Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 53540
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2009/11/23-12/2 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Reference/RealEstate] UID:53540 Activity:moderate
 11/23  "Warming's impacts sped up, worsened since Kyoto"
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/sci_climate_09_post_kyoto
        \_ what do you propose we average Joes do about climate warning?
           Oh really? Yeah, exactly.
           \_ Make life choices which reduce your carbon impact.  Communicate
              with your representatives that you consider this an important
              and urgent issue.  What else would average Joes do about
              anything?  -tom
              \_ the average Joe will not give up his/her SUV and living
                 in suburbs and ex-urbs (which are the reasons that increase
                 our needs for energy).
                 \_ Some average Joe/Jane won't give up loving in suburbs
                    while willing to give up his/her SUV; Some average
                    Joe/Jane won't give his/her SUVs while willing to
                    telecommunte twice a week; some average Joe/Jane won't
                    telecommute while willing to become vegetarian; etc.
                    And, like you said, some average Joe/Jane won't give up
                    anything.  Ideally, the problem can be very easily solved
                    by everyone giving up N things.  But very few people in
                    the free world would be willing to do that.  So we'll have
                    to rely on most people giving up 1 or 2 things out of their
                    own list of N things.  (For me, I didn't give up living
                    in suburbs.  But I wear a jacket at home in winter instead
                    of turning on the heat, use a fan in summer instead of AC,
                    line-dry my laundary in the backyard instead of using the
                    gas dryer, skip the plastic or paper bags when grocery-
                    shopping, gave up my SUV and got a Prius, and literally
                    dig through the household trash to find recyclable and
                    compostable items that my wife and in-laws fail to
                    separate out.) --- OP
                 \_ The average Joe will do whatever is effectively marketed
                    to him.  SUVs and suburbs have been effectively marketed
                    to average Joes.  We are starting to see better marketing
                    of environmental and quality-of-life issues, but we need
                    more.  Also, we need to stop subsidizing carbon production,
                    which is where legislative action is needed; if the
                    suburb dwellers were paying the true cost of their
                    lifestyle, it would be much less attractive.  -tom
                    \_ I get what you are saying, but this could be said
                       about any group. "Bike riders will do whatever is
                       effectively marketed to them".  Otherwise the
                       marketing wouldn't have been effective. -- jwm
                       \_ That's a bit tautalogical, sure.  But my
                          point is that the idea that everyone should
                          live in a big house in a faceless suburb
                          with two SUVs (or now, an SUV and a Prius)
                          is the result of 60 years of corporate
                          marketing, and corporations are really the
                          only beneficiaries.  Just as corporate marketing
                          changed what the average Joe wanted, marketing
                          of social responsibility can change what the
                          average Joe wants.  -tom
                          \_ I agree. The way we as a society have used
                             marketing has been damaging. --jwm
                          \_ I'm sorry, but I cannot agree that "corporations
                             are really the only beneficiaries." I really
                             like having land around my house. I use it to
                             grow food, for recreation, and for privacy. I
                             went to my coworkers ultra-chic condo which
                             cost over $1M and had koi and Italian fountains
                             everywhere, but I wouldn't care for living in
                             close quarters like he does. He even told me
                             he is looking for a single family home for
                             various reasons all related to the density of
                             the housing. You may think there's no benefit
                             to a SFR, but millions of Americans disagree
                             and that is how most Americans lived 200
                             years ago. I think that mixed-use/loft/high
                             density housing is something pushed on us by
                             corporations and SFR more closely reflects
                             the rural areas most Americans lived in prior
                             to the Industrial Revolution.
                             \_ Who said anything about condos?  I live in
                                a house in a city (Oakland).  -tom
                                \_ Plus the Richmond and Sunset Districts in
                                   SF are also primarily houses.  -- !PP
                                   \_ So are Hancock Park and Beverly Hills
                                      in LA, but most people can't afford
                                      to live there. If they want a nice house
                                      with land they have to leave the city.
                                \_ The complaint was against a "big house in a
                                   faceless suburb." How can you possibly
                                   argue that a big house in Oakland is
                                   somehow superior to a big house in a
                                   suburb like Lafayette? Same damn thing.
                                   \_ 1) The house in Oakland is smaller.
                                      2) The house in Oakland requires less
                                         driving.
