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Fukushima + 5: Where things stand today

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 11, 2016

Five years ago today, Japan was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami, resulting in the Fukushima reactor meltdowns. Where do things stand today? Here’s a quick wrap-up: Compensation.  The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the utility operating the reactors, now estimates that it will pay $56 billion in compensation to victims. Clean-up. The plant … Continue reading »

Post-tsunami Japan teaches the world about energy within limits

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | August 1, 2011

Earlier this summer, I accompanied a class of renewable-energy law students to a home in Vermont that is “off the grid.” The family lives quite comfortably — television, microwave oven, electric washing machine, sizable refrigerator. With the exception of a small diesel generator, which they use once or twice a year, they derive all of … Continue reading »

Technology and toys (Workshop 3)

Dana Buntrock, chair, Center for Japanese Studies | July 3, 2011

Every morning for four days of the workshop, Susan, George, and Brendon (sometimes assisted by Dept of Architecture grad students or Loisos + Ubbelohde staff) gave basic lectures on the physics of building performance, based on daily themes: Light, Heat, Air, and supplementary energy. Most of the lecture materials were mined from courses that Susan teaches at … Continue reading »

California collaboration: Activate a cloud (Workshop 2)

Dana Buntrock, chair, Center for Japanese Studies | June 28, 2011

By mid-March, Susan Ubbelohde and I had a plan: we were going to hold a workshop on energy analysis and conservation, in Tokyo. What would we need? People with a variety of technical skills, money to get them to Japan (plus house and feed them), a variety of equipment, well-organized teaching materials, and, lastly, people … Continue reading »

Architects talking energy – in Tokyo (Workshop 1)

Dana Buntrock, chair, Center for Japanese Studies |

Within a week of the events of March 11, Susan Ubbelohde and I, both professors in the Department of Architecture, felt we should open up a conversation with Japanese colleagues on the use of energy in architecture.  In a very short time, and with the help of both graduate students and employees in Susan’s consulting … Continue reading »

Japan embraces energy conservation

Dana Buntrock, chair, Center for Japanese Studies | May 11, 2011

Prime Minister Kan announced today that Japan will embrace energy conservation.  While many assume Japan’s practices are very “green,” this has not been the case in architecture.  The turn-around is VERY exciting. This has been coming for a while.  What took them so long? 1)  In some ways, Japan has looked pretty good when it … Continue reading »

Drawing from experience

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, professor of psychology | March 25, 2011

Many years of studying intergroup conflict have taught me this: the world is like a coloring book, and culture our crayons. You see, the world provides us with only an outline, a suggestion, of what the boundaries of our experience should be. We fill in these outlines with our own interpretations, value systems, and behavior … Continue reading »

What the U.S. can learn from Japan’s earthquake

Richard Allen, director, Seismological Laboratory | March 14, 2011

As we watch in the images rolling in from Japan we are yet again reminded of the sudden destructive potential of mother Earth. The number of fatalities is currently in the hundreds (update: thousands); the number displaced from their homes is in the tens of thousands. The tsunami generated by this magnitude 8.9 earthquake sent … Continue reading »