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Only Big Government can protect us from ourselves

September 9th, 2011 · No Comments

Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2011 01:57:36 GMT
From: Jackie Strouble
Subject: Conundrum

Many thanks to Janet Abreu, “Chathammatters,” Richard D. Allen,  Don Bartholf, John Dykers, Tom Glendinning and others for contributing substantively to the ongoing debate over Chatham County’s response to important environmental issues.

I read the LEED and EnergyStar articles provided by Chathammatters in his/her latest post, and the information provided, while limited in its scope, is very interesting. (more about that in another post)

Lest we lose sight of the real issue, I would echo Richard D. Allen when he asks, “While you [Chathammatters] praise EnergyStar and state that the BoC was right to reject LEED, is it a fact that the BoC has committed to demanding a certain EnergyStar score for new construction?”

Therein lies the conundrum. How can the current BOC majority adopt Energy Star standards generated in large part by the EPA, when their constituency adamantly despises that very agency and would like nothing better than to see it eradicated from the face of the earth?

I find it ironic that the mantra of the current board majority is “smaller government – more power to the private sector because the private sector does everything better/cheaper.” Yet when faced with the fact that LEED standards (generated by the private sector) have fees attached (costs for services provided) and higher expenses (related to research, education, and emerging technologies), the BOC rejects it out of hand claiming that it’s too expensive and underperforms compared to the government generated standards (at least according to Chathammatters). So — will the BOC opt to avail themselves of the valuable EnergyStar guidelines provided at no cost by the EPA? Did they welcome the valuable input of Allison Weakley, also provided at no cost? Obviously not. Conclusion? All this talk about trimming costs is nothing more than a political smokescreen for retro attitudes concerning the environment.
While we here earnestly debate the merits of LEED vs. EnergyStar in the quest for answers to the biggest challenges ever faced by the human race, the BOC seems to be busy ignoring the entire issue, favoring business as usual and (my guess) awarding contracts to the usual ‘old-school’ businesses. As we drift further into the stormy, hazy, and very uncertain future of the 21st century, the BOC and their constituents stubbornly cling to the fantasy world of the past when we freely pillaged our finite resources without limits or regulations, raking off anything of value and packaging it for mass consumption, auctioning off our assets at discount prices for a quick profit, polluting or destroying whatever wasn’t for sale, operating in a bubble of unmitigated greed in total disregard for the true costs and long-term consequences. Just think, if our financial sector ran their business that way, we’d be facing total economic ruin! Oh, wait…….!

Tags: Development · Environment

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