Live Earth And Other Circle Jerks

By Archetype:

It's official. I will no longer attend ANY "green" events. You know what I mean, these self-important, self-righteous, self-absorbed, do-gooders who want to tell me that either things are really, really bad and I have to change or that they are really really trying hard and here is the evidence in which a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation outlines everything they have done to protect the environment or at least identified the problems that all these other people have the change (as was skillfully pointed out at an EPA seminar on green building I attended this week). Where is the ownership to this issue? Where are the real leaders?

All I have to say to all of them is, GO FUCK YOURSELVES!

"Compiling the data is hard… it takes time"

"Changing behavior is hard… it takes time "

"Changing policy is hard… it takes time "

Nope. None of those are hard. Complicated? Perhaps, but not hard. There are many things about this issue that are hard. But let me share something that is really very easy, simple in fact.

A collapsing eco-system. Very easy.

Doesn't need consensus.

Doesn't need further research.

And now that we continue to sit on our hands with half-measures at best and a whole gaggle of rhetoric, here is another thing it doesn't need, time.

Time is no longer of the essence. As Living Colour once sang, Time's UP!

Look, I like Al Gore, we should be having retrospectives on his two-term Presidency at this point, but he is part of the hypocritical problem. The time is well past. Happy Earth Day, folks. Al and the many disillusioned thousands (millions?) who attended or watched the Live Earth "festivities" all must face some facts here. We, the people, do not have a say in our future. The rich and, subsequently, the powerful, which have always had that say, will determine our fate. And they give less than a shit about state of the planet. An inconvenient truth? Indeed. Inconvenient because we fat, lazy citizens might have to walk to work. We might have to drive smaller cars or live in smaller houses or even GOD FORBID, use less electricity. Wait, that sounds strangely like sacrifice. Apparently, all you good Christians leave the sacrifice to sons of God and the like.

Well, we reap what we have sown. And we have sown a wonderful world where nature is going to make it really easy for us in the not too distant future. I love the gun-to-the-head analogies. Hey, that only works if people actually know it's a gun and not a finger with the thumb mimicking a trigger. Nature has the gun and has held it to our collective heads for a long time now. But we all look up and obliviously smile like it's all just a big joke. We all have that Iraq-War-George W. Bush-Press-Conference look on our faces. Well, ha-ha…..BOOOOM. Yeah, fucknuts, that's your brains on that wall back there. Nighty-night.

I am an architect, which puts me on the front lines of this debate. Buildings are the number one consumers of energy (the key player in the environmental debate). This means that I am both the uniter and the divider. I let this shit happen. Why? Because I am too afraid to confront superiors and clients with cold hard realities. More of that truth stuff there. Superiors have benndoing this stuff a hell of a lot longer than I so they know what's best for me and world at large. And Clients do not want to pay for innovation. Well, good design needs not innovation. A well thought building will cost the same to build as a less thought one, but will greatly reduce the cost of operation of that building over the life of it. Well hey, clients don't care about later, they have a budget now to worry about. All in due time, right?

I am also a LEED accredited professional. That sounds pretty special, no? What that means is I have taken an exam given by the United States Green Building Council (I know you all are ware of such an organization, right?) regarding my aptitude in their LEED rating system, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Do you know what it really means? Nothing. More than half my current firm are LEED Accredited Professionals. Know how many know really what a green building would look like? Very few. That is the problem. There are so many in the know about these things, but they do the least amount of the actual built work. In our wonderful little profession comes the term "value engineering". "Value engineering" is the art and craft of taking a building that works perfectly and cutting out all of the things that architects and engineers agreed would make the building work effectively and cut those things down so that the price (that some less than expert contractor has priced to build) will be reduced. Inevitably the first things cut from a construction budget? You guessed it, the "green stuff". Why? Because we pussy-architects cower at the clients and their devil-on-the-shoulder contractors wim. Where are the Samuel Mockbees and the Glen Murcutts of the corporate architecture realm? Suppressed and encourage to adhere to the old adage, " young designers should seen and not heard."

Hey, all you mentors in the architecture field….please read the passage starting with the 123rd word of this blog and ending with the 126th. Thanks for your precious time.

So whether its Architects or Should-Be Presidents or even scientists or climatologists, they all say the same things. We need to change. And sure, change is coming slowly. But the fact remains true to a saying that has become my mantra,

Less Bad, Is NOT Good.

Less bad. More Sustainable. They both say the same thing. Our demise is merely slowing. The problem is at what rate? No one can quantify that. How convenient.

So enjoy Live Earth 2, enjoy Leonardo DiCaprio telling us what car we should drive, enjoy being less bad. I will be avoiding these self-congratulatory circle jerks and other back-patting or finger-pointing events and meetings in order to draw up some new plans about impacting real change that is so desperately needed. I will take care of this, I wouldn't want all y'all to be inconvenienced.

- Archytype, July 26th 2007, 13:00 EDT