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BuildingGreen

Green Homes, Green Buildings,
Green Communities and Green Cities

Written and Edited By

Michael L. Chadwick

 

 

 

 

Boise, Idaho: Global Affairs Publishing Company
P. O. Box 16184. Boise, Idaho 83715

 

Copyright © 2009 of Written Text and Electronic Text by Michael L. Chadwick. All rights reserved. No part of this book or electronic text may be reproduced, distributed, stored in electronic databases, personal computers, search engine databases, web sites or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods without the prior written permission of the publisher. Electronic fingerprints have been placed in the text and code to prevent copyright violations.

 

Table of Contents

 

Preface

1.         The Climate Change Debate Heats Up

2.         A New Paradigm Shift Transforms the World

3.         The Re-emergence of the Natural World

4.         Eco-Design Becomes Fashionable

5.         The Green Building Movement

6.         Natural Building Materials Hit the Market

7.         Energy Savings Becomes Popular

8.         Solar Power Lights up the World

9.         Wind Power Blows the Carbon Based Economy Away

10.       Geothermal Power Warms the Green Building Movement

11.       Ocean Power Waves the Way

12.       Natural Gas Lights the Way

13.       LEEDS Leads the Way

14.       New Green Building Codes Set New Standards for the Building Industry

15.       Green Design Components - Green Roofs and Rainwater Harvesting

16.       Green Developers Transform the Building Industry

17.       Green Homes Lower Your Carbon Footprint

18.       Green Buildings Lower Your Carbon Footprint

19.       Green Communities Lower Your Carbon Footprint

20.       Green Cities Lower Your Carbon Footprint

21.       The Rise of Sustainable Cities

22.       Developing Your Green Team

23.       A Bright New Green Future

24.       Conclusion – Warning - Owner's Beware

 

Preface

Executive Summary

Each day millions of tons of chemicals, gases and toxins are spread throughout the land, air and water on the earth. The planet’s atmosphere is full of air pollutants; the lakes, streams, ponds, rivers and oceans are full of deadly toxins and chemicals that are destroying millions of life forms; pure drinking water is now becoming a global challenge for millions of people; and the land is being bombarded with chemicals that are killing the microscopic life forms in soil and polluting the groundwater which flows into streams, rivers and the oceans of the world. Every life form on earth is under siege.

It is imperative that individuals, families, business and government leaders work together to alter the life-threatening effects of climate change and global pollution. The future of all life forms and the earth itself is hanging in the balance. We must confront these challenges today otherwise, there will be no tomorrow.

Problem

The challenges of climate change and global pollution are creating a new awareness of the delicate eco-systems that work in harmony throughout the planet. All life forms depend upon clean air, pure water and nutrient rich soil for life to grow on earth. It is important for individuals, families, businesses and government entities to measure their carbon footprint and design ways to save energy and lower the CO2 and GHG emissions that are spreading throughout America and the entire world and threatening all life forms.

Solution

It is imperative that people of all ages learn about the impact of climate change on the earth and how they can lower their carbon footprint through a series of important changes in their lifestyles.  The purpose of this volume is to encourage the creation of new green homes, new green buildings, new green communities and new green cities.

 

Chapter 1

The Climate Change Debate Heats Up 

On February 25, 2009 President Barack Obama used his first speech to a Joint Session of Congress to call for a cap and trade bill to spur economic recovery in the United States by providing an incentive for companies to start producing more wind turbines, solar panels and electric powered vehicles.

"To truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy," President Obama said in his address. "So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. That's what we need."

The climate change crisis in the world presents both a global challenge and a global opportunity. The challenge will be to move away from a fossil fuel-based economy, known as the brown world. The opportunity will be to create a new green global economy and a new green world order based upon alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources.

The brown world is dominated by the large multinational oil companies which have invested trillions of dollars in oil exploration, refineries, oil tankers, transportation vehicles and gasoline stations throughout the world. These giant global companies have created a world economy that is based upon carbon producing fossil fuels. The goal of the brown world is to further dependence upon fossil fuels and to control the world economy.

The global addiction to fossil fuels will only lead to a continuance of natural resource wars in key areas of the world where oil and natural gas reserves are stored deep beneath the earth’s surface. 

The Prize – The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

The brown world has existed since the days of Standard Oil Company. In 1991 Daniel Yergin published in massive study of the petroleum industry. His classic book was entitled, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power.  In the preface, he stated:

“Though the modern history of oil begins in the latter half of the nineteenth century, it is the twentieth century that has been completely transformed by the advent of petroleum. In particular, three great themes underlie the story of oil.

The Rise of Modern Capitalism

“The first is the rise and development of capitalism and modern business. Oil is the world’s biggest and most pervasive business, the greatest of the great industries that arose in the last decades of the nineteen century. Standard Oil, which thoroughly dominated the American petroleum industry by the end of that century, was among the world’s first and largest multi-national enterprises. The expansion of the business in the twentieth century –encompassing everything from wildcat drillers, smooth-talking promoters, and domineering entrepreneurs to great corporate bureaucracies and state-owned companies-embodies the twentieth-century evolution of business, of corporate strategy, of technological change and market development, and indeed of both national and international economies. Throughout the history of oil, deals have been done and monumental decisions have been made – among men, companies, and nations – sometimes with great calculations and sometimes almost by accident. No other business so starkly and extremely defines the meaning of risk and reward- and the profound impact of change and fate.

“As we look toward the twentieth century, it is clear that mastery will certainly come as much from a computer chip as from a barrel of oil. Yet the petroleum industry continues to have enormous impact. Of the top twenty companies in the Fortune 500, seven are oil companies. Until some alternative source of energy is found, oil will still have far reaching effects on the global economy; major price movements can fuel economic growth or, contrarily, drive inflation and kick off recessions. Today, oil is the only commodity whose doings and controversies are to be found regularly on the business page but also on the front page. And, as in the past, it is a massive generator of wealth - for individuals, companies, and entire nations. In the words of one tycoon, ‘Oil is almost like money.’

The Battles to Control the World’s Oil Reserves

“The second theme is that of oil as a commodity intimately intertwined with national strategies and global politics and power. The battlefields of World War I established the importance of petroleum as an element of national power when the internal combustion machine overtook the horse and the coal-powered locomotive. Petroleum was central to the course and outcome of World War II in both the Far East and Europe.

“The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to protect their flank as they grabbed the petroleum resources of the East Indies.

“Among Hitler’s most important strategic objectives in the invasion of the Soviet Union was the capture of the oil fields in the Caucasus. But America’s predominance in oil proved decisive, and by the end of the war German and Japanese fuel tanks were empty.

“In the Cold War years, the battle for oil between international and developing countries was a major part of the great drama of de-colonization and emergent nationalism.

“The Suez Crisis of 1856, which truly marked the end of the road for the old European imperial powers, was as much about oil as about anything else.

“‘Oil power’ loomed very large in the 1970s, catapulting states heretofore peripheral to international politics into positions of great wealth and influence, and creating a deep crisis of confidence in the industrial nations that had based their economic growth upon oil. And oil was at the heart of the first post-Cold War crisis of the 1990s – Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

“Yet oil has also proved that it can be fool’s gold. The Shah of Iran was granted his most fervent wish, oil wealth, and it destroyed him. Oil built up Mexico’s economy, not only to undermine it. The Soviet Union - the world’s second largest exporter – squandered its enormous oil earnings in the 1970s and 1980s in a military buildup and a series of useless and, in some cases, disastrous international adventures. And the United States, once the largest producer and still its largest consumer, must import half of its oil supply, weakening its overall strategic position and adding greatly to an already burdensome trade deficit – a precarious position for a great power.

A New World Order Emerges

“With the end of the Cold War, a new world order is taking shape. Economic competition, regional struggles, and ethnic rivalries may replace ideology as the force of international – and national – conflict, aided and abetted by the proliferation of modern weaponry. But whatever the evolution of this new international order, oil will remain the strategic commodity, critical to national strategies and international politics.

The Hydrocarbon Society

“A third theme in the history of oil illuminates how ours has become a ‘Hydrocarbon Society’ and we, in the language of anthropologists, ‘Hydrocarbon Man.’ In the first decades, the oil business provided an industrializing world with a product called by the made-up name of ‘kerosene’ and known as the ‘new light,’ which pushed back the night and extended the working day.

“At the end of the nineteenth century, John d. Rockefeller had become the richest man in the United States, mostly from the sale of kerosene. Gasoline was then only an almost useless by-product, which sometimes managed to be sold for as much as two cents a gallon, and when it could not be sold at all, was run out into rivers at night. But just as the invention of the incandescent light bulb seemed to signal the obsolescence of the oil industry, a new era opened with the development of the internal combustion engine powered by gasoline. The oil industry has a new market, and a new civilization was born.

“In the twentieth century, oil, supplemented by natural gas, toppled King Coal from his throne as the power source for the industrial world. Oil also became the basis of the great postwar suburbanization movement that transformed both the contemporary landscape and our modern way of life. Today, we are so dependent on oil, and oil is so embedded in our daily doings, that we hardly stop to comprehend its pervasive significance. It is oil that makes possible where we live, how we live, how we commute to work, how we travel – even where we conduct our courtships. It is the lifeblood of suburban communities.

“Oil (and natural gas) are the essential components in the fertilizer on which world agriculture depends; oil makes it possible to transport food to the totally non-self-sufficient megacities of the world. Oil also provides the plastics and chemicals that are the bricks and mortar of contemporary civilization, a civilization that would collapse if the world’s oil wells suddenly went dry.

A New War Erupts Over Fossil Fuels and Climate Change

“For most of this century, growing reliance on petroleum was almost universally celebrated as a good, a symbol of human progress. But no longer. With the rise of the environmental movement, the basic tenets of industrial society are being challenged; and the oil industry in all its dimensions is at the top of the list to be scrutinized, criticized, and opposed. Efforts are mounting around the world to curtail the combustion of all fossil fuels – oil, coal, and natural gas – because of the resultant smog and air pollution, acid rain, and ozone depletion, and because of the specter of climate change.

“Oil, which is so central a feature of the world as we know it, is now accused of fueling environmental degradation; and the oil industry, proud of its technological prowess and its contribution to shaping the modern world, finds itself on the defensive, charged with being a threat to present and future generations.” (The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991, pp. 13-15.)

Natural Resource Wars Will Flourish

The major global corporations reap hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from the brown economy. They will use every strategy and tactic in their arsenal to keep it alive and well.  Their goal is to uphold and promote a world order and world economy based upon fossil fuels.  They will seek to undermine the green economy at every turn. One of their latest strategies is to purchase new green technology companies and control their products and services.

If you look at a geologic map of the world’s natural resources, then you will be able to determine where future wars will occur as the advanced large multinational oil and gas companies seek to control the flow of oil and natural gas through the use of the military-industrial-intelligence complexes that exist in each of the G-9 nations.

A New Green World Order

On the other hand, the green world is being promoted by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs throughout America and the world who are creating new companies which promote the use of alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources to solve the climate change crisis and to end the dependence of nations upon foreign oil and natural gas. The goal of the new green world and the new green economy is to produce a healthier, cleaner world for all people and all life forms on earth.

