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On The building energy efficiency fraud

I guess it’s true that no good deed ever goes unpunished.  LEED-bashing has become fashionable in these pessimistic times, undeservedly so I think.  Having seen the nearly 30,000 advocates for the movement up close and personal at Greenbuild, I know the vast majority of them are just trying to build better buildings. (Thank God for unsung heroes).   And in doing so, they’ve moved like fire  through the glaciers of the status quo, upending the “old” way faster than almost anyone could imagine.  While even the most ardent advocates don’t claim it’s perfect, they haven’t waited around for that mythical day to come — instead they are driving  progress no one could have ever imagined, oblivious to the nay-saying and whining around them.   The advancements in technology and building science, design and construction process and materials development has been some of the coolest innovation out there.  So they rightly take umbrage with people playing loose with the facts.  LEED for New Construction has never hidden the fact that the energy piece for new construction is about modeling. How else would you do it until the building was out of the ground and functioning, which is when LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance registrations kicks in, and the real performance tale gets told?  That they insist on commissioning is one way to move closer to built as designed. And they’ve raised the bar a couple of times on the prerequisites, to howls from owners and developers who can’t scramble fast enough to change how they do business.  In this latest version coming out end of April, they’ve taken another big step — this time setting out several minimum performance requirements, and the one about requiring energy and water performance data be made available to USGBC (via a couple different options) is a good one.  Yes, water too, because LEED isn’t just about driving energy efficiency (and no matter your perspective, making the 5.1 million commercial buildings and 120 million homes in the US more energy efficient is a good thing), it’s LEED’s holistic approach to transforming the built environment that’s delivering a mind-shift we sorely need.  This might not be fast enough or far enough, but it’s forward motion on a vast, policy-driven yet fast scale, and we need all of that we can get.  

April 8, 2009    View Comment    

On How green will the London Summit outcomes be?

Yes, Ben, it was published last week here: Good catch.
April 8, 2009    View Comment    

On How to sell clean energy

Ahhh.  Well, is it safe to say that nuclear energy is "clean-er"?  I'd rather Dan Yurman or Rod Adams answer that question, Marc, but in the pursuit of "clean," it seems urgently important to open the discussion to all scientific and logical "alternatives."
April 7, 2009    View Comment    

On How to sell clean energy

True, green is a nebulous term... and "clean" beats "green," but when we decided to create a name for our fledgling site we emphasized the "energy" part of the term, obviously, because we felt that ultimately the issue was one of intelligent use of resources and that clean didn't cover that, exactly.  We also created a film earlier this year in which we asked some leading bloggers to ruminate on the term "green."  The fact that Obama girl out-views this film by the thousands may prove your point, Marc.
April 6, 2009    View Comment    

On Is science journalism dead? Can blogging replace it?

Joe, not "can" but will.  Just as blogs were the only media source where you could find reasonable skepticism about the Iraq war, blogs will grow as the intelligent source of discussion about climate change. True, the numbers are still relatively small, but whether it's your blog, or Geoff's, or Marc's, or Jesse's, yours are the blogs that "traditional" journalists use to shape their stories and opinions.  The numbers will continue to grow as millenials grow up, as newsprint declines and as ordinary people learn to "disintermediate."
March 26, 2009    View Comment    

On Congratulations to TEC Special Contributor and Member Bill Tucker

Bill - The WSJ has started picking up other bloggers like Lou Grinzo on their environmental blog site... so I think you're in the clear. Don't hold back with us.
March 13, 2009    View Comment    

On Cap as the next stimulus

The Energy Collective spoke to Lord Stern at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. When we asked what lessons the U.S. should learn from the European experience of cap-and-trade, he responded, "set clear goals and stick to them."  Thanks, Gernot, for this terrific insight about an issue that all-too-often is being confused with an energy tax.
March 6, 2009    View Comment    

On Quick hitting video telling the truth about "clean coal"

Did carbon capture and storage researched remain out of the stimulus package?  As you may know, TEC attended the WFES summit in Abu Dhabi last month, and CCS was a huge topic there.
February 27, 2009    View Comment    

On Nuclear Power in Tiny Package Versus Nuclear is Huge

Robert, thanks for the heads up.  Please put in a good word for us over here.
February 26, 2009    View Comment    


We welcome all opinions from our loyal and occasional readers!!  Put your thoughts in our karma jar and we'll love you forever!
February 13, 2009    View Comment    

On If green jobs create air pollution are they still green?

Excellent and essential question, John.  Again the issue arises: which is the national priority?  energy independence or ameliorating climate change?
February 12, 2009    View Comment    


Fixed, thanks, Rod for the catch.
January 27, 2009    View Comment