Monday, 29 June 2009

Contrasting perspectives - Spirals of change

This example shows how different perspectives on a situation can be compared and contrasted by using multiple Southbeach Notation diagrams to show the potential consequences of different behaviors or solutions.

The two models below show the same situation, with different choices being made at each stage of development, and different consequences resulting, which cause further choices to be made.

These models were created from the perspective of someone who believes in 'planning for the future', as shown by all the agents below being useful (green) and many of the agents above, starting with 'short term'ism' are harmful (red).

Whilst neither of these models are either complete or balanced, they serve to show a perspective on different approaches, with what are considered to be the key elements of the argument laid out to make it clear what is being said.

A further activity after creating models like this might be to create more detailed and complete models that provide both sides of the story, and weigh up the pros and cons of taking actions in the short term versus taking a longer term approach.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The trouble with Wind Farms - economic and environmental

There are problems with wind farms. Opposition is growing. The following Southbeach models were developed as examples to show the dilemna and contradictions. If you disagree with these models, develop some of your own, and send them to feedback at southbeachinc dot com.

Europe's largest wind farm is not producing enough power. So advocates for wind farms are advocating an expansion of scale. As if 140 turbines 110m high were not enough! Here's the problem. Large wind farms near to be close to areas of population, to drive down costs of power distribution and servicing. But they also have to be in area of open ground and subject to high wind. That means, the green areas close to conubations are precisely those at risk, and valued by the community. Here is another view:

In this model shows the insufficient power production of wind farms counteracting the economic case. That case can only be made by contributory factors of location, location and location. The expanding scale of wind farms, and their ideal location (for the economic case to be made) are in contradiction. The economic case is strongly related to the availability of the wind 'resource'. Environmentalists are split:

And it's not just industrial scale problems faced by Wind Farms. Noise, even for single turbine units 'micro generation' is already disturbing animals, and neighbours. To make matters worse, the high winds required for more power (see models above) are precisely the conditions under which turbines produce more noise. It's a lose lose situation.