Indigo Development
--- divider ---
--- divider ---

News of the application of Industrial Ecology and Indigo's projects

Industrial Ecology and the Economic Crisis
“High performance” means achieving highest possible efficiency in energy,
materials, & water use and lowest possible pollution, including
cuts in greenhouse gases causing climate change.  High performance also
includes effective use of resources in terms of product design,
use, waste reduction, and ultimate recovery of resources. 
Thus high
performance contributes to profitable business performance,
cost-conscious government operations, and affordable household economies."
--Pathways toward a Sustainable Northwoods:
Resource Flow Management, Forest and Landscape Renewal,
A Sustainable Community Business Park.
Prepared by Indigo for Oneida County Economic Development Corporation (Wisconsin)

The business page of my local newspaper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is filled with stories of big box chains going bankrupt, consumers maxed out on credit cards (with usury level rates and hairtrigger penalties), local stores closing,  rising unemployment, local governments cutting budgets, and, of course, markets  twisting between new lows and bottom feeding rallies. We now know that we've been in a recession since early 2007 and one economist said, "We know we're in a depression state of mind when none of us really know what to do to get out of the recession."

 Is there a way that industrial ecology and its systems approach to design and innovation can support recovery from this dire situation here in the US and overseas? There are some good signs that the answer is 'yes' through our expanded definition of "high performance", as stated at the top of this page.

We now have a President who sees renewable energy and energy conservation as a key part of the solution to the economic crisis, thanks to the new investments, ventures, and jobs improved energy security would generate. Industrial ecology applied to this major initiative defines and optimizes whole systems, such as biorefineries and integrated solar and biomass processing plants.

Demand for all resources--energy, materials, water, food and fiber--has risen dramatically, only falling back due to the global recession. A major industrial ecology challenge in a recovering economy is to optimize use of resources in all sectors, from households to government facilities, to industrial plants. Recovery will be supported by initiatives to move to high performance economies through systems solutions in public as well as private sectors.

Awareness that our economy is a system operating within a natural world with undeniable limits (carrying capacity) is fundamental to industrial ecology, as well as to ecological economics. We can't go back to an economic model based on rampant consumerism enabled by workers in developing countries who earn low wages in polluting factories. Our task in the developed world is to design a sustainable new economy based on developing quality of life, not growth of consumption.
Recovery to what?

We can learn from China's attempt to develop a new economic model with its Circular Economy initiative, now embodied in a weakened form in a Circular Economy Promotion Law. See our updated web page
China seeks to develop a "Circular Economy"

The health care crisis is not just a matter of lack of insurance coverage for millions of our citizens. An industrial ecologist knows how to cut the pollution from regional sources as well as far distant countries that are major causes of disease. 

The planet itself is in ill-health thanks to human intervention in the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Reduction of the greenhouse gases that contribute to  climate change is most likely occuring now due to the cutback in production and travel.  However, we need the more positive pathway to GHG cuts of improving technology and practice to conserve energy, substitute renewable energy sources, and develop other environmental technologies.  We also need to adapt human and natural systems to the inevitable impacts of climate change. Both sides of climate action create new ventures and new jobs.

President Obama and his team are still in the start up of the New Dawn my local paper headlined on November 5.  Regional and local leaders need to launch grassroots recovery processes that build upon the limited stimulus Washington is able to provide any one region. Indigo Development is partnering with a team of innovators to apply sustainable economic development and industrial ecology to this process.

See also Indigo pages directly related to regional economic recovery 
Integrative Regional Action Planning

Ernie Lowe

Copyright © 2009 Indigo Development 
Contact Us | Last Updated: September, 2009
покупка мебели через интернет . Строительство крыши, кровельные работы, металлочерепица Арсенал, приемлемые цены, скидка-23%. . Be Intelligent to make the easily maintainable web templates on tap Orange county web design.