Be It Resolved
I had a bunch of them this year, in all different areas and I was determined to fulfill everyone. I planned them–or should I say I planned my behavior to meet them–but it was only January 7 and my first New Year’s resolution had already gone astray.
The resolution in question was the one in which I internally resolved that the first blog of the year would be a two-parter and, more importantly, when I planned something like that, I would stick to it. It was to focus on the top glass-related stories of 2012, and it did. You can see it here. But then it was to be followed by a second blog on January 7 that was to discuss the top general news stories that would affect the glass industry in 2013. Except that I decided to hold discussion that in light of talking about the new ASTM standard for glass furniture. Figured that one might save lives.
And what did obvious character flaw of mine teach me? That I am never, ever going to make a resolution like that again. Heretofor then is my take on the top three news stories of 2012 that will affect glass and metal businesses in 2013:
- Weather and climate change: 2012 was the year of the natural disaster, whether the hurricanes in Louisiana and tornados in the South and Midwest or the ferocity of Hurricane Sandy had as she veered up the East Coast. The issue of how we protect our property in light of changing weather patterns will have a long-lasting effect on the products we produce and how they are used. There have been three hundred-year storms in my lifetime of about half that long. How we build our buildings and the materials we use will have to change. Could you have imagined, even five years ago, that we as an industry would be having serious conversations around tornado glazing? Well, we are.
- Deliver us from evil: The mass shootings this year, at places like malls and movie theaters and the loss of the littlest of angels in Sandy Hook Elementary School have changed the way we will build public spaces. Is there a sane person in the country who did not feel a personal sense of loss and failure upon learning of Newtown shootings? It also filled me with a deep sense of irony to see reports on TV and elsewhere talking about how to solve this problem. The problem it seems, is not gun violence, nor mental illness nor video games and a culture of violence or any combination of the above. Nope, as a number of reports suggested “we need stronger glass.” (For a report about what industry experts think about the topic, you can check the USGNN.com news story on the subject.)
So while the politicians, mental health professionals, the sociologists and the gun lobbies sort out the root causes and do battle over possible solutions, we will make changes in the interim. And the new buildings being constructed in this country will have no innocence. No longer will a range of products, from film, to laminated glass to glass-clad polycarbonates be used only in banks and convenience store windows. From now on they will be considered and used in everyday places like colleges, malls, movie theaters and kindergartens.
- The cost of energy and energy policy: Everything from gas prices to oil imports from the Middle East remained in the news last year and reminded us how focused our lawmakers are on gaining energy independence. This has been the ever-escalating policy of every administration, whether Democrat or Republican, since the early 1970s. Net zero buildings are not coming; they are here and our industry’s continued focus on the development of even more energy-efficient products is forever linked with this goal.
Have a good week.