Audits, Trees, and Metal-colored Buildings

Why are all these "green" things happening?

•The Union of Students in Ireland has called for environmental audits to be drawn up for every college in Ireland.

•Fruit Tree Tour is rolling through California public schools on its fifth annual tree-planting pilgrimage to engage students in a full day of digging, drumming, dancing, eco-hip hop, and green theater.

•Buildings on campuses (and at processing and manufacturing plants and high-rise offices) are being certified for silver, gold, and platinum status under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Did this movement begin with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its assessment reports? If you win a Nobel Peace Prize, does that mean you immediately attract followers? Surely not. Maybe it's Al Gore's fault. He popularized the notion that we were messing up the planet in "An Inconvenient Truth."

This is a good question: How did this green trend get started?  

If we audit every college, require public schools to plant appropriate fruit-bearing trees, and force building owners and builders to make everything sustainable, will we make a dent in the damage we seem to be doing? We might help the economy and lower some of that nasty carbon footprint.

I'm just not convinced that we are going about this in the right way. For example, most programs being publicized and funded now sound the death knell for carbon dioxide. But learned people have said that methane is more lethal and merits some attention. What about methane? Shouldn't we be setting priorities? Is such a task too big to manage?

L.K. Williams


Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Mar 25, 2008