Dubai : Current-day Attrocities Hidden in “Development”

December 1st, 2009

In this day and age of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), Carbon Footprint, the “Green” movement, Human Rights; a quick look around us still shows major signs of sticking to the “old ways”.

Only yesterday I had a sort of interview with a UK based company who is looking at expanding their business internationally. What is scary is that they don’t have a mission statement, driving factors or beliefs that are pushing them forward – only that they see dollar signs and Euro symbols and are interested in getting a piece of the cake. Unfortunately, these people are in the energy management business, and yet don’t seem to have environmental concerns. Sadly, this is nothing new to me, as it is the same as with the company that I have been working for for a couple years.

Although I have not been following what has been going on in Dubai over the past week (I was on vacation in Tunisia), I must say that their future has been clear to me since I was there about a year ago. The growth and the exuberance that is being built in Dubai goes against sustainable practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Home – a beautiful exploration of our planet

August 8th, 2009

I have recently seen a movie called Home, by a French guy called Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and produced by another French guy Luc Besson.  He is a well known aerial photographer and has done an amazing book called “Vue du Ciel” (Earth from Above).  Home is a documentary on our planet where Arthus-Bertrand tries to show how life has evolved on this planet, and what mankind has been doing to the planet in the past 50 years.

The landscapes and images throughout the film are simply astonishing, and it is interesting to see how he explains the evolution of life over millions of years by using places on Earth that express what he is conveying.  It seems that Glenn Close does the narration in the English version.
The reason for writing this blog is in fact to recommend the film, as it is an eye opener showing the impact of our society and the importance of action towards balance. Read the rest of this entry »

PICTURES: Lake District, Cumbria, England

December 13th, 2008

In the not so distant past, I found myself heading to Birmingham for a meeting. I ended up staying in jolly old England for the weekend and headed up to the Lake District to relax, do some hiking, and thinking.. about life.

Whenever I go to England, there are a few people that I always think about. One of which, I have not seen in ages, and whom I met and spent much time with not far from Birmingham. Her name is Caroline Bayley. Due to bounced e-mails from months before, and her being a bit of a vagabond, I had no way to get in touch with her to try to organize a visit. I decided to contact her family, and in so doing was thrown aback by the response. Caroline had died. She was a year older than I, and never made her 30th birthday.

This heart-wrenching news, and the fact that things at work has not been going well is why it was a relaxing / thinking weekend.

It was a bit of a wet weekend, but it didn’t matter. A perfect mix of rain and sun. Let’s just leave it at that…

Lake District, Cumbria, England

In loving memory of Caroline.

PICTURES: Les Joux (near La Clusaz, France)

November 8th, 2008

Here are some pictures from last weekend… Halloween!!!

We were up in the mountains.. it was great.. despite the snow melted.

Les Joux (La Clusaz Weekend) – Oct. 31, 2008

United Arab Emirates : Sustainable City

August 24th, 2008

Hotel In DubaiOne interesting thing about my job is that I frequently know where I will be in the coming weeks.  This also gets tiresome, and becomes frustrating.  Just over a week ago, I found myself in Glasgow, spending some time with my boss, doing some meeting preparation, and visiting a couple of potential clients.  It was in his home office that we first got wind of the latest opportunity.This opportunity was in the U.A.E, and a partner of ours had already submitted an initial request to bid.  They had been short-listed, were bringing us in, and wanted us down there in a matter of days.  The project is for the first phase of what will be a sustainable city, specifically for the beginnings of the university campus for this city.  Imagine a place with zero emissions, zero waste.  These are VERY steep conservation goals.  In order to do so, the consumption of energies and of waste needs to be closely tracked and managed.  Also, many renewable energy sources do not have controllable supply in relation to overall demand.  If there is wind and sun, that is a start, but what do you do when it’s nighttime, and there is no wind?  Things need to be closely managed.  Without getting into detail, we will need to manage every piece of data possibly imaginable.  From there, it will be used to better understand human behavior, usage patterns, etc., all in an effort to best streamline the operations of the university/city.  It is an extremely interesting project, although somewhat overwhelming in other senses, and I am excited and grateful to have the chance to work on it. Read the rest of this entry »