Now that some assert Global Warming has been regulated to Santa Claus status through “Climategate,” it will be interesting to see how the environmental movement will proceed. The discovery this past month of e-mails from scientists stating there is no credible scientific proof of climate change will further deepen the political divide on this issue.
Now that some assert Global Warming has been regulated to Santa Claus status through “Climategate,” it will be interesting to see how the environmental movement will proceed. The discovery this past month of e-mails from scientists stating there is no credible scientific proof of climate change will further deepen the political divide on this issue. Al Gore has been reduced to the status of a parent whose 8-year-old finds out that Santa Claus is a hoax. Once little Joey gets mercifully teased by his little school buddies over his belief in Santa, he never looks at his parents in the same light. As we grow up, we realize that no fat guy is going to deliver all those presents around the world in one night - the Teamsters would not allow it.
The underlying question in this whole climate change debate is whether man has a negative impact on the environment. According to Carl Sagan, the earth has been here for billions of years and man’s occupancy has been relatively brief in this time span. Climate change has been documented for centuries, and we know of at least one pretty big Ice Age. In books describing that prehistoric climate change I never saw illustrations of dinosaurs driving automobiles and working in factories. In addition, in the last three generations of our lifetime we have witnessed potential devastating environmental impacts like volcanoes and atomic bombs, and Al Gore can still enjoy his 6,000-square-foot house and fly around to pick up his awards in private jets.
So, from a construction perceptive, what do we do? Do we form a demonstration demanding that Gore give back his Nobel Peace Prize, or do we take the track of every eight-year-old and “fake” our belief of the big man to get the presents?
I am inclined to suggest we do the later. To me this is not a political issue. I feel that if we have the technology, materials and resources available to construct environmentally friendly structures than we should - no debate. Looking at the Santa argument one last time, I reason that even though we do not believe in Santa as a functioning being, we believe in the spirit of giving that he represents. Environmentally sound construction can reduce the use of natural resources and provide energy savings.
Building a LEED-accredited building in Iowa may not save the planet from what is going on environmentally in China and Indonesia, but it is a start.
As parents we keep the spirit of Santa alive for our children, even though we know that it is going to cost us a little more money and in some cases some added work in finding the “limited edition” doll that Susie wants. On that same note, environmentally friendly construction materials and practices are sometimes more costly and require additional time and effort, but we should specify them for the spirit of the planet and for future generations.
So now all we have to do is come up with a character to represent Climategate as a symbol of Earth Day. Hmm, if Al Gore regrows his beard….