building a sustainable and resilient community

Copenhagen … Continues

Posted on | December 16, 2009 | No Comments

So much for keeping you up to date with news from the United Nations COP15, aka, the Copenhagen Climate Conference, as it happened.  It turns out that not a lot has gone on that was worth reporting, aside from a brief kerfuffle on Monday when much of the developing nations’ delegation walked away from the bargaining table because of the wealthy nations’ reluctance to discuss a legally binding emissions treaty.  BUT, they only stayed gone for an hour!  Ah well.

Instead of sharing “news” from the conference then, I think I’ll share some tidbits that ARE worth repeating.  And we’ll start with this behemoth:

Its a GIANT sundial!  (Image courtesy of Inhabitat)

It's a GIANT sundial! (Image courtesy of Inhabitat)

This, my friends, is apparently the largest “solar energy” building in the world, in Shangdong Province in Northwest China, which is to say that, at 75,000 square meters, it’s the largest building in the world that uses a solar array as a primary energy source.  I can’t find evidence that the solar array powers the WHOLE building all of the time, however.   Stories like this make me wonder if China has been using all of the interest that we are paying them on our loans to make solar powered buildings.  If they can churn out gigantic buildings like this, do you think they can throw a few solar panels our way?  Maybe they can throw in a couple of PV arrays with our loan bill each month?

Next up is one SUPER COOL thing that has debuted in Copenhagen during the past week, and that’s this Copenhagen Wheel created by MIT students.  It’s got a kinetic energy recovery system, sensors, a smart lock, and a Bluetooth connection to the rider’s iPhone.  Talk about reinventing the wheel!  Hardy-har-har.  (Sorry.)

the Copenhagen Wheel (image courtesy of Inhabitat)

the Copenhagen Wheel (image courtesy of Inhabitat)

Last but not least I’d like to point out this wonderful blog post about the art seen in Copenhagen during COP15 (by, you guessed it, the equally wonderful Inhabitat).   It’s nice to know that the leaders at the conference will have something to think about as they shuttle around the city in their 1200 limos.   Meanwhile, 36% of the actual population of the city gets around by bike, a staggering statistic that is more than 5x the percent of bicyclists in America’s bike city, Portland.

So I guess we’ll just sit back and see how this one ends, shall we?



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