June 21, 2019: What’s Your 2040?

Happy Winter Solstice Australia! (or for our readers in the Northern Hemisphere – Happy Summer Solstice!)

If you’re thinking of building a house, renovating or adding to the one you have (or putting solar panels on your roof) this weekend is a great opportunity to check how much sun you will get at the worst time of year. In case you don’t know, the winter solstice is the time of year when the sun is travelling at its lowest arc in the sky. So it’s a good idea to take some photos of the site where you’re planning to build, renovate or add solar panels at different times of the day during this weekend because that will tell you where you will get sun in the middle of winter when you want it most. If you have an existing house and there’s part of your north-facing wall that gets lots of sun this weekend, you might want to consider adding a window to that spot in order to let the sun into your house so it can help with winter heating. Just make sure it has enough of a roof overhang to ensure that the high summer sun is kept out… this is all covered in our section on Passive Solar Design which you can access by clicking here.

2040 The Movie

This week I’ve had quite a few people ask me if I’ve seen the movie “2040” by Damon Gameau and the answer is, yes, I have seen it and yes, I did like it. It is Mr Gameau’s attempt to present a positive vision of the future based on technology that already exists today. I’ve been saying for a long time that, in order to create a future that we want to live in, we have to be able to imagine it first.

Most of the information we get about the future is dismal at best and terrifying at worst. Just think about every movie you’ve ever seen that was set in the future… a few that spring to my mind are The Matrix Series (although you could argue that they are set in the present), The Terminator Series, Elysium, Wall-E, I Am Legend, Edge of Tomorrow, Independence Day, Book of Eli, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Interstella, Mad Max, Avatar, The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games Series, The Divergent Series, etc, etc, etc… they all present a really depressing version of what life on Earth could be like in the future. I can’t think of ONE movie that gives us a positive view of the future.

And it’s not just movies… every TV show that is set in the future and every prediction that we are fed by the media is bleak and hopeless. How many times have you heard something along the lines of … ‘by 2040 there will be 11 billion people on the planet, global temperatures will have risen by 4 degrees, the climate will be out of control and half of the species on Earth will be extinct.’ It’s all so pessimistic and the big question it raises for me is, ‘If we can’t even imagine a wonderful future for us and our children and grandchildren, how can we possibly hope to create it?’

So as far as I’m concerned, ‘2040’ is a great start. I didn’t agree with everything it presented and I think it missed some things that I would like to see, but that’s exactly the point… it’s a great place to start the conversation. If you haven’t seen it yet I recommend that you go and give some thought to what your own version of a beautiful future would look like, or as Damon Gameau puts it…

What’s Your 2040?

I honestly think that helping to create a positive vision for the future is some of the most important work that we can all do. It also helps to give us hope. When we feel optimistic we are inspired to act to start creating that beautiful thing we have imagined. It can be difficult in the face of all of the doom, gloom and negativity that we are fed by the media so a great place to start is to turn off the television put down the ‘smart’-phone and use the time instead to start imagining a better world.

Have fun and thanks for reading.


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