Global Oil Companies Foster War to Seize Oil Reserves

The giant global oil companies are the main forces behind the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the building of U. S. military bases and oil and natural gas pipelines in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea. In the end, the Iraq War will cost the American people over four trillion dollars. Imagine if those funds had been invested in clean renewable fuel sources such as wind and solar power.

The continual burning of fossil fuels around the world produces a greenhouse gas emissions know as carbon dioxide. These emissions pose a health risk and an economic risk to people in every nation. The main producers of carbon dioxide are coal burning power plants and gasoline vehicles. The burning of fossil fuels traps heat in the atmosphere and produces the greenhouse effect. 

The Global Movement to Reduce Carbon Emissions

It is imperative that the people in America and throughout the world move into a green economy and leave the old brown world behind. One way to effectively undermine the brown economy, reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases and wean the United States from fossil fuels is to adopt the cap and trade rules being promoted by various think tanks and the Obama Administration.

A fierce debate that is currently being waged in the U. S. is between the proponents of the carbon tax and the cap and trade rules. The carbon tax is being promoted by the large oil companies and the fossil fuel industry in order to pass on the cost of the tax to the consumers. The cap and trade rules are being promoted by the Obama Administration and those who favor market-based rules being established by Congress rather than the Environmental Protection Agency (government bureaucrats).

The Cap and Trade System

In January of 2009, the Sightline Institute, a non-profit research organization based in Seattle, Washington issued a dynamic report entitled: Cap and Trade 101: A Climate Policy Primer. It was written by Alan Durning, Anna Fahey, Eric de Place and Clark Williams-Derry. The summary of the report states:

Climate change presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The same actions that will curb greenhouse-gas emissions will also let us break through to a clean energy economy—an economy that ends our addiction to oil and other dirty fossil fuels once and for all.

 

“If we are to seize this opportunity, however, a fundamental change is required: We must stop treating earth’s atmosphere as a free dumping ground for pollution. The key to making polluters pay for emissions is a system known as “cap and trade.” A cap-and-trade system, when done right, enforces an economy-wide limit on greenhouse gas emissions; sets realistic goals and commonsense rules for reducing emissions over time; and harnesses the creativity and dynamism of the market to achieve these goals.” (Cap and Trade 101. Sightline Institute, January 2009, p. 6.)

 

The report asks a number of pertinent questions and then provides insightful answers. It states:

 

Why Do We Need Cap and Trade? 

 

Climate change is not only one of the greatest challenges of our time, it’s also an epic opportunity. When we rise to the challenge through smart solutions, we will also unleash a wave of new economic development, generating jobs and revitalizing local economies. We already have the technology to jump-start a clean-energy economy. The ingenuity and dynamism of the marketplace can expand on these technologies over the coming decades, generating broadly shared prosperity while safeguarding our climate.

 

But seizing this opportunity will require us to adopt policies that effectively curb climate-changing emissions. At base, the threat of climate disruption stems from a single fact: We treat the atmosphere as a free dumping ground. No one has to pay to pollute our shared air. The result has been increasing concentrations of climate warming gases, along with other maladies of our energy system like oil addiction.

 

Jump-starting a transition to a clean-energy economy means, above all else, putting a price on climate-warming emissions: no more free dumping. The way to make polluters pay, while guaranteeing that we’ll meet emissions-reduction goals, is to implement a system called “cap and trade.” Cap and trade commits a region to responsible limits on global warming emissions; gradually ratchets down those limits over time; and harnesses the power of the marketplace to reduce emissions as smoothly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. (Cap and Trade 101, p. 6.)

 

What Does Cap and Trade Mean?

 

Cap: A cap is a legal limit on the quantity of greenhouse gases our economy can emit each year. Over time, the legal limit diminishes—the cap gets tighter—until we’ve hit our targets and launched a clean-energy economy. The cap acts as a solid backstop behind all other climate policies. Energy efficiency standards for vehicles and appliances, smart-growth plans, building codes, transit investments, tax credits for renewable energy, public investment in energy research and development, utility regulatory reforms—all manner of public actions can move us toward our climate goals. But the cap is our only guarantee that we will get there. There is no substitute

for the certainty of an emissions cap.

 

Trade: “Trade” means that, by law, companies may swap among themselves the permission to emit greenhouse gases. In other words, there is a market for pollution “permits.” The point of such a trading system is to put a price on pollution that will travel throughout the economy, motivating businesses and families to find ways to trim greenhouse gases. By turning the permission to pollute into a commodity that is bought and sold, everyone up and down the economic ladder gets new opportunities to make and save money. “Trade” hitches the flexible power of the marketplace—the mobilized ingenuity of millions of diverse, dispersed, innovative, self-interested people—to our climate goals. Cap and trade is a compelling combination: guaranteed results, flexible means.

 

Putting a price on pollution may sound a lot like “higher energy prices.” But fossil fuel prices are already up because of basic supply and demand. Were cap and trade in effect already, it would probably simply maintain high prices, not raise them further.

 

Besides, a well-designed trading system encourages efficiency, innovation, and lowest cost solutions. In the long term, cap and trade will reduce demand for dirty energy and make emerging clean technologies more and more affordable.

 

Most important, a well-designed cap-and-trade climate policy allows us to take charge of our energy future, rescuing ourselves from our fossil-fuel dependence. It redirects the proceeds of high energy prices toward the common good. In short, if we do it right, cap and trade lets us all share in not only the costs but also the benefits of the new economy.

 

Much depends, then, on the design of cap and trade. Different cap-and-trade proposals vary on how both “cap” and “trade” function. These differences have profound implications for the fairness and effectiveness of climate policy. Explaining these differences is the purpose of this primer. (Cap and Trade 101, pp. 6-7.)

 

 

How Does Cap and Trade Work?

 

Here are the basic steps to operating a cap-and-trade system:

 

1.      Tally greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, track fossil fuels at the points where they enter the region’s economy: the pipeline or oil tanker.1 The state of Washington has only about 100 companies in business at such entry points.

 

2.      Set a cap. Decide how much carbon pollution to allow in the program’s first year and require permits for emissions: one permit per ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other heat-trapping gases (known as CO2 equivalent, or CO2e

 

The number of permits will match the cap to ensure we hit our goals. (A cap does not limit emissions from individual citizens; no paperwork for families or small businesses is required. Instead, it affects wholesalers or suppliers of fossil fuels and similar big “upstream” businesses. Price signals travel downstream through the economy to other businesses and to consumers.)

 

3.      Distribute permits. Permits can be valid for a single year, or for a multi-year period. One method for distributing them is auctioning; another is to give them away free on the basis of past emissions (“grandfathering”), past energy sales, or some other criterion. Permit holders can buy and sell allowances among themselves. That’s the “trade” part.

 

4.      Enforce the cap. Affected businesses (for example, those that bring fossil fuels into the economy) will file periodic reports verifying that they hold enough permits to cover their emissions. Authorities will audit some reports to deter misrepresentation. They will curb speculation and gaming by overseeing the permit market, much as the Securities and Exchange Commission oversees Wall Street.

 

5.      Step it down. Each year, distribute fewer emissions permits, on a predictable, published schedule that takes us to our targets. The gradual nature of this transition maximizes choice and flexibility in a way that narrowly targeted climate policies cannot match.

 

Within this general description, cap and trade can vary, depending on how a specific system is designed. Key design choices make a world of difference. (Cap and Trade 101, pp. 7-8.)

 

In Brief: Why Cap and Trade?

 

It’s tested and proven. A cap-and-trade system worked cheaply and efficiently to reduce acid rain pollution in the United States in the 1990s.

 

It’s cost-effective. A cap provides market incentives to steadily reduce pollution in a cost-effective and efficient manner, encouraging a healthy shift away from the instability and insecurity of fossil fuels.

 

It’s economically sound. Today, we stand at the top of the pollution staircase. It would be dangerous and risky to jump to the bottom or run down too fast. Instead, cap and trade allows our businesses and families to step down, stair by stair, at a gradual pace that is safe and manageable. We can adjust through fuel efficiency and increased renewable energy resources like solar and wind power. Cap and trade offers us a path to success in the new energy economy: maximum flexibility, clear and feasible goals, and a predictable timeline.

 

It’s a prudent, long-term investment. The key to our long-term prosperity and a stable economy is a shift away from oil. This shift can work for businesses and consumers alike, allowing us to take charge of rising energy costs, invest in new technologies, and ensure a smooth transition. Right now, we’re sending billions of dollars a year out of local economies to pay for dirty energy.

 

Most importantly, the cap is a solid guardrail on the path to success. No policy measure can substitute for setting a solid cap on the greenhouse gas emissions that are allowed into the atmosphere; it’s our firm guarantee that we will meet crucial pollution targets. (Cap and Trade 101, pp. 6-7.)

 

The conclusion to the report states:

 

Conclusion: The Cap

 

Seizing the economic opportunities of a clean-energy future, while avoiding the perils of climate disruption and oil addiction, is arguably the defining challenge for our time.

 

We have exciting chances to slash emissions through low-carbon energy sources such as wind and other renewables and through a revolution in energy efficiency. Similarly, we have an abundance of ways to curb hard-to-track emissions at landfills, industrial facilities, and factory farms. We may be able to soak carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by restoring forests and grasslands to their historic richness. We may even perfect underground carbon storage.

 

To ease compliance with the cap, we will need a host of other smart policies and innovations: complete, compact neighborhoods that free us from long, tiresome commutes; pay-as-you-drive insurance; bounties on juice-hogging old appliances and gas guzzlers; efficiency standards for buildings, vehicles, and appliances; weatherization brigades to retrofit low-income homes; continuous, separate, citywide bikeways and walkways; pervasive for-profit and nonprofit car-sharing; richly networked, flexible, and reliable public transit; loans for efficiency upgrades that are repayable on your utility bill or property tax; and more.

 

It’s a bracing challenge, and the clock is ticking. But the most important step—bar none—is the cap. With a firm, legal, comprehensive cap, emissions will decline.

 

Without one, there’s no guarantee. In the absence of a cap (or a self-adjusting carbon tax shift), we could do everything else on the list—including even radically high regulatory standards—and still watch emissions grow.

 

The key to smart climate policy is putting a price on carbon—ideally through a comprehensive, auctioned, upstream cap-and-trade system with built-in protections for Northwest families. Anything else is second best. (Cap and Trade 101, p. 32.)

 

It is time to create a new green economy in America. Cap and trade rules are an integral part of the process of reducing carbon emissions and lowering greenhouses gases.

 

It is time to support the efforts of cities, counties, states and the federal government to lower carbon emissions, to free the nation from the grasp of large multinational oil corporations, to end the nation’s dependence upon foreign oil, to end the natural resource wars that are ravaging and pillaging nations and regions of the world, and to make the nation energy independent, healthier, cleaner and brighter.

 

It is time to create a new green world order based upon green homes, green buildings, green communities, green cities, sustainable living and renewable energy sources.

 

 

Chapter 2

A New Paradigm Shift Transforms the World 

In the Structures of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn shows how “almost every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms.”

Today the world is undergoing a major paradigm shift. The old way of doing things and thinking, (a world based upon fossil fuels, natural resource wars, energy dependence, toxic chemicals, drugs and fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and processed food laced with chemical additives) – is being replaced by a new way of doing things and thinking – (a green world based upon green buildings, sustainable living, clean tech, renewable energy sources and energy independence).

