18 April 2011

BMW - Ideas and Thoughts

BMW is asking people for ideas for the future on facebook
"Do you have a great idea, a design, a vision for the future or a start-up concept that concerns sustainable mobility? Just go to our “Your ideas” tab and enter the details of your idea, design or concept. We will promote the best three ideas with posts on our wall. We are looking forward to your entries!"
I'm not certain that I have a specific project. But I do have an idea that I feel is critically important... not a new idea, by far, but one I don't hear enough people talking about.

We really, really need to be mindful of the entire ecological effect any given project, product, or process has. Surely we're good enough at analyzing things now that we could determine which is more harmful - paper or plastic? gasoline or electric? coal or nuclear?

I don't drive a hybrid or electric car - not because I don't feel passionately about the environment or sustainability... but because I don't know if it's worse to drive a very fuel-efficient traditional vehicle, consuming petroleum products and leaving behind the residue of my passing... OR if it's worse to drive a hybrid/electric and encourage the ecological damage that the manufacturing production of batteries produces.

So I guess my Best Idea is that we learn the actual impact of our decisions; that we require government and industry to reduce, reuse and recycle (provided that recycling doesn't use more resources than making new - another quandary for another day...), that we find a way to de-politicize the information and the actions taken; and that we reward ecologically responsible behaviors (government, industry and individual) with funding and perks - make it pay to be ecologically responsible.

This will mean that we cannot maintain constant economic growth... that, above any other postmodern economic concept, needs to be publically challenged and understood... we cannot have constant, perpetual growth - it's a fallacy to think that our resources will sustain it. Like every other rhythm on earth - ecomomic growth should ebb and flow.

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