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Aj Editor

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Comments (4)

  • Comment on: Architects Declare is a remarkable call-to-arms on climate change

    Aj Editor's comment 30 May, 2019 1:24 pm

    Comment posted on behalf of Duncan Baker-Brown:

    This is great news. Now it’s time for the RIBA to take a stand and declare that we are in the middle of a Climate Emergency. The construction industry is the major consumer of the world’s natural resources (approx 50%)..... and the Cement/ Concrete industry is a major part of that and associated CO2e emissions. So all signatories to this noble group have got to get over their love of concrete if we are going to go anywhere near the huge reduction in whole life carbon, let along the ambition for zero carbon/ zero waste targets many of us desire.... A good step forward though - well done.

  • Comment on: Climate change is too important for grandstanding

    Aj Editor's comment 23 May, 2019 11:15 am

    Comment posted on behalf of Jeremy Till:

    It is indeed difficult to take seriously any advice on climate change from someone who revealed last week that he does not know the basic difference between mitigation and adaptation. However, Paul Finch here makes perfectly sensible arguments about the need for retrofit. He then throws it all away by continuing to make unfounded attacks on Extinction Rebellion. Can he point to one instance where XR have argued against the need to address the performance of the current building stock? Of course not. Quite the opposite, as XR spokespeople have been consistent in their criticism of the governments’ withdrawal of the Green Deal scheme for insulating homes. But Finch’s rhetoric needs to frame the activists as delusional.

    For the record, I am an XR supporter. This does not make me a grandstander, zealot, puritan or hair shirt. Zealots are people whose extreme ideologies lead to sociopathic behaviour. XR is not based on ideology: it starts with a close reading of the scientific evidence, all of which points to much worse future than we are presently being told by the corporatists and politicians of the carbon state. On the basis of this evidence, XR is seeking systemic change – one that does not preclude technical innovation but sees it as part of a more radical change in values and behaviour. Yes, this would mean all of us would need to fly less, but no it does not mean a return to caves (as Jacob Rees Mogg dismissed Rupert Read of XR) or to insect eating (as Finch talked of).

    These kind of scare smears are symptomatic of other forms of populist demagoguery. It is indicative here that Finch cannot resist a swipe at Caroline Lucas over Brexit. She is of course right that a no-deal Brexit would be harmful to progress on climate change. All the evidence from any credible economist, business person or analyst points to economic collapse if no-deal goes ahead, and the disaster capitalists behind Brexit are licking their lips at the swathe of deregulation, including environmental, that will inevitably follow. However, the editorial director of the Architects Journal still sees fit to stick to an ideological move that will damage the livelihoods of all his readers. That’s what I call zealotry.

  • Comment on: Why Patrik Schumacher is wrong about housing

    Aj Editor's comment 4 May, 2018 8:38 am


    I repeat my dislike for criticism from some respondents which is personal, not about the issues under discussion. I agree with PS about the need for greater density and mix in cities, promoted 20 years ago in the Richard Rogers Urban Task Force report for government. Nor do I have any problem about letting the private sector get on with what they do for a living, which is to build for the market. I dislike the ‘affordable’ housing strategy because it involves an abuse of language and has been proved not to work. However, I have no faith in a policy which assumes that the private market can or will provide what all sorts of people need, in terms of both quantity and quality. Young professionals are not the only people on the planet. The reason I hold this view is because space standards and public-sector housebuilding were scrapped, and things left to the market, in the 80s, and continued in that vein for three decades. The result is the mess we have at the moment. The experiment failed. Why should we repeat it?

  • Comment on: Bartlett retakes title of best university to study architecture

    Aj Editor's comment 28 May, 2015 10:57 am

    The list ranks universities and so the AA and RCA are not included in the table.

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