Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Reads: "Green Envy"

There's a fascinating opinion piece on "green" design in this week's (normally not-very-noteworthy) San Francisco Chronicle Magazine.

In it, local author and architectural preservationist Jane Powell makes a well-reasoned argument that the current green-house movement is actually doing more environmental harm than good:

Gutting or demolishing small, existing structures to make way for new, supposedly eco-friendly features or larger buildings (even green ones) is wasteful and hypocritical, Powell says. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs contain toxic mercury and do little to lessen the environmental impact of energy production. Those new energy-efficient windows will need to be replaced every ten to 20 years, meaning that the both the original old-growth wood windows and their petroleum-based substitutes will wind up choking landfills.

Powell doesn't provide easy answers to the dilemma, but she does raise some tough questions.

Read the article here.

(Illustration by Craig Larotonda/Revelation Studios.)

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