Scaling Down to Cut Carbon. Reclaiming a sustainable local economy
In the era of “globalization,” we no longer control anything, least of all politically and economically. The multinationals have total control of the “airspace.” We “pedestrians” are increasingly powerless in the face of what seems like unbeatable supremacy. Overly large corporations construct this control based on uncurbed resource extraction and unlimited access to pollution sinks for their off-cuts and waste from the massive production we buy for low prices. The climate constitutes an unavoidable wall, but that isn’t all. We are doing everything on a scale that is too big, out of proportion with the planet’s capacity. The planet does not have the resources or sinks to mop up the pollution generated by our dreams of unbridled consumption. Our consumerist society is at the heart of the quagmire into which we are sinking further everyday. And now developing countries hope to join us in this mirage. We must change scale and slash our environmental footprint, beginning with carbon, and shift to a local economy so as to develop a society that the environment can sustain and support. We must dig ourselves out of the super-sized globalized economy, free ourselves from a lifestyle that is destroying the planet. Does this mean going back to the era of candles? Of course not! But we must develop new, sustainable methods and a lighter way of life, one region at a time, around the world. The new economy is within our grasp: we have the expertise, the technology and the equipment. We just have to go for it.
With more than twenty-five years of experience in product design as a manufacturing consultant, Jacques Laval has had the opportunity to conduct studies and develop numerous products, equipment and systems for a variety of companies in Canada, the United States and China. He also started and, for six years, ran a high-tech start-up in the emerging “smart home” sector (domotics). Together with a seasoned team, he designed Canada’s first home automation system, one of the most advanced in the world at that time. The company remains in business, selling its products around the world. From 1994 to 2017, Jacques Laval also taught industrial design at Montreal’s Dawson College, in the framework of a program developed with two colleagues.
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