In a recent post I said, in regards to a lack of innovation in design, "Housing and architecture is in such desperate need of it the world is now aware of it." While we have plenty of hot, edgey designers, the designs that actually make it into mass production are always sad, pale retreads of existing ideas and directions. We have not had a fundamental shift in general design trends, especially industrial design, in a long time. I attacked housing and architecture specifically because the world is cruising for an environmental bruising, and our houses are some of the worst culprits. As such, this article at SciAm was of special interest.
One thing pops into my head: regulation. The government has one tool, regulation, and when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. DO NOT REGULATE! ENCOURAGE! I have a hard time naming moments when laws actually helped a situation. Instead of simply trying to pass regulation, then, when it fails because it was a dumb fucking idea, blaming the populous who didn't want your plan, enact government funded encouragement. Subsidize environmental building. You can even come up with a cool name that you can make a logo for, like GreenHouse. Give tax breaks, hand out money, sponsor education and workshops. Make an actual difference as opposed to shooting your mouth off.
Green Buildings May Be Cheapest Way to Slow Global Warming (Scientific American)