Paul calls up Alan Booker to continue their read-through of Permaculture a Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison, AKA the Big Black Book, section 2.4. Or they were supposed to, before they got distracted and wind up talking about Biophilic Design for the entirety of this podcast, and the next, before finally getting around to it in part 3.
Their first distraction stems from Alan’s webinar on Carbon Negative Mass Heaters, a work in progress framework inspired by Edward O. Wilson's Biophilia and Stephen R. Kellert’s Biophilic Design. Biophilic design can be described as incorporating natural environments into modern buildings, with the example of classrooms and hospitals that even just have a good view of nature boasting improved learning retention for the former, and reduced pain and shorter recovery times for patients in the latter. Modern building design tends towards homeostasis, which tends to deprive people of a bunch of minor hormesis responses that lead to a slow decline in health.
Back when Paul had a more “normal” 9-5 job at the Northwest Power Planning Council, a recurring office joke was conservation of power. It didn’t matter how much effort they put into trying to get people to save energy, and they put a lot into it, no-one would ever do it. To top everything off, if you make a somewhat undesirable source of energy more efficient, you’ll paradoxically increase its use over time as the fuel source is now far more cost-effective in what is known as “Jevons paradox”. Alan sums it up as “our costs went down, so therefor we can now afford to use more”. So in order to actually reduce energy consumption, a change in mindset will be needed from “it’s cheaper now, so more for me” and into one more akin to building a relationship with your home.
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