Why unnecessary car idling?


When thinking of how to make this world a better place in terms of being more environmentally responsible and diminishing our carbon footprint, I can’t help it but to be annoyed when someone leaves his/her car running when it’s absolutely NOT necessary…

Let me clarify the situation: A person parks in a train station’s parking lot, waiting for a relative to arrive on a train, and leaves the car running. For as long as 15-20 minutes.

There’s no need for it because it is not hot enough to “justify” having the AC on (I quoted justify because you can just turn off the car and go out under a tree if it’s hot, we don’t need SOOOOO much AC all the time in the summer; that’s just my opinion). Also, it’s not cold enough to justify having the heater on (I didn’t quoted justify here because it can get really cold where I live, and you kind of need the heater on a little bit…). And, also, you don’t need the engine on to listen to the radio because you have a battery in the car.

So, why then you leave the engine on when there’s absolutely no need for it? I’ve even seen people having all the windows down in the summer, the engine on and the AC at maximum power… Why?

Think about it: let’s say you don’t give a damn about environment. Ok, fine. But you are wasting fuel unnecessarily. Fuel that YOU have to pay for. Isn’t that against your economy? I mean, wouldn’t you prefer not to throw away all that money over a year? And if you do give a damn about environment, why would you willingly pollute it for no reason, making you and the people around you have to breathe that exhaust air?

You can say: “Well, this is a free country, and if I want to waste all that gas and pay for it, is my right”. Yes, you’re right, I’m not saying the opposite. BUT I think that’s a very poor decision, based solely on the economic fact that you’re throwing away your own money.

You can also argue: “Well, the fuel consumption of the car when I turn on the engine is bigger than just leaving it on all the time”. Hmmm… no, it’s not. That can be true if you leave your car on for a couple minutes, 5 minutes tops. But if you’re waiting for someone for, let’s say, just 10-15 minutes (and I see that EVERY SINGLE DAY when I go pick up my wife at the station), your car is already consuming more fuel, and you are wasting more money…

Again, this is strictly my opinion, but I think it’s pretty reasonable what I’m saying. I’m not saying that you should be cold or hot while you’re waiting to pick up someone. What I’m saying is that there’s more options than just staying in the car and having the AC/heater at maximum capacity…

Hope you like my humble opinion, and thank you for reading my blog!

Have a great day!

What the world should be


I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I’ve been wanting to write but a lot of things are going on right now for me…

Said that, I felt for some time like sharing my thoughts on WHAT THE WORLD SHOULD BE, meaning what is my vision about what we, humans, should do, think, become… in order to properly take care of the world we live in. Gee, that can be long as to become a book in itself! And I’m pretty sure there’s tons of them in libraries and bookstores. But I just wanted to share my particular vision in a relatively short way.

Don’t take what I’m about to say personally, but we humans are kind of like a plague. Yes, like Agent Smith said in The Matrix, we are a virus. What do we do? We establish ourselves in an area where there are natural resources available for us, we reproduce ourselves and reproduce, and reproduce… until all natural resources are exhausted. Then, in order to survive, we transition to another area with natural resources, and so on and so forth.

What is happening now? That we’ve arrived at a point of saturation where basically the Earth is like: “Hey, chill out humans, there’s only so much that I can take from you guys!”. And, evidently, our planet is starting to “re-adjust” itself to an equilibrium, no matter that that involves erasing us from the face of our planet. That’s going to happen, no matter how many human deniers’ arguments you can hear. Trust me, whoever that has ever studied any kind of Earth Sciences course (and I’m talking Primary school, not even College) can tell you the same thing.

That, of course, is my personal belief, my personal way of thinking. I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything here. Everybody can read this (and so many other things) and jump to their own conclusions.

So, WHAT THE WORLD SHOULD BE? What is it like in the ideal world in my mind? That’s the easy part:

  • With the Clean Transportation Act, ALL the transportation industry (which includes cars, trucks, trains, planes, etc.) has become COMPLETELY ELECTRIC. There’s no more dependency on fossil (dirty) fuels anymore, since it is banned by that law. The big companies behind any dirty energy bankrupted long time ago.
  • Thanks to the Clean Residential and Commercial Act, ALL residential and commercial buildings are, BY LAW, completely powered by renewable energies. The main goal since the inception of any project to build a house or offices is clear: ZERO EMISSIONS.
  • Almost everybody is VEGAN now. It has become almost a disgrace to eat food that comes from animals. Everybody understands that animals are equals and, most importantly, that the human body isn’t made to process animal food. Thanks to the Animal Rights and Protection Act, it is PROHIBITED BY LAW to harm any animal. Any type of practice involving any type of harm to animals is considered equal to doing it to a human being, and accordingly punished.
  • The rates of obesity and health problems in general have decreased substantially in just a few generations. The transition to a plant-based lifestyle and philosophy has created way healthier people. As incredible as it may sound, the armed conflicts in the world have nearly disappeared, and many experts find a direct explanation on the type of lifestyle that we now follow.
  • As a result of the Animal Rights and Protection Act, all the fast food, processed food industries (and the unhealthy food in general) are GONE. There are exceptions on any one that has adapted to a fully plant-based, non-animal diet.
  • The “green energy” industry now is the leading industry in the world. Almost 65% of the job opportunities currently available are directly or indirectly related to clean energy. There was a decade of transition in which everybody had to “recycle” themselves professionally in order to adapt to this transition.
  • As a direct result of all these worldwide practices, there is no more distinction between poor and rich. Every country is comparably developed to the rest, since the “return to basics” in all aspects of everybody’s day-to-day lifestyle resulted on a more contempt economy that provided room for former non-developed countries to expand and super-developed countries to decrease its pace, arriving to an equilibrium globally. This resulted in a “mutually beneficial bargain” between the former “rich vs poor” scheme.

