Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Everything as Watts

What is green?  What do we do about this whole climate change thing?  Where do you start? My friend Mike Lin and I were chatting about energy conservation and he recommended I check out this video.  Wow.

We are inundated with marketing aimed at making us feel better about consumption, by recommending a slightly different flavor of consumption.  How do you tell what will help and what is pony sugar?

MacArthur Genius Grant winner, Dr. Saul Griffith, lays it out in watts.  How much power is embodied in everything you consume or otherwise fund?  A lot has been said about embodied energy--but what about durability?  What about time?  Power is energy over time, so the embodied power in an object is the embodied energy over the useful life.  Saul suggests that we should all be issued a Rolex and a Mont Blanc pen at birth and told that those are our timekeeping and writing instruments.  And don't loose them!  I'm serious.

Durability is the greenest quality a product can have.  How can we make durable things desirable over the long term it takes to pay for them, energy wise?  

Oh, sorry for the clipped video above.  To see it in all of its wide screen glory, go here.

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