For over 125 years the world has lived under a global system designed by the elite in nine major countries. The main purpose of this global system is to concentrate power and wealth into the hands a small group of people. These people control the world economy and the natural resources of the world – oil, coal and natural gas. The global system is based upon fossil fuels and continual warfare. 

The global system designed by the elite is now being challenged by tens of thousands of people who believe that globalism is a failure. A new paradigm shift is occurring among the new elite, those who do not believe in the tenants of globalism and a world based upon fossil fuels, war and poisonous toxins, chemicals and drugs.

The world is undergoing three major global revolutions. These global revolutions will alter the course of political, economic and social affairs on earth for a millennium. The Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution are now sweeping the earth. A new green world order and a new green economy are emerging.

The Wellness Revolution

In 2002 Paul Zane Pilzer published a new book entitled, The Wellness Revolution: How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry. The book became a best seller and the publisher updated the book and released a new edition in 2007.

The cover of the book states that: “The Wellness Revolution was the ‘shot heard round the world’ for the wellness industry. It defined wellness as an industry - linking tens of thousands of disparate service and product suppliers with a single cause. It showed scientists, fitness providers, businesspeople, food manufacturers, doctors, and others focused on disease prevention and anti-aging that they were part of a worldwide revolution-rather than merely lone iconoclasts inside their chosen professions or industries….

“The New Wellness Revolution shows that even though millions of people have embraced wellness, the need for wellness has actually expanded due to declining health trends, particularly the rising obesity rate in the United States and other developed nations. Medical costs now exceed profits for most large employers, and corporations are beginning to recognize that wellness and disease prevention are the only viable solutions to rising healthcare costs that threaten their very existence. (Paul Zane Pilzer, The Wellness Revolution. Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007, Dust Cover)

Defining the Trillion Dollar Wellness Industry

In a chapter entitled, Why Wellness Is the Next Big Thing, Paul Zane Pilzer outlines the parameters of the wellness revolution and the impact it will have on America and the world. He states:

“The wellness industry is tackling one of the most profound issues of life, solving one of the few remaining mysteries of human existence – age and vitality – on which technology has yet to make its mark. In order to define the wellness industry and identify its opportunities, we must first distinguish it from a related industry based on some of the same technology – the current $2.0 trillion (U. S.) healthcare industry.

“Approximately one-sixth of the U. S. economy, about $2.0 trillion, is devoted to what is erroneously called the ‘healthcare’ business. Healthcare is a misnomer, as this one-sixth of the economy is really devoted to the sickness business – defined in the dictionary as ‘ill health, illness, a disordered, weakened, or unsound condition, or a specific disease.’

“The sickness business is reactive. Despite its enormous size, people become customers only when they are stricken by and react to a specific condition or ailment. No one really wants to be a customer.

“In the next 5 years, an additional $500 billion of the U. S. economy will be devoted to the still relatively unknown already - $500 billion wellness business – defined in the dictionary as ‘the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.’

“The wellness business is proactive. People voluntarily become customers – to feel healthier, to reduce the effects of aging, and to avoid becoming customers of the sickness business. Everyone wants to be a customer of this earlier-stage approach to health. (The Wellness Revolution, p. 4.)

The Wellness Industry Verses the Sickness Industry

In The Wellness Revolution, Paul Zane Pilzer provides the reader with a clear definition of the sickness industry and the wellness industry. He stated:

“Sickness Industry products and services provided reactively to people with an existing disease, ranging from a common cold to existing cancerous tumors. These products and services seek to either treat the symptoms of a disease or eliminate the disease.

“Well industry products and services provided proactively to healthy people (those without an existing disease) to make them feel even healthier and look better, to slow the effects of aging, and/or to prevent diseases from developing in the first place. (The Wellness Revolution. p, 5.)

Why We Need a Revolution

One of the more interesting chapters in The Wellness Revolution is entitled, Why We Need a Revolution. Paul Zane Pilzer begins this section by quoting John Milton who saw “revolution as the right of society to defend itself against abusive tyrants….” He states:

“Entrepreneurs and revolutionaries are really the same kind of people born into different circumstances. Both see the status quo in need of change, and both are willing to take the risks, and reap the rewards, of changing it.

“The emerging wellness industry is as much a reaction to the tyranny of the sickness and the food industries as it is to every person’ desire for the freedom wellness offers. Wellness is the next natural step forward in our destiny and in the advancement of humankind. By extending your years of strength and wellness, you can accomplish those things you want to accomplish.

“The revolutionary leaders in wellness are the entrepreneurs who grow and procreate wellness, the inventors who instigate wellness services and products, and the practitioners and distributors who carry the wellness message throughout society. Take your pick of how you want to be a leader of this new industry.

“Revolutions and entrepreneurial journeys often begin with an epiphany – an illuminating discovery by an individual that typically sets him or her out on a quest…. (The Wellness Revolution, pp, 15-16.)

Powerful Economic Forces Promote Illness

Paul Zane Pilzer feels that the sickness industry is attempting to undermine the wellness industry at every turn. They are utilizing every tool in their arsenal to promote their deadly poisons and toxics in every aspect of the food chain and then when people become sick, as they undoubtedly will, when they consume the food products laden with chemicals from the seed to the grocery store, they have tons of prescription drugs waiting to treat the diseases which were caused by their poisons and toxins from chemicals in GMOs, fertilizers, food additives, etc.

In his famous book, The Wellness Revolution, Paul Zane Pilzer states that:

“Incredibly powerful economic forces are preventing people from taking control of their health and are actually encouraging them to gain weight – forces so powerful that nothing short of a revolution will be able to stop them.

“For many individuals, it may be impossible to take control of their health until they first understand the $1.3 trillion dollar food and $2.0 trillion medical industries that represent a quarter of our national economy…. (Paul Zane Pilzer The Wellness Revolution. Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007, p, 18.)

Powerful Forces Acting in Concert to Promote the Sickness Industry

Who are these incredibly powerful forces preventing people from being healthy today? They are the global food conglomerates and the global chemical and pharmaceutical companies.  Concerning the collusion between these two forces Paul Zane Pilzer said:

“Although there was obviously no direct conspiracy between the $1.3 trillion food industry (which causes most of the problems) and the $2.0 trillion medical industry (which treats just enough of the symptoms to get the target consumers back to work and consumption), the economic effect was the same as if these two industries were conspiring against the American consumer in the most sinister fashion.

“The thousands of companies that comprise that comprise the $1.3 trillion U. S. food industry and the $2.0 trillion U. S. medical industry are governed by universal laws of economics that cause them to act in concert, as though they were part of a vast, nefarious conspiracy…. .” (The Wellness Revolution, p, 25.)

The Wellness Industry is transforming the way people look at factory farms, GMOs, poisonous chemical fertilizers, processed food, pharmaceutical drugs and sickness. A new green world is emerging based upon organic farming, family farms, organic food, natural healing techniques, sustainable living practices and respect for the earth and all life forms. It is a revolution whose time has come.

The Green Building Revolution

In 2008 Jerry Yudelson, one of the nation’s leading experts on the newly emerging green building industry, published a remarkably insightful book entitled, The Green Building Revolution. He outlined the scope of the new green building revolution that is sweeping the earth in these words: 

“The green building revolution is sweeping across not only the United States but most of the world. It’s a revolution inspired by an awakened understanding of how buildings use resources, affect people, and harm the environment. This revolution is further fueled by the knowledge that the world has little time to respond to the growing dangers of climate change, especially global warming, and that buildings play a huge role in causing carbon dioxide emissions that drive global climate change. According to Architecture 2030, our commercial and residential buildings generate, directly or indirectly, nearly half the carbon emissions of the entire United States.

“How important is the green building revolution? A 2007 study by McKinsey, an international consulting firm, showed that changes in building design and construction could offset up to 6 billion tons of carbon emissions annually ‘through measures with a zero or negative net life-cycle cost.’ This amount constitutes about one-fourth of the abatement required to keep atmospheric carbon emissions below 450 parts per million in 2030. In other words, green building saves carbon emissions, water heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and other energy-efficiency measures. This is a win-win scenario on which both climate-change activists and hardheaded businesspeople can agree.

 “The green building revolution is part of a paradigm shift toward sustainability, a growing realization that current ways of living, made possible largely because of cheap and abundant fossil fuels, are not sustainable in the long term. Green building revolutionaries work in all industries, in all income groups, in all social strata, and in all guises. They may be aging baby boomers or high school students taking an early interest in building and design. In my own experience, the present decade (and particularly the second half of it) – a fresh new decade of a fresh new century – marks the first time in a generation that the American public has been worried, very worried about the state of the world and the provenance of energy to fuel the myriad activities of a global postindustrial economy.

“With these thoughts in mind, let’s see what we can learn about green buildings as a solution to the many global issues associated with climate change, human health, and the quality of the environment.

The Origins of the Green Building Revolution

“The revolution can be traced to many causes over the past several decades, just as the seeds of the American Revolution were planted fifteen years or more before the country erupted into open rebellion. In the 1980s, the Montreal Protocol limited the use of chlorinated fluorocarbons, which were found to be harmful to the ozone layer that is so vital for human life. In 1987 the United Nations’ World Commission on Environmental and Development, aka the Brundtland Commission, was the first to define sustainability, calling it the ability of the present generation to meet theirs – echoing the American Indian seventh-generation rule: Each generation is responsible for making decisions that ensure the survival of the seventh generation. In the late 1980s, a group of farsighted architects formed the committee on the Environment within the American Institute of Architects and began  the process of steering the profession toward sustainable design.

“Two major events occurred in the early 1990s that influenced the creation of the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In the United States, the 20th anniversary of the original Earth Day took place in 1990; in Brazil, the U. N. Conference on Environment and Development, popularly known as the Earth Summit, was held in Rio Janeiro in 1992. Both of these events precipitated the formation of  the USGBC in 1993.

“The USGBC is a consensus-based group consisting solely of other organizations: companies, government agencies, universities, primary and secondary schools, nonprofits, environmental groups, and trade associations. Its membership growth has been rapid…. From a base of about 150 companies of 1998, the USGBC has grown 50-fold, to 7,500 companies, as of early 2007. This rapid growth is emblematic of Victor Hugo’s mid-19th-century remark that ‘one withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas,’ often paraphrased as ‘nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.’

“The late 1990s saw the establishment of the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the U. N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that represented the first attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. More than 170 countries, which together produce more than 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (but not including the U. S.), have so far signed and ratified the protocol.

“In 2000, the USGBC unveiled the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for public use. LEED was the first rating system in the United States to hold commercial projects up to scrutiny for the full range of their effects on energy and water use, municipal infrastructure, transportation energy use, resource conservation, land use, and indoor environmental quality. Prior to LEED, most evaluations systems, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, had focused exclusively on energy use. (Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution. Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 2008, pp. 1-3,)

Many Factors Are Driving the Green Building Revolution

Today the U. S. Green Building Council is the leading green building rating system in the nation. It has an excellent programs and each day more and more people are becoming certified LEED Accredited Professions. The private sector building industry has begun to embrace the reality of the new green building revolution and each day more and more green buildings are arising throughout the land.

The growth of the green building revolution has been a partnership of private sector architects, designers and planners and government agencies. They foresaw the wisdom of utilizing LEED design standards in lowering carbon emissions of public and private buildings throughout the United States. They were right. LEED standards are now revolutionizing the nation.                       

