Environment Forum

A Truly “Green” Building Technology

April 21, 2008

A woman reads a book in a rooftop garden of an apartment building overlooking a residential area of Tokyo August 5, 2002. Trapped by concrete and asphalt, heat from heavy traffic and millions of air-conditioning units have made summer in the cities hotter - a phenomenon known as “heat-island effect.” By converting a bare roof top into a green oasis, it helps absorb heat and keeps temperatures inside the building lower. REUTERS/Yuriko NakaoThe symbolic color associated with environmentalism is obviously “green.” 

From ‘green movement,’ ‘Green Party,’ ‘green collar jobs,’ to ‘Greenpeace,’ the color reference is to plants, chlorophyll, the green pigment central to photosynthesis, which is the basis of all life. Quite often, however, the chief environmental goal being advocated has little to do with plants, but rather promoting low-impact technologies, practices and lifestyles.

Way better than the subway

April 1, 2008


There are plenty of ways to get around New York City, not all of them savory — subway, bus, car, taxi, bike, shoe-leather — but few offer the environmental cachet of the plug-in electric motorbike. Sleek, slim and silent, the Vectrix two-seater owned by filmmaker Michael Bergmann is definitely preferable to rocketing around town under almost any other kind of power. The ride from the East Side to the West Side one recent evening was an absolute pleasure, with less ambient noise than a golf cart as we zoomed across Central Park.

Planet not dim to turn off the lights?

March 31, 2008

skyline1.jpgPerhaps 50 million people took part in a global Earth Hour campaign to turn out the lights for an hour at 8 p.m. on Saturday to put attention on global warming, organisers said. Did you?

Is lights off campaign a turn-off?

March 27, 2008

A workman holds onto a 32 metre balloon in the shape of a light bulb on Sydney Harbour to promote the Earth Hour event March 19, 2008. Earth Hour is to be held at 8pm on March 29 where the public and business worldwide are encouraged to switch off their lights to join the fight against climate change. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas (AUSTRALIA)Millions of people around the world are set to turn off lights and electrical appliances at 8 p.m. local time on Saturday, March 29, to highlight the problem of global warming.

Substance trumps style at climate talks

March 17, 2008

bento21.JPG   It was like a scene from the future. A carpark brimming with fuel-cell and hydrogen-powered cars, while fuel-cell buses ferried delegates to lunch near the modern conference centre outside Tokyo.