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March 2010

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hillary haselton <[log in to unmask]>
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VGBN Discussion <[log in to unmask]>, hillary haselton <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 11 Mar 2010 11:22:22 -0500
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As president of BSR, I would like to respond to Robert Riversong’s comments.



1)      To invoke yet two more philosophers – William James and John Stuart
Mill – BSR’s principles are largely pragmatically-based and utilitarian in
nature.  Our group is made up of builders, architects, and other
building-related professionals, and we seek to make positive changes in the
world mostly within the context of our professional work.  BSR is not, in
fact, a trade association, and actually has spent no time at all in any
organized way advancing “the marketability and profitability of its business
members.”



2)      It is regrettable in some ways that we don’t offer the Solar Hot
Water workshops for free.  They do cost money to put on, however, and we
also hope to be able to fund some mission-related activities with any
proceeds we receive from them.  It costs money to do pretty much anything in
our society – especially anything that attempts to get people’s attention in
challenging the grossly destructive values of the mainstream status quo.  A
sliding fee is not out of the question, however.  Also, of course, there are
other ways to get the essential information of these workshops –books or
magazines, professional apprenticeship, on-line seminars, etc.



3)      To examine ways of changing the values of our society as a whole: to
move away from market principles, profit motive, fee-for-service, and other
related elements of capitalism – not to mention the very difficult problems
of growth and consumption -- is a very important discussion.  BSR has at
various times in the past spent time on these issues, and we have held topic
meetings on problems related to affordability, the cultural impacts of our
society’s economic structure, and, more specifically, on alternative housing
arrangements and business structures.  The bulk of our work however is
devoted to what we believe are more manageable problems of energy use,
environmental impact, and ecological sustainability.  This is because that
is where most of us feel we can contribute best.


BSR is open to anyone who subscribes to our mission, which is, as quoted in
Mr. Riversong’s email “to advance technologies and practices that reduce our
impact on the environment, while supporting sustainable communities and
economies."  Membership is relatively inexpensive – $25 a year for an
individual – and anyone interested has full access to our Board, and if
motivated could seek to be nominated to become a Director.  There are, I
believe, three openings on the Board right now.  BSR is a very open group.  If
our organization is misdirected, the best way to redirect it is to get
involved with it

Tom Perry


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