So this is, more or less, the utopia that is in my mind when I think of what I would like the world to be. I feel bad for everything the human race has done to the planet and to the other species that we share the Earth with. We are equals. We don’t deserve more this planet than them. We are all animals, in the sense that we are all different species sharing a place to live.

We, human beings, have a huge responsibility toward our “home” and our “neighbors”. Denying that is denying life, freedom, happiness, love… You can argue whatever you want and as much as you want about anything else, but not about that. That should be crystal clear to everybody. If it’s not, the Earth is gonna wipe us up from this planet, no matter how “powerful”, “holy” or “big” we think we are… We are nothing… and yet we are everything, we have the key to make this right!

Are you gonna make it right?

Think about it.

Ideas on Solar Energy


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I’m a very huge fan of Solar energy, as well as other renewable energies such as Wind power, Hydropower, Biomass and Geothermal energy. I truly believe that they are the energy of the future, and I’m convinced that any government would make the right move by betting on renewables!

As a future green architect, my vision goes to the residential homes. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could all depend only on renewables to supply the energy that we need for our homes? For me it is beyond doubt that this is it! For many reasons:

  • We have clean, sustainable sources of energy (no green house gases).
  • With a slight investment in the short term, we get great benefits in the middle and long term (infinite free energy).
  • Decentralization of power, reducing the costs of dirty energy transportation.
  • We can produce energy off the grid, which is very interesting in the case of communities in isolated locations.
  • The solar energy avoids politics and the increasingly volatility of fossil fuel markets.
  • The solar industry creates jobs! Just in Europe, where the adoption of solar energy is becoming wider, it has created 100,000 jobs so far. And it comes in many forms, from manufacturing, installing, monitoring and maintaining solar panels, to research and design, development, cultural integration and policy jobs.
  • Solar energy doesn’t result in the destruction of forests and ecosystems, as it occurs with most fossil fuel operations, because it doesn’t rely on constantly mining raw materials.
  • The best is yet to come: Solar technology is currently improving on a daily basis. Across the world, and particularly in Europe, savvy clean technology researchers are making enormous developments in solar technology. What was expensive, bulky, and inefficient yesterday, is becoming cheaper, more accessible, and vastly more efficient each week.

So, for me, the choice is clear: Renewables are the future!

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I recently followed NRGsolar on Twitter (@NRGsolar), and I discovered a company compromised with solar energy and, what I find more important, with taking care of our planet and leaving a sustainable heritage to the future generations!

More on solar and renewable energies:

Solar Energy International

Solar Energy – Your Infinite Resource

Solar Energy on Wikipedia

Renewable Energy World

US Environmental Protection Agency

Frank Lloyd Wright


Frank Lloyd Wright

I considered kind of an obligation to start my blog talking about a great architect such as Frank Lloyd Wright. The American Institute of Architects recognized him in 1991 as “the greatest American architect of all time”. Some even consider him to be the greatest architect of all. But, he never went to a formal architecture school…

Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called “organic architecture”. This philosophy is best exemplified by his design of the Fallingwater Residence in Mill Run, Pennsylvania (1935):

Fallingwater Residence in Mill Run (Pennsylvania)

His humble American upbringing led him to learning under Louis Sullivan, another legend in architecture and to this day Wright is noted for his prairie-style buildings and organic influences. His organic and natural forms that seemed to become one with nature and his innovative detailing are still considered to be the best building and design concepts, even after nearly 150 years. Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the “Usonian home”, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. He also authored 20 books and many articles, and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin East Studio near Spring Green, Wisconsin (1911):

Taliesin East

He designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532 works. His most notable projects include the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (1959):

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium (1964):

Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium

Taliesin West Studio in Scottsdale, Arizona (1937):

Taliesin West

 

More on Frank Lloyd Wright:

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust

Frank Lloyd Wright on Wikipedia