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By Broto Carles

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Ideally, the Zeppelin would simply drop a bomb on the designated site, in order to excavate the ground for the foundations of the single, central, supporting column, which contained all of the environmental services and plumbing. There was even a ten-storey example – an autonomous and self-sufficient dwelling that was lightweight, portable, energy efficient, self-ventilating, self-temperature regulating and self-cleaning. Somewhat prescient of the internet, Fuller envisaged that the intricate communication module at the centre of the dwelling, which included a library, globe, maps, drawing board, typewriter, mimeograph, phonograph, telephone, radio and television, would reconnect the self-sufficient home to the world whose physical infrastructure it floated above like a flying saucer.

Less humour is present in the pronouncement that there could be ‘irreversible effects on future generations. ’ A core purpose of the Stern Report was to devise a market in carbon with globally agreed social costs for carbon – the idea is that with an efficient market, carbon use should also be efficient. In economic terms, the concept of the ‘polluter pays’ and consideration of the so-called ‘externalities’ of economic activities is gaining more mileage – although the idea that economic growth should be reduced by considerations of environment or ecology is probably still a bridge too far.

Apart from being a fulfilling hobby, beekeeping should also ensure a supply of increasingly precious honey, which could then be sold. We can also ensure that we create suitable habitats in our gardens for bees, by planting suitable flowering plants. By taking care of bees, we take care of ourselves – in fact, our lives could depend on the humble bumble bee. Most of the world’s carbon-reduction targets are set as percentage reductions of historic levels, such as the year 1990, but as world population is doubling every forty years, it has increased by 50 per cent in the last twenty years – making population size a finally recognized and crucial factor in the battle against climate change and global warming.

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