Last week, I wondered if an Earthship, a super-sustainable, earthquake-resistant home made largely from recycled and natural materials, would get clearance to land in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Well, it's been two weeks since a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and catastrophic tsunami ravaged northeast Japan and I suppose the more appropriate question is: will an Earthship land in Japan?

Although the primary focus in Japan now is recovery — and managing the tense situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant — the answer is most likely a big yes. Michael Reynolds — "Garbage Warrior," Earthship Biotecture founder and mad genius architect — was present in both earthquake-stricken Haiti and on the Andaman Islands following 2004’s devastating Indian Ocean tsunami ... it's looking like Japan will be no different. Although Reynolds has made no concrete plans to travel to Japan at this time, he has released a statement that notes: “Earthship Biotecture is currently gathering information on getting to Japan.”

The statement, heavy with the anti-nuclear energy sentiment, reads:

How many people went to sleep tonight saddened and worried about the disaster in Japan.  Saddened for the people who are suffering - worried about the deadly future that lies before all people due to nuclear power plants dotting the surface of the earth.

How is it that legislative institutions make it difficult to evolve radical sustainable living methods citing minute and insignificant dangers affiliated with the uncharted territory of new thinking ... while these same institutions allow a nuclear age that threatens the very ability of the entire planet to support human life?

There is a fight going on to stop nuclear power. This fight is with big money corporations and power mongers.

There is a fight going on to provide people with more freedom to take care of themselves in ways that respect and understand the ways of the planet. This fight is with lawmakers and government institutions.

There is a fight going on to use less of everything, live much lighter and hear the voice of the planet. This fight is with ourselves.

SHOUT OUT about the nuclear age to any arena that exists.

SPEAK OUT to legislators about fast tracking green building methods and systems.

WHISPER to yourself to take less and give more to the planet we live on.

I’m curious about how things will proceed if/when Reynolds and his team begin work in Japan given that the earthquake in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti are vastly different beasts. How will Earthship construction differ in one of the world’s most prosperous nations and in one of the world’s poorest? Will Reynolds focus on community involvement in Japan as he did in Haiti and the Andaman Islands? How will Japan’s Earthships be reflective of the country’s strong architectural traditions?

Regardless of specifics in Japan, here’s an excellent insightful look, via CNN International's Earth's Frontiers program, at Reynolds’ involvement in Haiti's rebuilding efforts. For those of you curious about what Earthship construction entails, it's a great intro. Just skip to the 2:45 minute mark to watch. And to be clear, Earthships aren't just built in the aftermath of natural disasters. 

Following the video on Earthship construction in Haiti is another CNN video in which Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair discusses his organizations involvement in Japan.  

 

 

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