Tag Archives: Environment

Lessons From a Radical Industrialist

[My previous post, and many before, featured the example of Interface Carpet Inc.  The founder and guiding spirit of that exemplary new-paradigm company, Ray C. Anderson, died in 2011.  The world is much the richer from his bold and inspiring presence.  Here, from a free download, is the foreword from his recent book  Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist.]

In memory, Ray C. Anderson

As I sit down to write this foreword, I have a lot on my mind. My company, Interface, Inc., has just marked an important milestone—ten years until our target year for Mission Zero, for zero environmental footprint, a goal for which we have set 2020 as our deadline. I’m immensely proud of Interface, and encouraged about our future. At the same time, I have spent the last year dealing with cancer, thankfully holding my own—barely.

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How Thriving Industries Can Save the Planet

Recently we broke the glass carafe on our drip coffee maker.  Yes I know it’s very last-century, but I still like drip coffee.  A search on line revealed that that model was no longer manufactured, even though the basic design has been stable for decades.  The carafe of a related (read “different-shaped”) model cost about $35, excluding the hassle of ordering and delivery.  The local shop had a whole new coffee maker for about $40.  So of course we threw away the perfectly good old model, sans carafe, and got the new one.

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Last Call on Climate


I tried this on The Monthly magazine over a year ago, twice.  Some of it is a little dated, but the essence is not.  It covers not just the science and the economics (already unusual), but the nature and culture of science, and the feedbacks that so alarm scientists at present.  They didn’t deign even to acknowledge receipt of course.  OK, so their writing is excellent, but mine’s not so bad.  And if that’s their primary criterion then they’re only providing a form of entertainment, however sophisticated.

There is a discernible pattern in the trajectories of many vanished societies and empires.  Their lives were not long, graceful arcs with a gradual rise, a plateau and then a slow decline.  Rather, their demise was sudden, and their greatest accomplishments came just before their collapse.  The grandest Mayan temples were built near the end of the Mayan civilisation.  The pattern of such societies was acceleration into sudden disaster.

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Nuclear power: UDDELI unjustified

Professor Leslie Kemeny’s nuclear spruiking regularly appears in Australian newspapers. Readers might take note of the acronym UDDELI, which stands for Unnecessary, Dirty, Dangerous, Expensive, Late and Insufficient. This can provide some balance to the very narrow view offered by Professor Kemeny, whose undoubted expertise on the technicalities of nuclear power is offset by an apparent near-total ignorance of other options.

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