The green building revolution has gained such momentum that is now unstoppable. Each day more and more green buildings are being assembled and built throughout the nation. It is a revolution whose time has come.

The Rise of the Clean Tech Revolution

The Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution are literally changing the world forever. A new green world order and a new green economy are emerging that are based on these three major global, earth-shaking, transformational revolutions.

In 2007 Ron Pernick, cofounder of Clean Edge (Clean Tech Research & Publishing Firm), and Clint Wilder, contribution editor at Clean Edge published a major treatise entitled, The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity.

Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder outline the Clean Tech Revolution as follows:

“For most people the concept of clean technology, or clean tech, is relatively new. Clean tech refers to any product, service, or process that delivers value using limited or zero nonrenewable resources and/or creates significantly less waste than conventional offerings. Clean technology comprises a diverse range of products and services, from solar power systems to hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), that

-          Harness renewable materials and energy sources or reduce the use of natural resources by using them more efficiently and productively

-          Cut or eliminate pollution and toxic wastes

-          Deliver equal or superior performance compared with conventional offerings

-          Provide investors, companies, and customers with the promise of increased returns, reduced costs, and lower prices

-          Create quality jobs in management, production, and deployment

“Clean tech covers four main sectors: energy, transportation, water, and materials. It includes relatively well known technologies such as solar photovoltaics, wind power, biofuels, bio-based plastics, advanced lithium-ion batteries, and large scale reverse-osmosis water desalination. It also includes such emerging technologies as tidal power, silicon-based fuel cells, distributed hydrogen generation, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and nano-technology based materials.

“in the 1970s, clean tech was considered ‘alternative,’ the province of back-to-the-land lifestyle advocates, altruistic environmentalists, and lab scientists on research grants – and for good reason: It was in an early stage of development, it was too expensive, it didn’t have widespread political support, and very few large, established companies were embracing the sector.

“Even at the start of the twenty-first century, the term clean tech wasn’t yet in the financial or business community’s lexicon. If you had done a web search on clean technology or clean tech in 2000, you’d have received only a few relevant results. If you did a similar Web search on the topic today, you’d find more than 500,000 relevant hits, reflecting today’s reality – clean technology is everywhere.

“Throughout the world, in trends large and small, we’re seeing the beginning of a revolution that is changing the place where we live and work, the products we manufacture and purchase, and the development plans of cities, regional governments, and nations around the globe. One need look no further than the daily headlines to see clean tech taking hold. Portland, Oregon, recently became the first city in the United States to require all gasoline sold within city limits to contain at least 10% ethanol. California passed landmark legislation to cap and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to install nearly 1 million solar roofs over the next decade. Gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUV) proprietor Ford has seen its fortunes plummet as those of hybrid-leader Toyota rise. Entrepreneurs have raised venture capital (VC) to develop everything from a high performance, battery-powered, $92,000 electric sports car to solar cells based on nanotechnology.

“The revolution is not coming: It’s here today. Consider these facts:

-          State mandates in the United States. More than half of the American people live in states that have mandated that their utilities generate a specified percentage of electricity (in many cases up to 20% or 25%) from renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal by a specific target year. Two recent states to join the club, Colorado and Washington, did so by 2004 and 2006 ballot measures that each state’s voters approved by comfortable margins.

-          Leadership in the European Union. Wind farms in Denmark, many of them offshore, now generate about 20% of the nation’s electricity, proving many doubters wrong about the viability of clean, renewable energy. Germany and Spain rank first and second, respectively, in wind power production, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

-          Clean power options. Hundreds of investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, and electric cooperatives in every region of the United States offer the option of green power to customers who can choose to receive electricity from renewable sources. While most of these utilities charge a small green surcharge, that charge is sometimes locked in for a fixed period, providing a hedge against spikes in the price of natural gas. In some regions, green-power customers have at times seen their electric rates below those of their neighbors who are paying for conventional power.

-          A soar boom. The solar PV (photovoltaic) industry reached more than 1 gigawatt (GW, or 1,000 megawatts [MW] of total manufacturing output in 2004, approximately 1.5 GW in 2005, and more than 2 GW in 2006, making the solar manufacturing and installation industry worth nearly $16 billion. And it is projected to continue to expand by more than 30% each year for the foreseeable future. Sharp, the leading manufacturer of solar PV modules, believes in a bright future for the technology. The company has expanded its manufacturing capacity from 54 MW in 2000 to a planned 710 MW in 2007.

-          A hybrid takeoff. Since 2003, hybrid cars have gone from a tiny speck on the automobile landscape to one of the U. S. vehicle market’s fastest growing segments. Toyota doubled its flagship hybrid car’s allocation in North America in 2005, to 100,000, and  started building hybrids on U. S. assembly lines in 2006. By the end of 2006 there were some 15 hybrid models on showroom floors, including hybrid models from such popular vehicles as the Honda Civic and Accord and the Toyota Camry.

-          Clean extreme makeover. Since 2000, more than 730 buildings comprising 5% of all new commercial structures in  the United States have been certified as green buildings by the U. S. Green Building Council, and nearly 5,800 more are in the pipeline. For example, Ford’s 600-acre Rouge Factory complex in Dearborn, Michigan, the world’s largest integrated industrial facility when it was completed by Henry Ford in 1928, has undergone a complete ‘greening’. Ford workers assemble trucks under a 10-acre roof with grasses and plants growing on it; the insulation cuts energy costs by nearly 10%.

-          Bio big business. Bio-based materials are moving the organic food co-op to the shelves of major chains such as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Cargill, via its NatureWorks unit, is manufacturing bio-based materials using renewable resources such as maize instead of petro-chemicals. The material uses up to 50% less energy to produce and is compostable. DuPont has also been aggressively pursuing the biopolymers market, launching a new manufacturing facility in 2007 to produce a patented biomaterial based on fermented and purified sugars. Agribusiness giat Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is building a plant in Clinton, Ohio, that will produce 45,000 tons of natural, corn-based plastics annually after it opens in 2008.

-           The list goes on and on.

(Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity. New York: Collins, 2007, pp. 2-5.)

The new green world order and the new green economy are being driven by the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. It is to join the new green revolution. It will require a major paradigm shift in your life and lifestyle. It will require a new way of thinking about everything you do.

 

Chapter 3

The Re-emergence of the Natural World 

For nearly six thousand years the people of the world lived in a 100% organic world. The air was clean and pure, free of harmful, toxic gases. The water found in lakes, streams, ponds and the ocean was clean and pure, free of toxic pollutions, chemicals and drugs. The land was clean and pure, free of toxic chemicals, seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and poisons.

In the last 100 years, however, the natural world has been under attack by large multinational corporations which are determined to plunder and control all of the natural resources on the earth.  Their goal is power and gain - hence the rise of the natural resource wars. 

The large global food companies provide billions of people with processed food laced with chemical additives that are harmful to the body. A constant diet of such dead food eventually leads to disease in the body. The global chemical and pharmaceutical companies have created a medical system that is ready to treat all of the diseases caused by the consumption of processed food laced with toxic chemicals.  Together this powerful combination of food, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have placed the health of the planet, every person and all life forms in extreme danger from the poisonous toxins, chemicals and drugs.

The world created by multinational corporations in not sustainable. It is not a healthy world. It is not a just world. It is not a beautiful world. It is a world filled with greed, tyranny, bondage, exploitation, enslavement, corruption, crime, drugs, armaments, pollution, famine, poverty and social inequality. It is not a true and just world order. In fact, it is just the opposite. It is a global system that serves to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a small elite who control the world economy and seek to ensure that fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy for decades to come.

 

The land air and water on earth is now completely saturated with chemicals. The giant chemical companies have released hundreds of millions of tons of poisons and toxins upon the land and into the lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans on earth. The air is no longer crisp and pure. The water is no longer clean and pure. The land is no longer full of trillions of microscopic life forms that nourish the seeds which God has placed upon the earth. The global oil companies have created a world economy where people are addicted to fossil fuels – a key source of carbon emissions and global pollution.

It Is Time

It is time for a major paradigm shift in the way we look at the earth, the people who live on the earth and the trillions of life forms that inhabit the earth.

 

It is time for a major paradigm shift in the way we look at the political, economic and social systems designed by the elite to govern the planet.

 

It is time to replace the current form of monopoly capitalism with a true and just form of capitalism known as “natural capitalism.”

 

It is time to construct a new world order - a true and just world order. It is time to construct a new green world order and a new green world economy based upon the principles of naturalism.

 

It is time for people in America and the world to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in every phase of their lives and become wise stewards of the land, air, water. We should respect all life forms on earth as creatures of God by ensuring that the earth is free of poisons and toxics that destroy all life forms.

It is time for people in America and the world to embrace the natural world – a world of natural organic farming and natural healing techniques, therapies, treatments and products that nourish, heal and strengthen the body and mind.

It is time to begin building green homes, green buildings and green communities that are healthy and free of toxic chemicals and environmental hazards. 

It is time to choose the natural world. After all, that is the world that God created for his children and all life forms on earth in the beginning.

 

As we construct this new green world order it is important to remember the words of Albert Einstein when he said, “The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.”

 

The Rise of Natural Capitalism

 

In 1999 Paul Hawken, the author of Ecology of Commerce joined with Amory and L. Hunter Lovins, the founders of the Rocky Mountain Institute, to publish a thought provoking treatise entitled, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. The authors believe that the industrial revolution is over and a new revolution is underway. The authors feel that a new form of capitalism is needed for the new world order that is emerging – “natural capitalism.”

 

The authors outlined their new system in these words:

 

“The climate debate is a public issue in which the assets at risk are not specific resources, like oil, fish, or timber, but a life-supporting system. One of nature’s most critical cycles is the continual exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen among plants and animals. This ‘recycling service’ is provided by nature free of charge. But today carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere, due in part to combustion of fossil fuels. In effect, the capacity of the natural system to recycle carbon dioxide has been exceeded, just as overfishing can exceed the capacity of a fishery to replenish stocks. But what is especially important to realize is that there is no known alternative to nature’s carbon cycle service.

 

“Besides climate, the changes in the biosphere are widespread. In the past half century, the world has lost a fourth of its topsoil and a third of its forest cover. At present rates of destruction, we will lose 70 percent of the world’s coral reefs in our lifetime, host to 25 percent of marine life. In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s resources, its ‘natural wealth,’ has been consumed. We are losing freshwater ecosystems at the rate of 6 percent a year, marine ecosystems by 4 percent a year. There is no longer any serious scientific dispute that the decline in every living system in the world is reaching such levels that an increasing number of them are starting to lose, often at a pace accelerated by the interactions of their decline, their assured ability to sustain the continuity of the life process. We have reached an extraordinary threshold.

 

“Recognition of this shadow side of the success of industrial production has triggered the second of two great intellectual shifts of the late twentieth century. The end of the Cold War and the fall of communism was the first such shift; the second, now quietly emerging, is the end of the war against life on earth, and the eventual ascendance of what we call natural capitalism.” (Paul Hawke, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.  New York: Little Brown & Company, 1999, pp. 4-5.)

