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Showing posts from August 5, 2012

Reflections from Surfer's Paradise

My wife and I are in Australia, in Brisbane, a beautiful thriving city on the east coast, with roughly 3 million people in the metropolitan area that includes the paved-over beaches along tens of kilometers of a formerly pristine habitat in places that used to be the surfer's paradise and sunshine coast.  It is highly impressive what developers can do to a fragile coastal area by pouring millions of tons of concrete onto it and making a financial killing.  The biggest concrete enclave is called the Gold Coast for good reason.
Please do not get me wrong.  Brisbane is a splendid city with wonderful public transportation, universities, and restaurants.  In the 39-floor condo building, where we have stayed, all elevators are globally optimized to minimize electricity use, and all lights along the corridors are on motion sensors.  The windows are deeply tinted and open widely enough to provide a strong breeze through the rooms.  There is only one small air conditioner in the bedroom.   …