Given my choice of professional field, I am fully aware of movements toward a more sustainable world for human habitation. I understand that there are those who, like the koch brothers, don’t care one whit what happens to the earth after they die, for their own existence is what matters to them, and little, if anything else, makes it onto their egocentric radar.
But I, first of all, as a parent, care about what happens to the earth after I die. Though I don’t relish the thought of death, it does not cause immediate fear in my heart, either, for I expect it to be many years in the future. And if it is not many years in the future, I will try to use my remaining days wisely, but not necessarily cautiously, because what’s the point of being cautious when one is on death’s doorstep?
I don’t understand people who act carelessly towards their own immediate environment. I still have a memory from at least a few years ago, when I witnessed a woman who, just as she was boarding the bus, taking a piece of gum out of its wrapper and throwing the wrapper on the ground. I had a desire to wring her thick pasty neck…
But, of course, I did not. She, along with the child whose mother failed to pick up the tissue it threw onto the sidewalk at another bus stop, will likely go through her entire privileged life without a care as to the role she plays in Society’s impending downfall, which will only be hastened by the ignorance of the likes of Don Juan, The Rump.
I sometimes wonder if improving the efficiency of buildings and transportation isn’t the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…
It’d be a more pleasant environment in which to go down, won’t it though? Perhaps a primrose path leading to our species’ destruction? But I digress…
I am preparing to sit for the LEED EBOM (Existing Buildings Operations + Maintenance – yes, it is a plus sign, not “and,” though it is pronounced as “and”) AP (Accredited Professional) exam. The online slides are split into two “decks.” I have almost reached slide 300 of the first four hundred-and-something deck. The topics that LEED covers sound like good sense.
On the one hand, it seems a bit much to have good, energy-efficient building codified. Very soon, new building plans in California will need to project the building’s earning of LEED certification in order for the permit to be issued! I had always thought that the financial incentive (getting paid more for a better product) would be sufficient to encourage building owners (and those shopping to buy buildings, including their homes) to demand buildings that are both material- and energy efficient. I’m not sure why I continue to want to believe that builders will do the right thing, even if it’s not the cheapest option, because they want to produce a good building; that they’re proud of their work…
Unfortunately, most builders are in the business of making money, not necessarily producing good buildings. Their products must meet minimal regulations to gain an occupancy permit, and that’s usually the level at which the buildings are constructed. California is raising that base level to buildings that are LEED certifiable, if not certified outright, so that building owners and purchasers can be more confident that the product they are buying, which is likely the biggest investment they’ll make, will be held to a fairly high standard. And it’ll only be a matter of time before existing buildings will need to be upgraded so that they, too, meet the requirements of LEED and, therefore, the new California building code
I know a small builder (he owns a small company; I’m not referring to his physical stature) who has worked on new residences as well as renovations and additions to existing homes. We met during a day-long course at the Energy Innovation Center, San Diego Gas and ELectric’s main PR outlet. We talked about sitting for the Green Associate accreditation exam. When I was ready to put my exam on the calendar, I contacted him to ask him to be my study buddy. By the time we met in person, I had about a week before my exam date (they’re self-scheduled). I had practiced the exam questions many, many times before then, and was feeling pretty confident. I sat for and passed that exam, but my study buddy had decided that he didn’t need to be LEED-accredited to win jobs, so he decided to forego it.
I’ve met other people who are LEED accredited, mostly on the Green Associate level, though some have earned the Accredited Professional designation. Both designations require biannual ongoing education and practice to ensure that those who hold the label are practicing what they’ve learned on a regular basis. It’s really a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing.
The exam preparatory course I will be taking in mid-September will be held in Los Angeles over two consecutive days. (a full weekend).
I wonder sometimes what it is that we are meant to sustain. If it’s the current social order, that is not something I want to sustain. In fact, I do a lot of things that are contrary to sustaining the existing social milieu. Starting at the beginning of this calendar year, I’ve been writing to my congressional representatives, Scott Peters (my local Representative), Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris (my senators) about various issues as they arise. I intend to be well known to each of them, even if only as someone who writes to them regarding almost every little bill that crosses their desk. I must remember that I’m playing defense this time ’round, as the Repugnicans are diligently trying to rob citizens of their healthcare options.
Alas, I have, once again, drifted far afield from my original topic. But that’s what’s been on my mind of late. There you go.