Monday, April 15, 2024
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Editor’s viewpoint: About ostriches and progress

By Mark Buckshon

Publisher, Chicago Construction News

I enjoy the misleading ostrich allegory: If you bury your head in the sand (like an ostrich) you’ll be run over by the fast changing and moving forces around you. This belies the fact that the ungainly African bird, with rather large eggs, has survived quite well through the eons. Maybe the ostriches know more than we about survival (and there is an explanation for the head-burying – see below)

Clearly, there are rather serious dangers in not being aware of our environment and adapting to it. Technological changes are moving at an amazing pace. These give me hope for a really bright future ahead.

For example, solar energy has started to become rationally economic in many market/climate conditions – and this is without artificial government incentives and prop-ups. Wind turbines have also become an important business – but one which is testing the limits of existing construction lien legislation (see story page .. ) The electronic car has become high-end in-demand product (Telsa).

And building technologies have advanced to the point in Europe where extremely large structures are designed and built to consume virtually no energy, be comfortable for users, and economic to maintain (Passive House.) The world is changing.

Publishers like me also need to see the changes, and I think the evolving direction to primarily electronic media, supported by low-run print-on-demand services, such as for Chicago Construction News, will become the new norm.

Yet maybe the ostrich has something on the push for change. Because these birds don’t actually bury their heads in the sand, according to National Geographic Kids. (Amazing how grown-ups sometimes have to check kids’ literature to figure out the facts.)

“Ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand – they wouldn’t be able to breathe! But they do dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs.

“Several times a day, a bird puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it really does look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand!”

We can certainly emulate the ostrich, carefully tending our business “eggs” by respecting, nurturing and encouraging healthy growth and adaptation.

I welcome your thoughts and observations. You can reach me by phone at (888) 627-8717 ext. 224 or by email at You can also read my daily blog at 

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