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Big Rays of Hope

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Author: the Inkslinger

Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/Solar Decathlon

Technology fetishists (like me) will recognize the name of David Pogue, technology writer for the New York Times. He can usually be found in the paper’s Circuits section opining on the latest gizmological gadgetry. That’s hardly a green subject, especially given all the crazy materials they put into e-things and iToys these days, but Pogue also has a blog in which the “e” in electronics occaisionally crosses paths with the “e” in environment and Pogue can be found ruminating on what happens when it does.

His latest post covers the Solar Decathalon, a biennial event in which design teams from all over compete to build a complete off-the-grid house that runs totally on renewable energy. The hitch is that in order to qualify each house must allow its occupants to live “normally,” i.e. be able to shower, cook, watch TV, do laundry, maintain a comfortable temperature, etc.

It’s an amazing competition and the entries are a wonderful exercise in the kind of imaginative outside-the-box thinking that’s going to get us where we need to go. The contest also serves as proof positive that we can, in fact, get to that place in the proverbial sun. I was going to write about it but got distracted by the next issue of the Non-Toxic Times not to mention a whole lot of other things and, well, now here we are and since Pogue’s done a great job of discussing the whole thing, I figured why not just link to his post and let him fill you in.