With the news of $60 a barrel of crude, this post couldn’t be more timely. I think most people have traditionally viewed sustainable development strategies as lower grade trade offs for things they’d rather have and most people just don’t want to do without. For example, vegetarianism is often seen as the consumption of twigs and berries when one might rather eat steak. My visit to Angel’s Nest outside of Taos NM demonstrates that recent ecological innovations are briskly shutting all of that thinking aside. Consider the Hummer Limo we saw at Angel’s Nest that runs exclusively on hydrogen and biodiesel:
The discussion of whether one should or should not drive gas-guzzlers becomes moot if your fuel source is hydrogen and bio-diesel made from recycled fryer grease. Below is a photo of the site power station
Don’t know about you but I’m thrilled with these sorts of examples of decadent over-consumption. Angel’s Nest has its own hydrogen fueling station, this one made by Air Products. And while I agree that a residence this size -10,000 sq feet with ten bedrooms and 9 bathrooms- is not financially viable for most of us,
the house shows what is possible for not only are its features utilitarian, they’re also unnecessarily beautiful. Here’s a photo of the cistern -yes, the cistern- Angel’s Nest collects its own water -there is no well or city water- and recycles it four times.
To aid in recycling, the house sustains a two story minature rain forest as evidenced by banana and lemon trees growing inside the house.
Here’s a picture of our tour guides. While their forte isn’t engineering, they make up for the lack with enthusiasm. They told us that CBS or Fox -they’re not sure, as I said, they’re spotty on details- will be filming a virtual reality show in this house.
I have lots more pictures but most of them are what most people would consider boring shots of the solar/wind electrical and water componentry of the property.
And speaking of the aforementioned twigs and berries, we found this fabulous Israeli vegetarian restaurant
…combination automotive shop :)
While I don’t know how good their mechanics are, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had such disgustingly rich spinach pie.
The Solar Village at the festival was a bit of a disappointment. Other than a handmade canoe, I didn’t see much beauty. There was some decadence tho. Some chicas were baking cookies in hand made solar ovens; the one below was made of foil-faced cardboard that turned out chocolate chip cookies so quickly that supply outstripped demand in full sun.
Naturally, I’ll be building my own solar oven-did you expect anything less? I’m also designing a solar fabric steamer and pleater but you’ll just have to wait for that later.
The last word I have on the whole event is that it was truly refreshing to see a whole bunch of people who were height and weight proportionate. It was nice seeing what bodies are intended to look like. With my anthropometric obsession, I did a lot of people watching. It’s so difficult to make clothing that’s aesthetically pleasing when people’s proportionates are so out of whack. I was inspired. As a formerly morbidly obese person, you can’t call me shallow but designing clothes is hard enough without trying to scale details. I don’t think some details can be successfully scaled and while offerings have improved in the BBW market, there’s a limit to the range of design possibilities. Form follows function.