Environmental Protection & Business Law. P.F. Ribeiro. Spring 98. The Big Picture - The Case for a Holistic Approach To Technological Design
The Big Picture - The Case for a Holistic Approach To Technological Design
The case for a holistic approach to design (planning and operation) rests primarily on the fact that the technological tools and products produced by design and fabrication enter everyday experience as unities. This being the case, design itself should be holistic. Indeed, people’s lives are affected not by technological objects per se, but by how these objects function in all aspects of reality. A car not only conforms to the laws of physics and chemistry, but is also an object of proud ownership, has a value relative to that of alternate purchases, and is a focus of trust, because the buyer believes that if it is used correctly, it will not be harmful. If an object is to function well in all of its aspects, they must be taken into account in its design. And that is what holistic design seeks to do.
Power System Value Chain
Regional Case - AEP Line
ROANOKE, Va. - American Electric Power has reaffirmed its commitment
to build a major transmission line in Virginia and West Virginia.
"The need for the proposed line, which has been confirmed by the Commission's
independent consultant Stone & Webster, by the hearing examiner and by the
Commission itself in the Interim Order, has received national attention in the wake of the
widespread blackouts experienced in the Western United States during July and August of
1996," AEP's filing said.
A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy to the President on the Western Blackouts in July identified delay in the Wyoming-Cloverdale project as being one of two specific areas of significant concern regarding potential problems in the reliability of the nation's electricity supply.
AEP's filing today stems from the release last June of the U.S. Forest Service's Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed line.
"Notwithstanding the fact that the DEIS...preliminarily identifies a 'no-action alternative'
AEP recognizes that it must, in one way or another, do all it reasonably can to address a demonstrated, substantial and urgent need for a significant reinforcement to the transmission facilities serving (southern West Virginia and Virginia)," AEP said in its filing.
AEP said it had reconsidered alternatives to the transmission line. "The company also
has reviewed all realistic alternatives to the proposed line...and has concluded that the proposed Wyoming-Cloverdale project remains far and away the best, and in fact the only reasonable, overall solution to the compelling need for additional electric transmission capacity,
AEP's original preferred corridor, a 115-mile route from Wyoming Station near Oceana,
West Virginia, to Cloverdale Station near Roanoke, Virginia, was selected by a team of
experts from Virginia Tech and West Virginia University.
"The company now estimates that the project cannot be completed, even under a best-case
scenario, before December 2002," AEP said.
AEP plans to use existing and new operating procedures to limit the possibility of
widespread blackouts that could occur during certain conditions between 1998 and 2002.
Because the risk of conditions occurring that could lead to uncontrolled blackouts will
remain significant, even after implementation of these interim measures, AEP will develop a
load shedding program. This program will be designed to implement controlled partial
blackouts in order to mitigate growing susceptibility to uncontrolled widespread system
blackouts," the company said in its filing.
International - The Burning The Amazon Rain Forest
An analysis of satellite data by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) indicates that burning of
rainforest land in the Brazilian Amazon increased 28% between 1996 and 1997. The analysis of
data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite images examined
fires from August and September, the burning season, for each year.
A total of 19,115 fires are reported from the NOAA-12 satellite images in the sample in 1996,
while 24,549 fires appear in the 1997 data over the period, an increase of 28%. The average
number of fires per day increased from 466 to 599. The actual increase for the year may be even
greater, since 1997 is drier than 1996 and burning continues.
"Increased burning strongly suggests that deforestation rates continue to rise," said EDF senior
scientist Stephan Schwartzman. "Along with new data from the region showing that what appears
on the satellite pictures is only half the story, this is cause for serious concern. "
Very Complex Problem (Contradictory Interests)
Local versus Global Conditions
Gobal Picture: All Aspects of Reality Need to Be Considered
Need For Self-Sustainable Economy and Environmental Conditions
Shared Responsibiltiy: Citizen and Government