                                      Pretty simple, really.  -tom
                                      \_ Neither of these are necessarily true.
                                         \_ They are both true as averages.
                                             -tom
                                            \_ They don't _have_ to be.
                                               These are external to the
                                               idea of suburbs. You can
                                               build smaller houses in
                                               the suburbs. You can take
                                               BART to SF from Lafayette
                                               as surely as you can from
                                               Oakland. One thing you _cannot_
                                               do is build affordable SFR in a
                                               city, which takes us back
                                               to condos.
                                               \_ You're right, if reality were
                                                  completely different than it
                                                  is, houses would be smaller
                                                  in Lafayette and people
                                                  in suburbs would drive less
                                                  than people in cities.  But
                                                  on this planet, houses are
                                                  larger in suburbs and people
                                                  drive more.  -tom
                                                  \_ I think you need to
                                                     focus on the problems
                                                     you are trying to
                                                     address and "suburbs"
                                                     and "housing density"
                                                     are not them. You can
                                                     live in the city and
                                                     drive a lot (reverse
                                                     commute, which some
                                                     people do) and you
                                                     can build a huge
                                                     energy sucking house
                                                     in the city, too, if
                                                     you are rich.
                                                     \_ I said "make life
                                                        choices that reduce
                                                        your carbon impact";
                                                        someone else asserted
                                                        that "average Joes"
                                                        would not give up
                                                        their SUVs in the
                                                        suburbs.  I'm pointing
                                                        out that that assertion
                                                        is unfounded.  -tom
                             \_ I think that most people want both the
                                advantages of density (short commutes, walkable
                                neighborhoods, more community) as well as lots
                                of space for themselves personally. Most people
                                just want more of everything, but the planet
                                cannot support this kind of lifestyle for
                                6 billion people. This is just a simple fact
                                of physics, not something that has anything
                                to do with corporations. The earth is probably
                                already past its carrying capacity, according
                                to many scientists.
                                \_ The idea that people should live in
                                   identical large houses with large yards
                                   and large fences, a long drive away
                                   from the places they want to go, was
                                   basically invented in the 50s by and
                                   for corporations.  Before that virtually
                                   all development was mixed-use, and
                                   our population was denser despite being
                                   much smaller.  From 1950 to 1990, Bay
                                   Area population more than doubled,
                                   while density actually decreased.  Most
                                   of that change was due to the construction
                                   of freeways and related destruction of urban
                                   neighborhoods, with housing moving from
                                   urban, mixed-use to suburban and isolated.
                                   Now things are starting to swing back the
                                   other way, which is a good thing.  Very
                                   little of this has much to do with what
                                   the average Joe wants, except insofar as
                                   he's susceptible to marketing.  -tom
                                   \_ This is a lie. Like I said, before the
                                      Industrial Revolution more people
                                      than not lived in large houses with
                                      large yards a long drive away from
                                                         \_ There was driving
                                                            before the Ind.
                                                            Rev.??
                                                            \_ certainly not
                                                        autos but I would
                                                        guess PP means horse
                                                        and buggy drives
                                      town. The population was not denser
                                      at all. This era you wax nostalgic for
                                      was an artifact of the Industrial
                                      Revolution where workers moved to slums
                                      in large cities in order to work in
                                      factories. It's laughable that you think
                                      that corporations in the 1950s invented
                                      the suburban lifestyle. What corporations
                                      invented was *DENSE CITIES*. From
                                      1950 to 1990 what we saw was _AN
                                      IMPROVED STANDARD OF LIVING_ and now
                                      that our standard of living is
                                      eroding we are seeing more people
                                      living like cockroaches. Not only
                                      that, _ALL_ of this has to do with
                                      choices people make. You give marketers
                                      _WAY_ too much credit. I live in a
                                      house built at the turn of the century
                                      and it's not hard to see why people
                                      wanted to move to their own brand
                                      new box in a new suburb. (Example:
                                      one bathroom). That's not an
                                      artifact of marketing, buddy.
                                      \_ Overpopulation and resource depletion
                                         leads to a declining standard
                                         standard of living. Why is that
                                         surprising to you? People have lived
                                         in large crowded cities since at least
                                         the Roman Empire, you are nuts to
                                         think that this is a modern invention.
