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12 October 2009



Hi George - this is great research. I also have searched the dictionaries and didn't find anything that seemed to nail "sustainability" down.
I think you address an important question which is: what exactly are we trying to sustain? Our community? Economy? Lifestyle? all of these are, as you pointed out, vague. For me (and remember, we're asking everyone to come to the APPLE Center and share your definition of sustainability so we can create a more defined goal) it's about sustaining human existence on Earth. How do we need to live so we don't commit collective suicide by destroying the very resources essential to our existence? Glad to have this dialog going. Keep up the good work.


To define that a little more, planning for sustaining human existence means reducing our use of fossil fuels, and pollutants which means re-localizing as much as possible - transportation is a substantial consumer of fossil fuels, but so are our buildings, which is why we spent the time and resources to make our building as energy efficient as possible, and are developing programs to help homeowners do the same. If we are able to install solar next year, we could achieve a net zero building. Beyond buildings, and transportation, agriculture is a huge polluter and consumer of fossil fuels. Re-localizing, diversifying and downsizing our agricultural enterprises is our best shot of creating a system which can feed us today as well as 100 years from now. The soil feeds us, and under the current system, we've consumed over 90% of the topsoil in the world. Without re-building the soil through organic farming practices, the land won't be able to feed humans 100 years from now. So far, at the APPLE Center, we're focusing on food and buildings. APPLE is also working with Nevada City on a Energy Solutions Task Force to assure resilience in the case of short, mid or long term liquid fuel shortages. More information on the task force is available at APPLE-NC.org



Can you be a little more specific on the type and kind of transportation pollutants your are concerned about? You you concerned about the emission of greenhouse gases or micron level soot?

I certain support your efforts to make building more energy efficient. We designed our house during the last energy crisis in the late 1970s and were very aware of the cost of energy and that proper design can reduce energy consumption. We built the house in the 1980s and then took advantage of California tax breaks in the late 1980s to improve energy efficiency with a sun room that has heat collecting mass built in.

Over the years there have been numerous programs in California to increase energy efficiency of homes. Were these programs in effective? How many homes remain in Nevada County still need energy conservation improvements? Are we at the point where additional efficiency increases will not pencil out. What is the cost verse the energy savings? Do you have data or a computer program that will help owner determine when they have reached the optimum level of efficiency?


Duckie Narveson

Comming from a heritage of 'sustained resistance' I find

"10. To bear up under; withstand: HAVE SURVIVED the blistering heat"

to be a closer definition of what it took to build and maintain the lifestyle dictated by my predecessors...



Tried to post here last night and was refused. This is a test.


George Rebane

Russ, I guess TypePad giveth, and TypePad taketh away. Try again.

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