Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and the electric car company Tesla, among other entrepreneurial ventures, has promised to change the way our homes and energy work around the world. At least that part of the world that could pay for the Powerwall.
Take daylight, for example. While the stereotype of the coveted 'corner office' may be outdated, research finds that workers with access to natural light and views are more productive than their colleagues who are squeezed into dark, dim cubicles.
What's more, to many Americans the presence of such things on the public landscape says something far greater about how they view themselves and the society in which they find themselves privileged to live. I know. I'm one such guy.
Let's assume Washington isn't passing sweeping climate change legislation in the near future. What should or could we do to alter the emissions of greenhouse gases? We can make big impacts by using energy efficient technologies and buying renewable energy.
Over the past decade the LEED rating system has cut annual carbon emissions by 9.4 million tons -- the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road. Such numbers show real progress. But there's one problem: Many of these buildings aren't doing as well as expected.
Hong Kong has surpassed New York City in several ways, including number of high-rises, population density, and modern, highly-efficient mass transit. Yet there is one area in which Hong Kong is lagging far behind -- cutting the energy use and carbon emissions from buildings.
Gardens are far more than a backdrop. They truly are symbols of life's resilience, of hope and possibility, of well-being and connection to something larger, and infinitely more important, than our simple selves.
Three governors and the Premier of British Columbia announced an action plan to make the Pacific Northwest's homes more energy efficient, its vehicles less dependent on oil, and its communities less vulnerable to the threat of global climate change.