This Friday we hosted Drs. Greg Olsen, Jude Simpson, and Andy Lau, three staff members from Penn State's Center for Sustainability, one of the most innovative and cutting-edge institutes for sustainability in action in the U.S. today.
On this show we asked them about their own work and the work we are all called to do today as earth's climate changes. Olsen works as head of the design and construction and focuses on our built environments notably on Penn State's Morningstar a solar home entirely off the grid that can also fuel an electric car. The Morningstar took 4th place in the international solar decathlon.
Simpson works on the American Indian Housing Initiative, "a collaborative effort to adapt and deploy sustainable building technologies on American Indian reservations. AIHI partners seek an educational exchange of cultural values and sustainable building technologies through collaborative and interdisciplinary partnerships." She is also an avid bicyclist and gardener.
Finally, Andy Lau is a mechanical engineer. He teaches classes on sustainable engineering and incorporates sustainability into much of the curriculum he designs including modules for middle and high school teachers.
Our launching point was John Ehrenfeld's definition of sustainability - "sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever." From there, Lau, Simpson, and Olsen led us through the technological hopes in sustainable engineering and design like photovoltaic cells and energy audits, to the daily mundane things we can all participate in like riding bicycles (Lau called them our cars in the future), gardening, and capturing our own rain water, to the ethical beliefs we have about the role of technology and our personal responsibilities to our neighbors and future generations of humans and all life.