Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Their self-congratulations only cost us $60K

The Funny Paper today absolutely GUSHED over Portland’s newfound fame as the epicenter of sustainability. The city spent $60,000 congratulating itself at the “Greenbuild” conference in Chicago, and according to The Funny Paper, it’s money well spent.

A lavish reception area where all the greenies could come and pay homage Dan Saltzman, along with an entourage of 15 city bureaucrats, complete with hotel rooms and airline flights. But we were the toast of the town:

"The world watches Portland, believe it or not," said Kath Williams, immediate past president of the World Green Building Council. "Portland's got to stand up and take its rightful place as the future."

And get this fawning description of one of the Portland presenters, talking about water conservation in the OHSU building at South Waterfront:

"The water bills in the building have been running less than $100 a month," he said.

The audience gasped.

"That's for a 400,000-square-foot office building -- so match that!"

Applause erupted.

Let me get this straight. This guy tells his audience that a 400,000 square foot building uses $100 a month in water, and the reporter just buys it? No questions, please.

And later in the article:

"At PDX Lounge, meanwhile, Portland worked a separate magic. Dance music pulsed from the PDX Lounge sound system, while Full Sail beer and Medoyeff Vodka flowed from its two bars."

Glad you are paying for their little gathering?

The funny thing is that these folks actually believe their own press. They actually believe that layering on carbon taxes and mandating all sorts of inefficient energy saving systems will actually result in economic activity. Their reasoning goes something like this:

“If Portland establishes a leadership position by taxing the “wrong” kind of construction practices and subsidizing the “right” kind, we will develop expertise here that people from all over the world will come to pay us to learn. Green building construction companies will thrive, and they will get projects all over the world as other cities follow Portland’s lead and taxes carbon emissions in construction just like we do.”

The flaw in this thinking, of course, is that none of these supposed “green” building practices actually make any economic sense. The only way people actually build that way is when mandates force them to. They cost a lot compared to the energy they save.

For decades we have been promised that solar, wind and other “renewable” sources of energy would pencil out if we just gave them a kick start in the form of subsidy. But to this day, the only way anybody will build this stuff is if they are subsidized or coerced.

Of course, subsidy and coercion is the liberal environmentalist’s stock in trade. Hence Dan Saltzman’s carbon tax program, the Kyoto Treaty, the Governor’s “25 by 25” initiative, etc.

All this stuff does is consume more resources to produce the same energy that other sources produce more cheaply. And that makes all of us poorer.

And who gets hit the hardest? The low income, that is who.


Anonymous said...

$100/month. What a crock of %$^&!!

This should be easy to prove false. Somebody should make a request of the COP exactly what building they were talking about, and get the real facts exposed.

And the $60K boondoggle in Chicago should be exposed also. Who went, why, and expense reports should be examined.

Anonymous said...

I'm reasonably sure that the building they're talking about is not yet occupied.

ted said...

I attended the PDX Lounge while at GreenBuild and I'm happy to see that the city had the foresight to consider making a showing at the premier expo of sustainable industry. The city's and state's proactive business stance at GreenBuild reassured me that we will not go quietly in the night. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but there's a ton of greenwashing going on. Well, the NW brand of sustainability in trade eschews the greenwash for a whitewash of quantifiable and reproduceable data that is far different that a piece-meal and patchwork application of "greeb" products and technologies. The rest of the nation is jumping on the "green" bandwagon because they've realized a marketable value on "going green." Well, there IS a value to sustainable legitimacy and economic opportunity for the region. $60k is a small sum for national exposure and future business for hundreds of Oregon businesses.