This week’s testament to sheer niftyness comes from the Northwest where a Seattle-based company recycles old shipping containers to create homes and business space. Dubbed “Cargotecture” these buildings are slowly generating appeal across the nation and overseas; besides residential homes and restaurants, Cargotecture designs have been used for student housing in Amsterdam and a pop-up art studio at New York’s Whitney Museum. HyBrid Architecture has used shipping containers to build cargotecture one-room cabins and multistory office parks. They’re cheap to buy, renovate, reinforce, and to weld together.
Another stumbling block regarding coal and nuclear power is our declining global water supply. Warmer water and reduced river flows resulting from climate change and hotter temperatures will cause more power disruptions for nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the United States and Europe in the future. Water is needed for thermocooling, without which power plants will overheat. Thermoelectric power plants supply more than 90 percent of electricity in the United States and account for 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater usage. As electricity increases in demand, so will the demand for water for cooling — another motivation for investments in renewable energy sources.
National security agencies have been concerned about oil dependence for decades, but over the last few years noticeable progressive measures have been taken by the military to reduce consumption and increase greener energy usage. Military leaders have been working to reduce oil dependence through solar power and biofuels. Besides acknowledging climate change, they’re doing this for the most pragmatic reason: Strategy. Fewer fuel convoys on the road means fewer casualties. Less dependence on foreign oil means less debt and global conflict. Getting our fuels and energy from multiple sources, instead of being reliant on one source, is a smarter, more effective decision. This represents an opportunity for the U.S. military to lead by example.
Category Complete Issue | Tags: