Considering that the whole office has very much been in production mode rather than concept design mode this week, we have had a general discussion about topics and news rather than a checklist for design.
In the news: DaeWha noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the Church of England) made a statement about investors in funds management needing to do more about committing to climate change action. As we have worked for the church in our St Andrew Holborn project, we are tuned into what they say.
We had a lively discussion about religious leaders making statements about climate change, and whether this was a good or bad thing, or whether we felt cynical about these kind of statements or optimistic.
Checking the web, we found a statement from the Dalai Lama is well. DaeWha noted that individual action is important for change, but that ultimately we need large groups of people to make sustained effort, and this means people like the leaders of governments and of major religions can make a difference.
In The Uninhabitable Earth, DaeWha read that the issue of climate change will ultimately become one of ethics, morals, and compassion. This is because the decisions that we make to make the small or big sacrifices needed to avert the problem will ultimately impact on the suffering of many millions of people. Already, we can see this in Hurricane Dorian, that devastated the Bahamas this week.
We talked about governments not doing enough. For instance, governments are not forcing companies to abandon plastic. If governments do this it would be much faster. We do have some responsibility to tackle that and respond to it. Weronika told us that from the 7th of October for two weeks there will be an extinction rebellion in London.
There will also be a 20th September climate strike (Greta Thunberg).
Concrete: Korea: could we build our structure properly? Set a good example for other buildings by using less concrete?
Weronika said: First to educate the people, because they don’t necessarily know what the future is bringing. When you see more people on the street, events, it can raise interest.
Lawrence said: Politicians care about what makes them popular in the short term. They are not likely to introduce things that inconvenience people in the short term.
A side note: People in smaller cities are comfortable in their bigger houses and their many cars.
Pension: we also talked about whether the team would be happy to invest in an ethical or climate-change oriented pension, even if this meant that they ended up with less return on their investments. One interesting note was that the team was generally quite cynical or skeptical about pensions in general. It seems to show a certain distrust in government schemes. Lawrence pointed out that an ethical pension might also be a better performing one in the long term.
Finally, we raised difficult questions about air travel and the kind of sacrifices that we would all be willing to make for the sake of tackling climate change.
This was an interesting link: A single return journey from London to New York uses the entire allowance of CO2 that we should be emitting for a year, if we want to halt climate change.