 

A New Mind Set and a New Set of Values

 

In a chapter entitled, “The Next Industrial Revolution”, Paul Hawke, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins ask the following questions:

 

“What would our economy look like if it fully valued all forms of capital, including human and natural capital? What if our economy were organized not around the lifeless abstractions of neoclassical economics and accountancy but around the biological realities of nature? What if Generally Accepted Accounting Practice booked natural and human capital not as a free amenity in putative inexhaustible supply but as a finite and integrally valuable factor of production? What if, in the absence of a rigorous way to practice such accounting, companies started to as if such principles were in force? This choice is possible and such an economy would offer a stunning new set of opportunities for all of society, amounting to not less than the next industrial revolution.

 

“Natural capitalism and the possibility of a new industrial system are based on a very different mind-set and set of values than conventional capitalism. Its fundamental assumptions include the following:

 

-          The environment is not a minor factor of production but rather is an ‘envelope containing, provisioning, and sustaining the entire economy.

 

-          The limiting factor to the future economic development is the availability and functionality of natural capital, in particular, life-supporting services that have no substitutes and currently have not market value.

 

-          Misconceived or badly designed business systems, population growth, and wasteful patterns of consumption are the primary causes of the loss of natural capital, and all there must be addressed to achieve a sustainable economy.

 

-          Future economic progress can best take place in democratic, market-based systems of production and distribution in which all forms of capital are fully valued, including human, manufactured, financial, and natural capital.

 

-          One of the keys to the most beneficial employment of people, money, and the environment is radical increases in resource productivity.

 

-          Human welfare is best served by improving the quality and flow of desired services delivered, rather than by merely increasing the total dollar flow.

 

-          Economic and environmental sustainability depends on redressing global inequalities of income and material well-being.

 

-          The best long-term environment for commerce is provided by the true democratic system of governance that are based upon the needs of people rather than business.

 

(Paul Hawke, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.  New York: Little Brown & Company, 1999, pp. 9-10.)

 

It is time to construct a new world order - a true and just world order. It is time to construct a new green world order and a new green world economy based upon the principles of naturalism.

 

The tenants and principles of the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution form the foundation of a true and just world order.

 

 

Chapter 4

Eco-Design Becomes Fashionable 

If one spends time in the majestic mountains, strolls through the open desert, visits the marshlands, traverses the Amazon, swims in the lakes and oceans located on the earth, it does not take one long to see the miracle of creation. The earth is truly a remarkable life support system for trillions of life forms. Everything really does works together in a harmony that surpasses human understanding. It is only when we take time to study nature do we begin to see the miracle of life on earth. God really has designed an amazing planet for all of his children.

It is no wonder that Leonardo da Vinca, one of the world’s greatest inventors stated: “Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.”

The writings of such prominent naturalists as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Muir helped us appreciate the beauty of nature. Emerson’s Nature (1836), Thoreau’s Walden (1854) and Muir’s Our National Parks (1901) and The Yosemite (1912) open one’s eyes to the natural beauty that surrounds us every day.

In 1962 Rachel Carson, a leading naturalist, published a small treatise entitled, Silent Spring. The book set a powerful message around the world and opened the eyes of people to the dangers and destructive impact of poisonous toxics, chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides were having on the eco-system of the earth.

Rachel Carson voice of warning awakened a sleeping world to the importance of nature and the eco-system in the life of people everywhere. A chorus of environmentalists resulted in the first Earth Day in 1970. Over 20 million people joined in a day of appreciation for the wonders of the earth and the miracles of nature.

Tens of thousands of naturals spearheaded a movement that became known as naturalism, environmentalism, and sustainability. The efforts of these naturalists over the last 175 years have culminated in three global movements that are sweeping the earth today: (1) The Wellness Revolution; (2) The Green Building Revolution; and (3) Clean Tech Revolution.

These three revolutions have led to a reevaluation of life as we know it today. A major paradigm shift of tectonic proportion is underway throughout the earth. A new green world order and a new green economy is unfolding. A new design movement has emerged under the name of Eco-Design.           

The Interdependence of Human Environments and Ecosystems

In 2005 Andres R. Edwards published a treatise entitled, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. The author is an outspoken advocate of sustainability movement. Concerning Ecological Design he stated:

“The Sustainability and Ecological Design principles examine the interdependence of human environments and ecosystems and point to the far-reaching effects that design decisions have on the environment. The statistics for the environmental impacts of buildings are staggering. In the United States, buildings are responsible for over 65 percent of total electricity consumption, 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, 136 million tons per year of construction and demolition waste (approximately 2.8 pounds per person per day) and 12 per cent of the portable water use.

“Globally, buildings use 40 percent (3 billion tons annually) of all raw materials. Given the magnitude of the built environment, finding alternative building strategies that are in harmony with communities and ecosystems is imperative.

“The benefits of sustainable or ‘green’ building practices extend beyond reducing environmental impacts. Green building strategies also make wise business sense by promoting economic savings through reduced operating costs, by improving health and safety for occupants and visitors and by enhancing quality of life in local communities.

“The principles of ecological design focus on the interaction of architecture, people and nature. They use environmental impacts (both positive and negative) to evaluate design and product life cycle and reinterpret the concept of waste. They explore the benefits of regenerative design, which goes beyond limiting environmental impact and strives to enhance our life-support systems. These principles also take a broad perspective that incorporates cultural, spiritual and historical traditions into the design process….

“It is important to understand efficient energy use and the life cycles of products. Although embodied energy – the energy required to manufacture products – is not always considered, it can play a significant role in the environmental impact of a building project…. (Andres R. Edwards, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005, pp. 97-98, 99.)

The Five Principles of Ecological Design

Concerning the five principles of ecological design Andres R. Edwards writes:

“The Five Principles of Ecological Design stem from Sim Van Ryn and Stuart Cowan’s groundbreaking book Ecological Design (1995), which explore the integration of sustainability concepts and ecological design. The Five Principles clearly articulate the interdepencene of design, function and nature. The principles are being implemented in the work of the Ecological Design Institute (EDI and Sim Van de Ryn Archietects.

 

-          Solutions Grow from Place. Ecological design begins with the intimate knowledge of a particular place. Therefore, it is a small scale and direct, responsive to both local conditions and local people. If we are sensitive to the nuances of place, we can inhabit with destroying.

-          Ecological Accounting Informs Design. Trace the environmental impacts of existing or proposed designs. Use this information to determine the most ecologically sound design possible.

-          Design with Nature. By working with living processes, we respect the needs of all species while meeting our own. Engaging in processes that regenerate rather thatn deplete, we become more alive.

-          Everyone is a Designer. Listen to every voice in the design process. No one is participant only or designer only. Everyone is a participant-designer. Honor the special knowledge that each person brings. As people work together to heal their places, they also heal themselves.

-          Make Nature Visible. Denatured environments ignore our need and potential for learning. Making natural cycles and processes visible brings the designed environment back to life. Effective design helps inform us of our place within nature.

(Andres R. Edwards, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005, pp. 103-104.)

Principles of Ecological Design and Living Machines

“John and Nancy Todd’s Principles of Ecological Design stem from their book From Eco-cities to Living Machines (1994). The Todds co-founded the New Alchemy Institute and later Ocean Arks International and Living Technologies. Their work in ecological design incorporates aspects of energy, architecture, food production and waste management. Their living machines use microorganisms and plants to purify and reclaim waste.

-          The living world is the matrix for all design.

-          Design should follow, not oppose, the laws of life.

-          Biological equity must determine design.

-          Design must reflect bioregionality.

-          Projects should be based on renewable energy sources.

-          Design should be sustainable through the integration of living systems.

-          Design should be co-evolutionary with the natural world.

-          Building and design should help heal the planet

-          Design should follow a sacred ecology.

(Andres R. Edwards, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005, pp. 10-105.)

A Comprehensive Approach to Ecological Design

The Ecological Design process is a comprehensive and totally inclusive approach to merging nature and design into an integral process that sustains life while taking into account the life-cycle process of every material used in the design, construction and operation of green homes, green buildings and green communities.

Architects, planners, environmental consultants are implanting the principles of ecological design throughout the world today. In fact, they form the foundation of the new Green Building Revolution that is sweeping across America and the world today.

 

Chapter 5

The Green Building Movement 

The green building revolution is being led by a unique group of insightful, dedicated and prominent architects, designers, planners, environmentalists, manufacturers, government officials, scholars, educators. journalists and business leaders who feel that it is time to design, construct and operate green homes, green buildings and green communities. One of the bright stars in this constellation is the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Council has been at the forefront of the movement since its inception.

Concerning the role of the U. S. Building Council, Andres R. Edwards, a leading environmental systems consultant and author, stated:

“One of the most encouraging developments within the Sustainability Revolution is the rise of the US Green Building Council with its international counterpart, the World Green Building Council, and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.

“Established in 1993, the US Green building Council aims to ‘promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy place to live and work.’ Through the LEED products and resources, GreenBuild, the Annual International Green Building Conference and Expo, and the current 157 LEED-Certified projects and over 1,700 LEED-Registered projects in all 50 states and 13 countries, the US and World Green Building Councils are spearheading a transformation in the building industry….” (Andres R. Edwards, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005, pp. 109-110.)

U. S. Green Building Council Set the Standards for the Building Industry

In 2008 Jerry Yudelson published an insightful treatise known as The Green Building Revolution. He is a professional engineer, the author of numerous books on the subject and a prominent leader and consultant in the green building industry.

Concerning the USGBC’s unique rating system, Jerry Yudelson writes:

“Over the ensuing seven years, LEED has become the de facto U. S. rating system for commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. In the process, LEED has defined what it means for a building to be sustainable and how architects, engineers, builders, owners, and developers should approach creating green buildings. This is a remarkable achievement for a nonprofit organization….

“Projects register to use the LEED rating system; when finished, they submit documentation to receive a certification at one of four levels: basic (Certified), Silver, Gold or Platinum. The initial LEED system covered only new construction and major renovations of commercial and institutional developments and then, with some modifications, became usable for residential developments above three stories. This original system is now generally referred to as LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), to clearly indicate its primary focus.

“Since 2000, the USGBC has unveiled five additional LEED rating systems. They apply to commercial interiors (tenant improvements), existing buildings (operation and maintenance activities), core and shell buildings (for developers), homes (for single-family and low-rise residential), and neighborhood development (for urban districts and higher-density mixed use developments.

“ … By the year-end 2006, cumulative LEED-NC registrations exceeded 2005 totals by 50 percent, growing to nearly 4, 000, while the number of LEED-NC certified projects increased over the same period by nearly 70 percent to 513…. In an industry (construction and development) that typically grows about 5 percent (or less) per year, this rapid growth is an earthshaking phenomenon. You can also see the large number of projects in the other major rating systems.

“For 2007, I predict that more than 1,500 new projects will register to use the LEED system, representing about 150 million square feet of new construction, or about 8 to 10 percent of the total U. s. commercial and institutional building market. Based on the current rate of growth, I anticipate that 300 to 400 of those projects will receive LEED certification in 2007, representing about one per day. By the year-end 2008, I conservatively predict that more than 1,500 LEED-certified projects will exist throughout the United States and Canada.

“As Rich Fedrizzi wrote in the foreword [The Green Building Revolution], the USGBC has even more dramatic goals for LEED rating system: by the end of 2010, the council hopes to see 100,000 LEED-certified commercial and institutional projects and one million LEED-certified homes in the United States. If achieved, this would represent a 200-fold increase in certified commercial buildings and a 1–-fold increase in certified homes (estimating that about 10,000 homes were certified green in 2006).

