Author: Tafline Laylin | Published: November 20, 2016
The first way to end the war on carbon, according to the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, is to stop calling it a war. Architect and designer William McDonough, who recently unveiled plans for the ‘Silicon Valley of Agriculture’ in Denmark, has established a new language for carbon that acknowledges the way the element can be used “safely, productively and profitably.”“Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle caused by us: it is a design failure,” McDonough said in a press release. “Anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make airborne carbon a material in the wrong place, at the wrong dose and wrong duration. It is we who have made carbon a toxin—like lead in our drinking water. In the right place, carbon is a resource and tool.”
In the same way that the Cradle-to-Cradle movement taught movers and shakers in the sustainability sphere to rethink the way we make things to reduce, or even obliterate waste, McDonough’s new carbon language is designed to help us model human designs on the “life-giving carbon cycle, and to perceive “closed-loop flows of carbon nutrients” as an asset, rather than something to demonize.