                                         Sure, subsidence farmers lived spread
                                         Sure, subsistence farmers lived spread
                                         out, but cities were denser before
                                         the automobile. Have you been to any
                                         of Europe? I prefer my solidly built
                                         turn of the century house to the ticky
                                         tacky crap that passes for "luxury"
                                         these days. And btw, people used to
                                         live in much smaller houses, so you
                                         are wrong about the "large houses"
                                         part, too. -!tom
                                    http://www.moyak.com/papers/house-sizes.html
                                         \_ 1. I prefer my old house, too,
                                               but that's because I like
                                               the character. You can realize,
                                               though, why post-WW II families
                                               thought that moving to a new,
                                               modern house with a yard and
                                               2 bathrooms was appealing.
                                            2. By "large houses" I mean a
                                               large footprint (less dense).
                                               Houses have gotten larger over
                                               time, but the lots they are
                                               built on has not.
                                               \_ So "large house with large
                                                  yards" really means "small
                                                  house with large yard" in
                                                  your language? Could you
                                                  please clarify which defn
                                                  of "large" you are using next
                                                  time, so I don't get confused?
                                                  Thanks in advance.
                                            3. Large crowded cities were not
                                               a very common way of life.
                                               This is a modern innovation.
                                               From Scientific American,
                                               September 2005:
                                               "From the beginning of the
                                               Christian era to about
                                               1850, the urban population
                                               of the world never exceeded
                                               7 percent. The Industrial
                                               Revolution quickly changed
                                               that--today 75 percent of
                                               people in the U.S. and
                                               other developed countries
                                               live in cities, according
                                               to the United Nations."
                                               You tell me which is more
                                               recent.
                                               \_ Prior to the industrial
                                                  revolution, people outside
                                                  of cities were organized
                                                  in family units; multiple
                                                  generations would live
                                                  densely within the same
                                                  house or on the same land.
                                                  The land provided most of
                                                  the daily needs of the
                                                  group, requiring little
                                                  travel relative to current
                                                  practice.  The concept of
                                                  "commuting" is a modern
                                                  invention (and a carbon-
                                                  expensive one).  -tom
2017/09/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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news.yahoo.com/s/ap/sci_climate_09_post_kyoto
Australia 7 News By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer - Mon Nov 23, 12:00 am ET WASHINGTON - Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated -- beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then. As the world has talked for a dozen years about what to do next, new ship passages opened through the once frozen summer sea ice of the Arctic. In Greenland and Antarctica, ice sheets have lost trillions of tons of ice. Mountain glaciers in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa are shrinking faster than before. And it's not just the frozen parts of the world that have felt the heat in the dozen years leading up to next month's climate summit in Copenhagen: The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half. Even the gloomiest climate models back in the 1990s didn't forecast results quite this bad so fast. 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www.moyak.com/papers/house-sizes.html