“In the residential sector, there has long been a focus on energy efficiency through the Energy Star home-certification program, which is aimed a cutting energy use 15 percent below a 2004 baseline. In 2006 this program certified 174,000 homes, about 12 percent of all new homes built. Other industry-based certification programs produced thousands of additional green homes in 2006.

“The USGBC estimated that through its member organizations, its programs are affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. One indication of this is the growth in attendance at workshops that show building industry professionals how to work with the LEED system. By the end of 2006, nearly 45,000 people had taken an all-day LEED training workshop. At the same time, nearly 35,000 people has passed a national exam to become LEED Accredited Professionals, or LEED APs. These numbers indicate LEED’s tremendous reach within the commercial building sector; they also show how the USGBC is building the capacity for people to take part in the green building revolution. The USGBC’s goal is that each green building project use at least one LEED AP guide it through the LEED certification process.

“But the green building revolution is not just about the USGBC and the LEED process. It is a broader movement by the building industry to become more responsible: toward the occupants of its buildings; toward community infrastructure, energy and water, and other natural resources and materials; and toward the global environment. (Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution. Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 2008, pp. 4-6.)

The Market for Green Buildings in America

A new market for green buildings has arisen in America. Concerning this major new trend, Yudelson states:

“Kathleen O’Brien runs a small green-building consulting firm in Seattle. Speaking of her experience, she says: ‘Now that compelling information about climate change is available, people who were on the fence are deciding that green building is definitely the right thing to do. They are starting to see the connection between global environmental impacts and possible costs to their operations. In additional to proportional immediate operational savings, marketing savings, design savings, for example, they are also thinking about long-term protection from volatile energy pricing, energy security, and things like that.’

“The market for green buildings includes commercial, institutional, and residential buildings as well as public, educational, nonprofit, and corporate owners. Green buildings are found in locations all over the United States and Canada, from the Arctic Circle to the tip of Florida, from the rocky coast of Nova Scotia to the tropical beaches of Hawaii. They comprise a vast array of building types, including offices, police stations, baseball stadiums, museums, libraries, animal shelters, and industrial buildings. Green building projects involve new and historic buildings; urban infill, brownfield restoration, and suburban ‘greenfield’ sites’ and all sizes of projects, ranging from a few thousand to more than one million square feet.

“LEED-registered public-sector and nonprofit green buildings in the U. S. are approaching 10 percent of  the total annual new construction value of such buildings, while commercial green buildings are approaching 5 percent of the total annual new construction. While these numbers may seem small, they indicate solid acceptance by the early-adopter market and provide a basis for predicting a rapidly growing market share of green buildings in each component of the building industry: commercial, primary and secondary school, higher education, government, health care, retail, and hospital.

The Policy Case for Green Buildings in America

“Until the USGBC formed and began to talk about the need for market transformation, few people were aware of the tremendous impact of buildings on the environment. According to the USGBC, buildings directly account for 12 percent of all freshwater use, 30 per of all raw materials, 30 percent of all greenhouse emissions (the indirect effects of materials and transportation account for another 18 percent), 45 to 65 percent of waste outputs to landfills, 31 percent of all mercury in sold waste, and 70 percent of all electricity consumption.

“On the other hand, we know that green buildings offer a 30 percent energy savings, a 30 to 50 percent water savings, a 35 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and a 50 to 90 percent reduction in construction waste and waster generation from building operations.

“Buildings are long-lived: the typical life of a non-residential building is 75 years, while a public school building might last 60 years. Since energy costs may increase dramatically over the lifetime of a building, total lifetime energy costs can often exceed the cost of the building itself….

The Role of Government in Launching the Green Building Revolution

“At the beginning of the present decade, government leadership was vital for the growth of green buildings, with government and nonprofit buildings making up more that 70 percent of all LEED project registrations and more than 60 percent of the value of all green buildings. By mandating LEED standards for their own buildings, governments set an example for the private sector.

“In 2001 the Seattle City Council became the first governmental body in the nation to issue a LEED-related mandate, requiring LEED Silver certification for all new public buildings over 5,000 square feet. In 2004, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, mandated LEED Gold certification for all new public buildings above a certain size. And in 2004, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-20-04, requiring the LEED Silver certification for all new state buildings, while also mandating a 15 percent reduction in electricity use in state buildings within ten years.

“These examples energized the private sector to follow suit. By 2005 the momentum had shifted, with nearly half of all LEED registration and new green building certifications coming from nongovernmental sources. Corporate goals of pursuing sustainability in all its dimensions have played a part in this growth, as has a growing awareness of the business-case benefits of green buildings…. (Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution. Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 2008, pp. 7-9,)

The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 gave an unprecedented boost to the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. Over the next eight years the Obama Administration is going to bring about a transformation in the way Americans think about green buildings, sustainable living, renewable energy sources and energy independence.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to be spent in an effort to make America independent of foreign energy and fossils fuels and to eliminate greenhouse emissions in the United States and around the world.

Every new government building will be a LEED certified building. Every existing government building will be retrofitted to save energy and lower their carbon footprint.

The old brown world (based upon fossil fuels and excessive energy consumption), is dying and a new green world is emerging. The old brown world is dying and a new green world order is emerging. The old brown world economy is dying and a new green world economy is emerging. 

The dawn of a new age has arrived.

 

Chapter 6

Natural Building Materials Hit the Market 

The Green Building Revolution could hardly exist if tens of thousands of entrepreneurs had not caught the vision of the movement and began altering their manufacturing facilities to meet the demand that is now being thrust upon them

The Green Building Revolution is the next trillion dollar industry and the individuals who enter the new green building industry are going to reap untold financial and personal rewards. Each day new companies surface with new green products and new green consumers are standing in line to purchase their products.

A new green world is emerging and the green building products industry is an integral part of the new green world economy that is emerging.

In an article entitled, “The Future of Eco-Friendly Home Design”, Kasen Seaver stated:

‘There are plenty of changes occurring in the homebuilding industry, and even if you aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, it pays (literally) to know what changes are in store for when you finally make that decision.         

Fifty Percent of Homes in 2010 Will Be Green Homes

On the forefront of these changes are eco-friendly improvements and practices. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders estimates that almost 50 percent of homes built in 2010 will be green.

“LEED”ing the Way

Consider moving to one of the more than 200 pilot projects across 39 states that are part of LEED for Neighborhood Development. These projects incorporate smart growth and eco-conscious design into each urban community. What does this mean for you?

The first home in the country to be given LEED Platinum status, the house is also the prototype for LivingHomes, a prefabricated home builder. In fact, the “bulk of the house was built at a factory in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and assembled in one day.” - Socketsite.com Living in a LEED-certified development means residents inhabit mixed use spaces with access to a variety of housing types, from multi-unit to single family residences, public green spaces and a system of networked roadways that are pedestrian, cyclist and public transit friendly. As a member of this community, you not only combat urban sprawl, which strains already limited resources and natural animal habitats, but also decrease greenhouse gas emissions by cutting back on the use of your automobile with daily amenities located in the neighborhood.

Not convinced that living a LEED neighborhood is your style? LEED homes that are designed and constructed based on green principles, helping you live in a healthier environment with power water and energy bills. Translation: they save you money in the long run.

It’s a Material World

You would probably be surprised at how creative we’ve become with materials for green home construction. For example, the foundation of homes can be made with Styrofoam blocks, and insulation can come from recycled paper or denim scraps instead of toxic fiberglass.

Interiors have earth-friendly options as well. For example, Eco-Kitchens Online sells countertops made from recycled yogurt containers, coffee cups or bamboo. According to your tastes, an eco-friendly, low-VOC paint or wax can be applied as well.

Energy Stars

Reducing energy usage is one of the easiest ways to lower bills in a green home, and although solar panels and geothermal heat are great options, here are some relatively low-cost ways to achieve that goal.

 Purchase Energy Star electronics and appliances.

 Use automatic light switches that use infrared and ultrasonic technologies.

A multi-zone HVAC unit segregates temperatures in various zones of the home.   Advanced programmable thermostats allow you to use a phone to set temperatures   in your home for different days and times. Some models may also tell you when   to change the air filter.

 Development of an Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) with smart metering   from utility companies will allow users to log in remotely to adjust energy   usage associated with heating, cooling, lighting and appliances.

Slow the Flow

Green homes make an efficient use of water, an increasingly limited resource. With methods involving collection of graywater for reuse in non-drinking areas of the home, harvesting rainwater to use as irrigation and installing efficient fixtures such as low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets, homes can drastically reduce their water consumption. One cool new product is Eco-Click by Hudson Reed, a faucet that clicks when you are using 50 percent of the available water flow. A second click gives you full capacity.

With the eco-conscious movement in full-force, there is no shortage of options when building or remodeling, and technologies will only get better. The future is green (and bright).

(Kasen Seaver, The Future of Eco-Friendly Home Design. Earth911.com, January 19, 2009.)

Although the commercial building industry is facing a challenging time at the moment, this will soon pass. However, the majority of new commercial building in future will be green building, not the old brown, energy consuming buildings of the past.

The internet now contains thousands of web sites that advertise green building products and green building services. One of the fastest growing areas is that of green consulting firms. They are literally sprouting up everywhere as companies begin to change their development and building strategies to bring them into alignment with the green building industry guidelines and new governmental rules and regulations. New magazines, books, newsletters, articles and blogs are arising daily on the green building industry.

Green Building Product Companies and Consultants

There are a number of outstanding organizations and web sites that are promoting green building products and services. These include:

-          A Sourcebook for Green and Sustainable Building – Greenbuilder.com

-          Directory of Green Products – Buildinggreen.com

-          GreenSpec Directory – Greenspec.com

-          Yudelson Associates – Greenbuildconsult.com

-          Green Building Professionals – Greenbuilder.com

As the green building continues to gain support among builder and developers, more and more companies will begin supplying them with green building products. It is important to note that the “National Association of Home Builders estimates that almost 50 percent of homes built in 2010 will be green.” In a few years almost all of  the homes built in America will be green homes. The energy savings, tax incentives and government mandated green building codes will pave the way. 

 

Chapter 7

Energy Savings Becomes Popular 

In 2005 Andres R. Edwards published a treatise entitled, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Concerning the energy consumption of buildings in America he stated:

“The statistics for the environmental impacts of buildings are staggering. In the United States, buildings are responsible for over 65 percent of total electricity consumption, 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, 136 million tons per year of construction and demolition waste (approximately 2.8 pounds per person per day) and 12 per cent of the portable water use.

“Globally, buildings use 40 percent (3 billion tons annually) of all raw materials. Given the magnitude of the built environment, finding alternative building strategies that are in harmony with communities and ecosystems is imperative.

 (Andres R. Edwards, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005, p. 97.)

Let us look at some startling facts about energy consumption in the USA.

