Monday, May 25, 2009

13/05/2009 - Low carbon society symposium. Harry Eyres - Recovery or Reappraisal

arry Eyres writer of the column “slow lane” for the Financial Times ( provided a counter balance to the day’s more technological discussion with poetic insight into the benefits to low carbon living. He suggested that given current economic crisis we are at a crossroads, the crisis may be an opportunity for reappraisal of our value system rather than merely a desperate attempt to recover our economy to the way it used to be. In the past decade we in the West had become passive consumers rather than active doers, but perhaps we would lead better lives if we consumed less energy.

Harry quoted Ivan Illich who wrote extensively in response the oil crises of the 1970s, however the energy crisis we now face is more ominous as it is both an energy crisis and a pollution crisis. Illich wrote a book called Tools for conviviality in which he described ways for human to live with rather than at odds with each other and nature. Harry promoted the use of the bike as a tool for conviviality as it slows us down and allows us to appreciate our surroundings much more while also being very energy efficient as it allows us to travel four times as fast as on foot while only using one fifth of the energy expenditure. Low carbon living may be an opportunity to rediscover the local and therefore develop a greater understanding and awareness of the consequence of our actions on the world. Harry concluded by promoting the city scale as the venue for change rather than the national or global scale. In other words think globally but act locally where the effects of actions are tangible and there rewarding.

No comments:

Post a Comment