Saturday, January 04, 2014

From sad to glad

(Pic source)

Coming to the South Hams last week, we passed Dartington Primary School again. This time it had some marquees up and I wondered what the event was; it turns out that owing to alleged design faults, the cutting-edge eco-architecture is leaking rainwater into the school buildings, so that they have had to be supplemented with temporary structures.

Rather than laugh at the Greens, let's just see this as merely a teething problem. I thought back in 2009 that the school was forward-looking and I could imagine the children enjoying the light-welcoming environment. The Mail article linked above says they're enjoying the enforced change in routine, too.

Natural light is not only helping the school run on a "carbon-neutral" basis, it's good for preventing seasonal depression (SAD), an issue raised in the Mail yesterday ("Workers who see no natural light all winter").

Energy is getting expensive already, and eventually fossil fuels will become scarce (will the next generation see the end of gas?). Other resources may last hundreds of years yet, but unless you're hoping the human race will die out soon, it makes sense to prepare for the long term.

And there are further reasons to consider localism and resilience: the world may not always be so interconnected and relatively peaceful and co-operative. Totnes ( only two miles away) bought into the "transition town" movement early.

There's been some attempt to do the same for Birmingham, but it seems largely to have fizzled out.

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