Charles Shaw

Charles Shaw is a regular contributor to Scoop and The Next American City. He is the editor in chief of Conscious Choice.

LEED is expanding to neighborhoods, and Doug Farr is leading the way

Doug Farr was heading into The Grind, a local fair-trade coffee spot in Chicago’s swanky Lincoln Square neighborhood, when he ran into Peter Nicholson, the organizer of the city’s monthly Green Drinks. The two well-heeled unofficial flag-wavers for the local green scene exchanged enthusiastic greetings, and began discussing the latest goings-on. Doug Farr. “Ugh. I’m really over green buildings,” Farr said, with a dash of weariness. Nicholson said nothing, waiting to see if Farr was joking. It was, after all, a strange thing to hear from one of the world’s premier green architects. Farr needed no prompting to continue: “We …

Can industrial civilization really become sustainable? Should it?

To be, or not to be — that is the age-old question, and civilization today faces its own dire version of it. As the negative social and ecological effects of 150 years of industrialization are becoming impossible to ignore, people are asking whether we can maintain our standards of living. But very few are asking if we should. Dark days or bright opportunities? Photo: iStockphoto There are, however, two contemporary thinkers for whom this question is primal: William McDonough, green architect and designer, and Derrick Jensen, neo-tribal environmentalist and philosopher. They epitomize the vanguard of the new green zeitgeist. They …

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