Sustainable. Life-cycle Analysis. Zero impact. Eco-friendly. Green. Greenwashed. The terminology is as diverse as the people involved in what we’ve come to call “the environmental movement”. The origins of the movement are equally diverse. In his book, Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken goes so far as to suggest the growth in environmentalism might be a biological reaction of the planet’s dominant inhabitants. Deep down, our instincts are telling us we must protect our habitat in order to survive. It’s no longer “Save the Whales” now it’s “Save Us!”
Theories. Musings. This is fun stuff to think about, and is partially what this blog is: Exploring where this movement came from and where it might be going. Many people have widely varying opinions about this, but the fact is that the future is a clean slate. To take Donald Rumsfeld’s words out of context “as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
There are technologies that have been in development for decades and are widely written about like photovoltaics and electric cars. But for as often as these are written about, there are hundreds quirky solutions that very well may become leading technologies. For example, Richard Wool at the University of Delaware is exploring how to make circuit boards out of chicken feathers. Or how about the National Environmental Research Council, who are studying ways that oysters and mussels (because they naturally filter water) can be used to combat water pollution.
If you choose to participate in this blog (and we really hope you do) send us the weird, fun environmental “hey-I-heard-abouts” that make for interesting reading and writing.
Mostly, however, this blog is about people. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of people in this city who consider themselves environmentalist. Heck, there are probably dozens of environmentalists in Chicago who never call themselves “green”. They’re simply trying to do the efficient, respectful, and smart thing. From the gloom-and-doom professor to the vegan cyclist, from the local insulation man to the master composter, from those mining the alleys for treasure to those handling Chicago’s municipal waste; This blog is to explore the subject of “Green” from all angles.
In 1971, Greenpeace rented 12 billboards and posted this: “Ecology: Look it up! You’re involved”. Thank you for being involved, and thanks for participating in our new blog!
Check out these links referenced in this posting:
Paul Hawken’s Book - http://www.blessedunrest.com/
Donald Rumsfeld - http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/quotethis/a/rumsfeldquotes.htm
Chicken Feather Circuit Board - http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1247399
National Environmental Research Council - http://www.nerc.ac.uk/
Greenpeace - http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/