Energy, Water and Food: Three legs of Civilizations' Stool

I just finished reading an interview which first appeared in the 4/23/12 issue of Forbes magazine that Rich Karlgaard, a Forbes staff member had with Shell Oil's Peter Voser. Mr. Voser is the new CEO of the UK owned oil giant headquartered in the Netherlands. He is the first CEO not of UK or Dutch citizenship and the first non-technical CEO for the company, he's an economist of all things. While you might not think of Shell as an environmental friendly company, one thing remains true, our world runs on petrochemicals and will for quite a long time. Mr. Vosser points out that until only very recently biofuels reached the 1% of consumption/production point and solar is very close behind biofuels. And that's after decades of pushing both of these alternative energy sources. So the chances of displacing oil in 10 years as a dominate player is pretty slim and likely none. Why is this important? Why do we preach diversity in energy production and high efficiency for buildings? 


The Tiny Spec of Water that Supports All of us.

"Its a Water-Full World": Scientific American, 5/26/2012. This recent article is based on research done by the US Geological Service comparing the distribution of water on our tiny blue globe we call home. Of the entire world's water which is approximately 1.38 Billion cubic kilometers 1,385 kilometer diameter drop. Only a tiny spec of water is actually usable fresh water we can use. That 56.2 kilometer diameter drop sustains the entire population on our earth. That's a very tiny percentage of the total amount of free water available on our globe. Somehow we manage to survive on that paltry amount.


Design Age - Part 4

After this installment I'm likely going to take a rest on the issues of complex design. If this is the first time you found the string, please go back and read the Introduction in Part 1 and the following installments in Part 2 and Part 3. They will give you the background needed to really understand the full impact of this most recent Part 4.
The Dilemma of the Crowd

For most problem solvers there is a paradigm we have been following for as long as we can remember. It's the trail of the lone discoverer. The 'me against nature, the world and all the other idiots who couldn't be bothered to figure this issue out' complex. But there is this strange phenomenon happening more and more often. The longer I spend time on this problem, the more and more angles and alleys it reveals. What I thought was going to be a simple solution to a problem I thought was clear, the more cloudy and tantelizingly obscure the issue becomes. I begin to talk to some close friends and colleagues about parts of the problem, not wanting to reveal everything at once, to get their take on the issue. Over time I reveal more and more of my discoveries and pretty soon, without my really understanding what is happening, I find they are talking about the same issue with their friends and I find out about this by accident. Now the idea is presented to me in a way I hadn't even considered and by asking a few question, I find out it's like the party game 'telephone.'
What I hear from this other person is only vaguely like my original idea, but it has some interestingly new twist of understanding I hadn't considered.


5M lbs of paper reduced by Shake and Fold

Joe Smith, Oregon activists shows us how to prevent over 5M lbs of paper per year going into land fills. Shake ----- Fold....


BIM and XPM: A Made Marriage - Part 4

So far in the previous parts One, Two and Three of this series I've introduced you to an alternative work management method using eXtreme Project Management theory (XPM). XPM is a variant of the Agile light-weight management movement. The roots of this management theory caught hold in the software world and has moved into other business domains. If you want to change your management to fit more closely with collaborative efforts and use BIM in your practice, then you need to give XPM a very close look. It has a lot of advantages to offer and gives a lot more control to the people actually doing the