What is the future of home?

Last week was the Visioneering Conference, held by the X-Prize Foundation. If you're not familiar with X-Prize, it's an org that puts up a bunch of dough to incentivize big solutions to big issues. Visioneering is like the brainstorming session that precedes the X-Prize, figuring out what issue is most urgent to tackle amongst the countless big issues that need tackling. This site's founder Graham Hill was charged with talking about and throwing out a "grand challenge" around the topic of "future of home." I worked with Graham in researching and narrowing the focus of the talk. We also came up with sample technologies that are representative of the topic. X-Prize focuses solely on technological interventions, having an understandable aversion to the sausage-making business that drives legislative change.

What became clear in researching the topic of home is that's it's a big one--perhaps the single most important area where we as a species can affect the ongoing habitability of the planet. Despite governmental rhetoric about reductions, the planet is spewing more CO2 than ever. The largest growth of global CO2 emissions in thirty years occurred between 2012-2014, growing at a rate of 2.25 ppm for each of the three years. Even if we were to scale back a little, matching the recent average growth rate of 1.92 ppm/year, that puts us at 450 ppm around the year 2042--450 ppm signifying the likely point of no return, when the climate will trigger anywhere from 2-5 degrees centigrade bump in global temperatures. This will present a whole slew of consequences--melting glaciers, release of glacial methane possibly accelerating warming, rising sea levels, interminable draughts in some areas and monsoon-like conditions in others, climate refugeeism, food shortages, plagues of invasive species, mass extinctions of ecologically homeostatic flora and fauna...fun times all around.

Now consider that anywhere from 40-70% of our global footprint is tied to our homes and related mobility. In thinking about one place to focus most of our energies in reducing global CO2, there are few places like home. Continue reading on LifeEdited.com

Tags: Less Is More | LifeEdited | Living With Less

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows