Spending all day scraping paint at my squat office leaves me with a great chance to listen to a long list of podcasts will my full attention. One of the podcasts that was especially interesting today was the latest edition of Deutsche Welle’s Living Planet. This is the German broadcaster’s environmental program, recorded in English. The specific topic was a short item about the Stockholm train station, where soon they will make use of the heat generated by people, to heat an entire building. Yes, they will use body heat to warm water that will then be piped into a new office building next door that will also have a hotel.
As I scraped paint off the walls today alongside other members of our collective, I listened to this program, and then glanced at the windows. All fogged up. Three of us scraping paint can heat a room. A station full of people, who pass through everyday, generates alot of heat. What a simple but examplary idea.
While the French president runs around the middle east trying to convince nations to buy French nuclear technology, even though they have no real idea what to do with the waste in the long run. While the Bush administration uses oxymoron terms like “clean coal” to justify the building of new coal power plants in the United States. While big power companies continue to promise the people of India lots of energy if they will just let their rivers be dammed. Some clever people in Sweden see a simple and ingenious way to heat buildings. And while it may be small scale, it is an example of the kind of thinking the world needs to get inspired by.