Energy Facts

Energy Consumption

  • Though accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy. (American Almanac)
  • In 1997, U.S. residents consumed an average of 12,133 kilowatt-hours of electricity each, almost nine times greater than the average for the rest of the world. (Grist Magazine)
  • Worldwide, some 2 billion people are currently without electricity. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • Total U.S. residential energy consumption is projected to increase 17 percent from 1995 - 2015. (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
  • World energy consumption is expected to increase 40% to 50% by the year 2010, and the global mix of fuels–renewables (18%), nuclear (4%), and fossil (78%)–is projected to remain substantially the same as today; thus global carbon dioxide emissions would also increase 50% to 60%.
  • Among industrialized and developing countries, Canada consumes per capita the most energy in the world, the United Sates ranks second, and Italy consumes the least among industrialized countries.
  • Developing countries use 30% of global energy. Rapid population growth, combined with economic growth, will rapidly increase that percentage in the next 10 years.
  • The World Bank estimates that investments of $1 trillion will be needed in this decade and upwards of $4 trillion during the next 30 years to meet developing countries' electricity needs alone.
  • America uses about 15 times more energy per person than does the typical developing country.
  • Residential appliances, including heating and cooling equipment and water heaters, consume 90% of all energy used in the U.S. residential sector.
  • The United States spends about $440 billion annually for energy. Energy costs U.S. consumers $200 billion and U.S. manufacturers $100 billion annually.

Global Warming

  • Worldwide, 1995 was the warmest year since global temperatures were first kept in 1856. This supports the near consensus among climatologists that emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases are causing global warming. (Chivilan and Epstein, Boston Globe)
  • On average, 16 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere every 24 hours by human use worldwide. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • Carbon emissions in North America reached 1,760 million metric tons in 1998, a 38 percent increase since 1970. They are expected to grow another 31 percent, to 2,314 million metric tons, by the year 2020. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • The United States is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 23 percent of energy-related carbon emissions worldwide. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • An average of 23,000 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted annually in each American home. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • The transportation sector consumed 35% of the nation's energy in 1990; this sector is 97% dependent on petroleum.
  • Fossil fuels are depleted at a rate that is 100,000 times faster than they are formed.

Health

  • Approximately 30,000 lives are cut short in the U.S. each year due to pollution from electricity production. (ABT Associates study)
  • About 81 tons of mercury are emitted into the atmosphere each year as a result of electric power generation. Mercury is the most toxic heavy metal in existence. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Burning fossil fuels to produce energy releases carbon dioxide and other global-warming-causing gases into the atmosphere. Global warming will increase the incidence of infectious diseases (including equine encephalitis and Lyme disease), death from heat waves, blizzards, and floods, and species loss. (Chivilan and Epstein, Boston Globe, April 10, 1997)

Transportation

  • The United States consumes about 17 million barrels of oil per day, of which nearly two-thirds is used for transportation.
  • The United States imports more than seven million barrels of oil per day.
  • While the world's population doubled between 1950 and 1996, the number of cars increased tenfold. Automobile congestion in the United States alone accounts for $100 billion in wasted fuel, lost productivity, and rising health costs. Still, analysts project that the world's fleet of cars will double in a mere 25 years. (Worldwatch Institute)
  • Americans use a billion gallons of motor oil a year, 350 million gallons of which end up polluting the environment. (Department of Energy and Maryland Energy Administration)
  • A car that gets 20 miles per gallon (mpg) emits approximately 50 tons of global-warming-inducing carbon dioxide over its lifetime, while a 40-mpg car emits only 25 tons. Over the average lifetime of an American car (100,000 miles), a 40-mpg car will also save approximately $3,000 in fuel costs compared to a 20-mpg car. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
  • The cars and trucks reaching the junkyards this year have higher gasoline mileage, on average, than the new ones rolling off dealers' lots, for the first time on record. (Matt Wald, The New York Times, August 11, 1997)

Renewables

  • Only 7.5 percent of total U.S. energy consumption came from renewable sources in 1998. Of that total, 94 percent was from hydropower and biomass (trash and wood incinerators). (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
  • For the 2 billion people without access to electricity, it would be cheaper to install solar panels than to extend the electrical grid. (The Fund for Renewable Energy Everywhere)
  • Within 15 years, renewable energy could be generating enough electricity to power 40 million homes and offset 70 days of oil imports.

Photovoltaics

  • Providing power for villages in developing countries is a fast-growing market for photovoltaics. The United Nations estimates that more than 2 million villages worldwide are without electric power for water supply, refrigeration, lighting, and other basic needs, and the cost of extending the utility grids is prohibitive, $23,000 to $46,000 per kilometer in 1988.
  • A one kilowatt PV system* each month:
    • prevents 150 lbs. of coal from being mined
    • prevents 300 lbs. of CO2 from entering the atmosphere
    • keeps 105 gallons of water from being consumed
    • keeps NO and SO2 from being released into the environment

* in Colorado, or an equivalent system that produces 150 kWh per month

Wind

Wind power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world. (Worldwatch Institute)

  • The wind in North Dakota alone could produce a third of America's electricity. (The Official Earth Day Guide to Planet Repair)
  • Wind power has the potential to supply a large fraction–probably at least 20%–of U.S. electricity demand at an economical price.
  • In 1990, California's wind power plants offset the emission of more than 2.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, and 15 million pounds of other pollutants that would have otherwise been produced.
  • Using 100 kWh of wind power each month is equivalent to:
    • planting ½ acre of trees
    • not driving 2,400 miles

Solar Thermal

  • Research shows that an average household with an electric water heater spends about 25% of its home energy costs on heating water.
  • Solar water heaters offered the largest potential savings, with solar water-heater owners saving as much as 50% to 85% annually on their utility bills over the cost of electric water heating.
  • You can expect a simple payback of 4 to 8 years on a well-designed and properly installed solar water heater. (Simple payback is the length of time required to recover your investment through reduced or avoided energy costs.)
  • Solar water heaters do not pollute. By investing in one, you will be avoiding carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and the other air pollution and wastes created when your utility generates power or you burn fuel to heat your household water. When a solar water heater replaces an electric water heater, the electricity displaced over 20 years represents more than 50 tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions alone.

Alternative Fuels

  • Using biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine substantially reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.
  • Biodiesel:
    • can be used at 100% levels or mixed in any proportion with No. 2 diesel or No. 1 diesel. 
    • Contains no nitrogen or aromatics  
    • Typically contains less than 15 ppm sulfur - Does not contribute to sulfur dioxide emissions 
    • Has characteristically low carbon monoxide, particulate, soot and hydrocarbon emissions 
    • Contains 11% oxygen by weight  
    • Has the highest energy content (BTUs) of any alternative fuel and is comparable to No. 1 diesel.
  • Over 4,000 electric vehicles are operating throughout the United States (with the largest number in California and the western United States).
  • More than 20,000 flexible-fuel vehicles are in operation.
  • Over 75,000 natural gas vehicles in U.S. and nearly 1 million worldwide.

Energy Efficiency 

  • By taking appropriate energy-saving measures, by 2010 the United States can have an energy system that reduces costs by $530 per household per year and reduces global warming pollutant emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels. (Energy Innovations report)
  • Just by using the "off the shelf" energy-efficient technologies available today, we could cut the cost of heating, cooling, and lighting our homes and workplaces by up to 80%. (U.S. Department of Energy and Maryland Energy Administration)
  • Replacing one incandescent lightbulb with an energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb means 1,000 pounds less carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere and $67 dollars is saved on energy costs over the bulb's lifetime. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Alliance to Save Energy)
  • A decrease of only 1% in industrial energy use would save the equivalent of about 55 million barrels of oil per year, worth about $1 billion.

(Energy Facts, Solar Energy International. Carbondale, Colorado. 2009)

It is imperative that we begin in earnest to curtail the usage of fossil fuels and begin using clean energy sources and clean technology. In an article entitled, “Energy Use Can Be Cut by Efficiency, Survey Says,” Steve Lohr stated:

“The growth rate of worldwide energy consumption could be cut by more than half over the next 15 years through more aggressive energy-efficiency efforts by households and industry, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, which is scheduled to be released today.

“The energy savings, the report said, can be achieved with current technology and would save money for consumers and companies. The McKinsey report offers a long list of suggested steps, including the adoption of compact fluorescent light bulbs, improved insulation on new buildings, reduced standby power requirements, an accelerated push for appliance-efficiency standards and the use of solar water heaters.

“Those moves, among others, could reduce the yearly growth rate in worldwide energy demand through 2020 to six-tenths of a percent, from a forecast annual rate of 2.2 percent, the report concluded.

“The estimate of potential energy savings is one conclusion of a yearlong research project by McKinsey that analyzes energy productivity worldwide by regions, fuels and industrial and residential markets.

“To take advantage of the energy-saving opportunities, some product standards would have to be tightened and some policy incentives changed. Current regulations and fuel subsidies, for example, often favor consumption over efficiency. But many steps are not taken, the report said, because energy users lack information or do not value efficiency enough to change their buying habits.

“’The opportunities are huge and yet they are being left on the table,” said Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm of the McKinsey consulting firm. “Standard economics would say that energy prices would work their way through everything. But that’s not really the case, particularly in the consumer market.”

“That is especially the case, according to other energy experts and executives, if an energy-thrifty product has a slightly higher purchase price and the financial payoff for users takes a while. That helps explain the slow progress made by compact fluorescent light bulbs in the marketplace.

“Years ago, these efficient light bulbs cost up to 10 times as much as conventional incandescent bulbs, and their light had a somewhat different hue.

“But today, the light spectrum has been corrected and compact fluorescents are only slightly more costly than conventional bulbs, yet they last 10 times as long and consume 75 percent less electricity. The overall financial advantage of using compact fluorescent bulbs is obvious and sizable, even if the initial purchase price is higher.

“’One of the great mysteries is why the public has not shifted faster to fluorescent bulbs,” said Alexander Lidow, a Stanford-educated physicist and the chief executive of International Rectifier, a maker of power management equipment for energy-efficient appliances.

‘Such shifts might well go more quickly if electric utilities were encouraged to promote efficiency. Under state rate regulation, utilities are compensated for producing energy, but rarely for conserving it. A few states, notably California, allow electric companies to pass through the costs of energy-saving programs, but they are the exceptions.

“With changes in state regulation, we could really stimulate energy efficiency,” said James E. Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy, a big utility in the Midwest and Southeast.

“Energy-saving investments, Mr. Rogers said, would include on-site visits by experts to advise consumers on how to make their homes more energy efficient; pass-through subsidies for the purchase of fluorescent light bulbs; and sophisticated network technology to manage energy use remotely during periods of peak demand.

“Mr. Rogers, who is chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, a utility trade group whose members provide 60 percent of the nation’s electric power, refers to energy efficiency as the “fifth fuel” for electricity, after coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable fuels.

“’The most efficient and environmentally responsible plant you can build is the one that you don’t build,” he said.

“By easing demand, efficiency programs can help restrain energy prices and help curb global warming. In the long term, the way to deal with global warming is to switch from burning fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas, to new clean-up technologies like carbon sequestration, which refers to processes that remove carbon from the atmosphere.

“But Jeremy Symons, a climate expert at the National Wildlife Federation, said, “Energy efficiency is an important part of any intelligent climate control campaign.”

“The energy-saving opportunities identified in the McKinsey report are steps in what Stephen H. Schneider, a climatologist at Stanford, refers to as a “start smart” approach to global warming policy. “The economy needs time to adjust, the politics takes time to gel and people need to understand and get use to change to really support the big moves,” he said.” (Steve Lohr ,Energy Use Can Be Cut by Efficiency, Survey Says.” New York Times, November 29, 2006.)

