Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Green Genes

I have the best job in the world...even when I don't have a job!
Most of you know by now that I am "between gigs," in the vernacular of the Radio realm. For the past few weeks, I have been hosting a Radio show on behalf of the UBuildIt office in Houston's tony Galleria Financial District. Mark Jeffrey is the franchisee, and he has collected an assortment of experts in design, materials, applications, finance, and general experience in planning and building homes.

Oh, you haven't heard it?
Find CNN 650 Radio News in Houston weekday mornings from 7-8am. You can also listen live on line at www.cnn650.com

On Tuesday mornings we discuss Green Building.
"Green In Action" features the stories of people who are actually doing constructive things (no pun intended) in environmentally friendly ways.

Today's guests included Kevin Topek from Permaculture Design, who immediately impressed me by proclaiming, "there's nothing green about wasting money." I like that attitude, because there's way too much going on in the "green building" realm--and our general environmentally friendly bent-- that is not cost-effective, is over-priced, and in some cases, is downright foolish.

Exhibit-A: Al Gore's house.
Exhibit-B: The state of California will require all cars to display a Global Warming Score number starting with the 2009 model year.

According to an article on GreenBiz.com, "the labeling law forces cars for sale to display a global warming score, on a scale of one to 10, which is based on how vehicles in the same model year compare to one another. The higher the score, the cleaner a car is.

"The score takes into account emissions related to production of fuel for each vehicle as well as the direct emissions from vehicles. The score will be displayed next to the already-required smog score, which also rates cars one to 10 for how many smog-forming emissions they emit. For both scores, an average vehicle will have a score of five."

I finally feel sorry for the people of California.
No, I take that back.
They voted into office the morons that passed this insipid piece of legislation.
They get what they deserve.

One must wonder what the Global Warming Score labels might look like. Like the flags on the sides of fighter planes representing enemy kills, might they feature one to ten polar bears, denoting the car's lethality to environment?

There is an upside to Global Warming Scores, but I believe some clarification is in order: If I want it to be warmer where I live, should I buy a car rated #1 or #10?

And in a really strange twist, this kind of logic would result in a world in which it would make more sense to buy a used car instead of a new one. According to GreenBiz, here's why:

You'd have to drive 60,000 miles for a Prius to break even with a non-hybrid equivalent car because of the emissions that result from creating the materials and energy used to build the cars. Now if you follow this line of reasoning, and used 200,000 gallons of diesel to build a car that gets 100MPG, it would get the best possible global warming score in California!

So...buying a used car would be better for the environment because there is no environmental cost to produce it. It saves the raw materials and energy necessary to build a new one.

I get it.

I don't think we have to worry about such fallacious theories on Tuesday's shows.
Co-hosting with me each week will be Teri Mercatante of the Greenology Consulting Group. It's more than just talking green.
It's Green in action.

I'll see you on the Radio.

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