Monday, March 31, 2008

The Eco-Echo Chamber

I have been using goole alerts to follow some of the green topics emerging in the market place. What I see happening is an eco-echo chamber. One important story or report comes out and then everyone passes that information along. The story is repeated over and over again. Sometimes, like today, I feel like I'm just a an echo in this eco-echo chamber and. The Mckinsey Global Institute released a report on Monday that is making it's way through the green eco-echo. It is a big deal but not really that new. I read China Inc. last summer and the author said the same things that are in this report: "giant super cities in China were on the way." The book was several years old when I read it. No one really paid that much attention to it. But now that people are waking up to the potential for resource scarcity and carbon limits, this news has taken on a new dimension.

If you Google “population of China”, here is what you get: 1,321,851,888.
Another report, reporting on the McKinsey report says that China will produce 15 "super cities" with an average population of 25 million by 2030. Stop and imagine living in a city with 25 million people. I live in the Orlando area and according to one state report, this Metro area has a total of 1,645,000 people. Let's round that off to 1.5 million people. The traffic here is horrendous. The quality of life in suburbia American is questionable. We live in a very nice neighborhood, but really don't know our neighbors. Discussing suburb life in America will wait for another post, but can you imagine living with 25 million people in one city? What would that look like? How can you make that sustainable and have any quality of life beyond living like rats in a cage? How would you deal with sanitation issues?

How high would you have to make the buildings; how small the living space; did I mention food to feed that many people? Where will they work? Where will they play? How do you do that?

I'm glad there are people like William McDonough and Ed Mazria out there working on finding a green, sustainable solution to a greener future.
But we also need another Albert Einstein to figure out how to fix the energy needs for cities with 25, 000, 000 people… Wow!

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