Housing: Then, Now, and Future by Moya K Mason Many things have changed in the homes we live in over the last three hundred years, including size, availability of construction materials, shape, advances in architecture, location, governmental incentives, technology, family size, a move away from restrained architectural ideologies, and a general rise in living standards. These have, in turn, changed and shaped family and social relationships by providing different opportunities and more personal privacy and space. The first North American homes were very small, one room, one-storey structures that were based on European building techniques brought by settlers and eventually adapted to the building materials, climatic conditions, and topography of the New World. The majority of these structures had less than 450 square feet of space, but were eventually remodelled and expanded over time. Through the middle years of the 18th century, older houses everywhere were added to and vigorously remodelled, with room heights rising a foot or more, and parlours added in the homes of ordinary well-off farmers and other gentry. The average urban row house was narrow, usually only 15-20 feet across, extending back for 30-40 feet. With the mounting pressure for effective land utilization, row houses became narrower and deeper over time; Some large homes existed, as well, in the 1800s, some ranging between 2200 and 2800 square feet, which is about the size of a good-sized suburban home today. During the 19th century, the different functions of the house were compartmentalized into separate areas. As with most other rooms, the bedroom was largely an invention of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Until then all but the most privileged colonists lived in one or two rooms and beds stood throughout their homes. Twentieth Century Lot sizes began to grow after the turn of the century. Early 20th century bungalows were one-storey or storey and a half dwellings of between 600 and 800 square feet. In most new houses of the early twentieth century, square footage was drastically reduced to compensate for the increased expenses of plumbing, heating, and other technological improvements... Housing studies also related the reduced square footage to the decline in domestic production of goods. There was no longer a need for places to store away quilts, home-canned vegetables, and dowry linens for future use. Bungalows in the 1940s had lots measuring 60 by 100 feet. Electricity and central heating were the domestic amenities that altered floor plans and furniture placement (Volz).. These improvements had important effects on domestic social relations, and in particular, access to personal space and privacy. Older heating and lighting technologies restricted the use of space in the home, drawing household members into each other's company in the process. Physical size of homes continued to grow, while household size was shrinking. Rise of suburbia: abundance of land, cars, and government incentives made home-ownership very popular. Houses were getting bigger: the small house was on the decline throughout most of the century, while the number of people living in a household decreased by 50% in the years 1881-1991 (Ward). We've gone from having no bedrooms to: In the recent past the middle-class bedroom has become an ever more private place. With its own attached bathroom, telephone, and TV set, the 'main suite' has assumed something of the character of a self-contained apartment. Walled up in their flat within a home, middle-class parents have built an unprecedented barrier between themselves and their offspring. It should come as little surprise, then, that their kids have responded in kind. Since the 60s the number of larger homes has grown while the average number of household residents has shrunk - quite dramatically in fact. One result has been that young children now commonly have a bedroom each, while most adolescents regard this condition as an entitlement, not a privilege. The rooms themselves offer a separate place for schoolwork, and often include radios, televisions, and phones among the many electronic gadgets once available only centrally within the house. The novelty of our age is that our use of the space in our homes changes with a rapidity that can be confusing. These transformations are the result of demographic, economic, lifestyle, environmental, and technological pressures. Home offices, media rooms are new spaces, while old spaces like living rooms are now being used as computer rooms. Video entertainment, games, computers, and the Internet serve to isolate and also demand more personal space, separating us from the other people we live with. Homes are divided into a multitude of private zones for individual use, and we partake in fewer shared activities. The average new house has expanded in size from about 1500 square feet in the mid-70s to over 2000 (Friedman and Krawitz).. People want more space -- family homes have grown by 1/3 in size over the last twenty years. Sizes of lots are decreasing, as sizes of homes are increasing. The median size for a new single family home in 2003 was about 2300 square feet (National Association of Home Builders).. Family size has decreased almost 25% over 30 years, while the size of new houses has increased about 50% (Heavens).. It comes as no surprise that houses have grown in size and cost over the years. At the beginning of the last century, the average home was 700 to 1,200 square feet. In 1950 the average home was 1,000 square feet growing to an average size of 2,000 square feet in 2000. Costs in 1900 were about $5,000, $11,000 in 1950 and $200,000 last year. report is that although homes have grown in size, lot sizes have begun to significantly decrease in size. In its profile of a typical new home in 2010, the report suggests the average lot size will shrink by another 1,000 square feet while the house size will increase to 2,200 or more square feet. The new home profile also anticipates more mixed-use communities, neo-traditional designs, neighborhoods with smaller lots and narrower streets. New communities will offer more diverse architectural designs. They will encompass live/work houses, commercial centers and close proximity to amenities and services. Larger homes on smaller lots will be one of many design challenges affecting new home construction in the years and decades to come. When height restrictions are not too strict, the solution is to go up and down. Homeowners could carve out more livable space, which may have been previously delegated for storage, in their basements and attics. The median size of the respondents' current homes was 1,770 square feet. In 2000, the median size for new single family homes was about 2,070 square feet of floor space. In 1976, the median lot size of new homes was 10,125 square feet. Last year, that median size had slipped to 8,750 square feet. Most people responding to the survey indicated they were for acre to acre lots. While size is on the decline, the desire for bigger homes is rising. Homebuyers want one-story homes, but builders have been responding to the demand for more living space by building more two-story homes. More stories allow expansion of interior space without increasing a home's footprint - the amount of land it uses. This has become more important as land becomes less available and more costly in many metro areas. To understand what will happen in the next 300 years to housing is a difficult task because we just don't know how technology, culture, and social relationships will evolve, thus changing how we use our homes, and how our homes change us. One thing is certain: land will be at a premium and expensive. The other certainty is that the population will continue to skyrocket and there just won't be the space for everyone to have large lot sizes for their homes.