It is abundantly clear that the current world order (based upon fossil fuels and excessive energy consumption) is unsustainable. It is imperative that we begin using alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources throughout the United States and the world. The sun, wind, ocean currents and waves, geothermal heat and waste products are just waiting to be utilized to produce clean energy. Millions of people around the world are pushing for an end to the usage of fossil fuels.

It is clear that the era of fossil fuels will not die quickly. The large multinational oil and natural gas industry has grown extremely wealthy and incredibly powerful. They are not about to give up their wealth and power easily.

The proponents of clean energy and clean technology are going to have to be more diligent and more energetic if we are going to move into a new green world order and a new green world economy based upon alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources.

The transition from an old era into a new era has never been easy. However, there is no alternative. The energy needs of the entire world could be met if there was a concerted effort by the nations of the earth to end the era of fossil fuels.

The answers to the world’s energy crisis and climate change crisis is now available – solar power, wind power, geothermal power, biofuel power, ocean current power and ocean wave power.

 

Chapter 8

Solar Power Lights up the World 

One of the truly bright spots in the debate over climate change is solar power. After years of watching the sun rise and the sun set each and every day, scientists, engineers and inventors have finally developed the clean technology that is necessary to harness the awesome power of the sun for the benefit of every person on earth.

What is remarkable about the tremendous power of the sun is that the Creator of the Universe does not charge the inhabitants of the earth one penny to use it. Since the days of Adam and Eve, the rays of the sun have shown brightly upon the earth giving its life-giving power to each and every person and to all life forms.

A new era has burst upon the earth. It is known as the Clean Tech Revolution and with it comes the answer to a major problem that has plagued man since the beginning. How do you harness the power of the sun for the benefit of people on earth? The answer is photvoltaics (PV).

Photovoltaics is a part of the new Clean Tech Revolution that is sweeping the earth. It is the process of creating solar cells that concert sunlight directly into electricity. It is a discovery that will literally transform the world of energy around the world. New discoveries are hitting the market every two years. This rapidly expanding field is now fueling the green building industry.

In an article entitled, “See-Through, Bendable Solar Cells Could Expand Use of Solar Power”, Joyce Gramza writes.

“Solar power cells are still flat, rigid and ugly, 50 years in the making, but that’s about to change, based on new research. Not only might cells be more lightweight, flexible and transparent, their uses could be expanded to things like solar fabrics or power-generating windows. This ScienCentral News video explains what this research means for the future of solar power cells.

“Up until now solar panels have had their fair share of limitations, being heavy, rigid and fragile. But John Rogers, a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his team of researchers have created a method to produce extremely thin solar cells that can also be transparent and flexible.

“’If you look at a conventional solar panel, it’s relatively heavy, mechanically rigid, it’s fragile, you can’t bend it, it’s opaque, you can’t see through it,” Rogers explains. “Our work here is to address those limitations.”

:No one has found a more desirable material than silicon for generating solar power, but Rogers and his team invented a way to use extremely thin slices of the material.

"’The way solar cells are currently manufactured with silicon demand that thickness to achieve sufficient resistance to fracture so that they can make the solar cells at high yields," Rogers explains.

“He and his team showed that thickness is not necessary to make silicon solar cells efficient at producing power from the sun. They figured out how to create silicon solar cells that are 100 times thinner than conventional solar cells. Toachieve the best possible performance, Rogers’ team uses a monocrystalline variety of silicon. And they invented a process for using the ultra-thin cells to design solar modules without damaging them. The process is similar to a print process, which transfers the slices onto lightweight plastic or fabric.

“This method allows photovoltaic cells, the building blocks of solar panels, to be more efficient and potentially less costly.

“’So we have thin, lightweight, mechanically bendable and even partially transparent module designs that we think could potentially open up new areas of application for silicon-based solar technology," Rogers says.

“Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

“Because the new, thin modules use much less material, the researchers can create more solar cells from the same silicon “wafer.”

“’We work our way through the entire thickness of the wafer, thereby making very efficient use of the silicon material in the solar cell technology that we developed,” Rogers says.

“But this extreme thinness requires a support system to prevent breakage. “These are extremely thin solar cells — about one tenth the thickness of a human hair — so without that support structure they can be easily broken,” he explains. “The purpose of the plastic substrate is just to form a mechanism support so that your solar cell is robust and not prone to fracture or failure.”

“A Bright Future

“According to Rogers and his researchers’ report in the journal, “Nature Materials,” their tests showed that the ultra-thin cells are just as efficient as the conventional cells, while using much less material. Rogers says their flexibility and transparency will open the doors to more solar power possibilities.

“’You could roll them up, throw them in the back of a truck like a carpet, and then unfurl them when you’re installing them in their final location,” Rogers says. "Those kinds of things are very difficult to do when your solar cell technology is rigid and bulky and heavy."

“And by adjusting the density of the cells on the module designs, the researchers can give them different degrees of transparency or opacity. They could be used as lamination on the outside of a building, on power-generating windows, or on the tinted sunroof of a car, Rogers explains.

“’You can imagine putting solar cells in all kinds of places that previously were extremely difficult to do,” he says. "You can imagine integrating these things with clothing, or the surfaces of tents or backpacks."

“Those applications "could be possible with other kinds of flexible solar cells, but they have their own disadvantages in terms of performance and reliability. So it’s really bringing the well-developed silicon technology to this world of flexible solar cells to enable these new possibilities,” he says.

“Indeed, some of those applications are now available using other materials, but Rogers writes that there’s good reason why silicon "is used in more than 90% of all installed photovoltaic capacity… "If one considers a metric that integrates, cost, materials abundancy, efficiency and lifetime, by this measure, silicon is the best."

“Rogers has confidence that this new method of creating solar panels will not only be efficient and attractive, but there’s a good chance it will reduce the cost of solar energy, making it a more affordable energy option for the future.

“The University of Illinois has filed patents on the new inventions, and a North Carolina company called Semprius has licensed the technology.

“’We’re pretty optimistic that the kinds of approaches we’re developing now could have real commercial potential and could be valuable as an alternative way to generate industry,” Rogers says.” (Joyce Gramza, “See-Through, Bendable Solar Cells Could Expand Use of Solar Power.” ScienCentra, November 7, 2008.)

Until there is a major commitment in the United States to switch to alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources, we will not be able to make a serious effort at lowering carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases.

While the U. S. is still pondering whether to make a large commitment to solar power, other nations are moving ahead. Let us look at what Portugal is doing. They have joined with a leading America company, General Electric to install one of the largest solar power plants in the world. Hulig.com reports”

“Spread across a hillside pasture amid olive trees, 52,000 shimmering photovoltaic modules in one of the world's largest solar power plants have begun generating enough electricity for 8,000 homes, GE, PowerLight Corp. and Catavento SA announced today.

“After eight months of construction and testing, GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric, PowerLight, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation and Catavento dedicated the 11-megawatt Serpa solar power plant today, on schedule.

“The facility – a model of clean power generation integrated with agriculture – is in one of Europe's sunniest areas, in Portugal's Alentejo agricultural region in the town of Serpa, 200 kilometers (124 miles) southeast of Lisbon.

“GE Energy Financial Services financed and purchased the project in an approximately US $75 million transaction last year. PowerLight, a leading global solar power system provider, designed, deployed, operates and maintains the plant. The plant uses PowerLight's innovative PowerTracker(R) system that follows the sun's daily path across the sky to generate more electricity than conventional fixed-mounted systems. Catavento, a leading Portuguese renewable energy company, developed and manages the project, which began feeding Portugal's electricity grid in late January.

“Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services, said today at a dedication ceremony in Serpa: "This project is successful because Portugal's sunshine is plentiful, the solar power technology is proven, government policies are supportive, and we are investing and delivering under GE's ecomagination initiative to help our customers meet their environmental challenges." Added Andrew Marsden, Managing Director of GE Energy Financial Services' European Operations: "The Serpa project is a springboard for other solar power investments we're pursuing in Europe through project acquisitions, project finance, development capital and access to solar modules through GE Energy."

“PowerLight CEO Tom Dinwoodie noted: "The Serpa solar power plant speaks to the green power initiatives now setting Europe on a course toward ambitious emissions reductions goals. By assembling a first-class team of companies in the solar arena, we've achieved a remarkable renewable energy milestone."

“Generating electricity from the sun with no fuel costs or emissions, the Serpa plant is on a 60-hectare (150-acre) hillside, equivalent to the area of more than 80 football fields. The project supports a European Union initiative by saving more than 30,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation. The EU this month agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020, from 1990 levels.

“Portugal relies heavily on imported fossil fuels, and its carbon dioxide emissions have increased 34 percent since 1990, among the fastest rates in the world. To address this, the country is implementing some of the world's most advanced incentives for installing renewable energy. The Serpa project relies on a preferential tariff mandated by the Portuguese government. Solar power enjoys widespread support in Portugal, with the backing of 77 percent of the population, according to a European Commission study published in January.

“At today's ceremony, a 3.7 million euro (US $4.8 million) contract was signed for a grant to the project under the Portuguese government's Economic Modernization Program.

“Piero Dal Maso, co-CEO of Catavento, said the project "serves as a beacon to the

world to show how to overcome challenges of scale and complexity." Added co-CEO Rui Pimenta: "We hope the government will clear remaining roadblocks so solar power can truly radiate across Portugal."

“Construction of the Serpa project began in June 2006 and was completed as planned in January 2007. The facility consists of a ground-mounted photovoltaic system that uses silicon solar cell technology to convert sunlight directly into energy. The Serpa solar power plant incorporates photovoltaic modules from SunPower, Sanyo, Sharp and Suntech - SunPower Corporation.” (Huliq.com.,“GE Invests, Delivers One of World's Largest Solar Power Plants.” April 12, 2007.)

If the people are serious about ending their dependence upon fossil fuels, solar power is the way to go. The technology and manufacturing capability now exist to make the transition from fossil fuels to solar power. What stands in the way? The large multinational oil companies have invested trillions and trillions of dollars in the old brown world order and the old brown world economy. They have a vested interested in maintaining  the status quo, even though they are producing nice commercials to deceive people into believing that they are on the side of the new green world order and the new green world economy that is emerging. Do not be deceived. The fossil fuel industry is deeply embedded in the old brown world. They will not change without a long projected fight. That battle is now underway throughout the entire world.

As the war continues, new discoveries and new technologies are beginning to flood the market which makes fossil fuels look incredibly outmoded. A bright spot in this global war is photovoltaics.

 

Chapter 9

Wind Power Blows the Carbon Based Economy Away 

In the story of the big, bad wolf who threatened little red riding hood, he screamed, ‘I’ll huff and huff and blow your house down.” Wind power has the same power, it can literally blow away carbon dioxide and green house gases if we curtail the use of the old dirty fuel known as fossil fuels. It is clearly time to end our foreign dependence upon an outdated and outmoded form of energy. Wind power has the potential to change the energy landscape of America. What is missing is the will power of the American people to demand an end to a carbon based economy.

Once cannot drive through the Palm Springs, California valley within being mesmerized by the thousands of giant wind machines slowing turning as the wind swirls through the valley. The large, slow moving wind blades almost look like dancers on a natural stage. As usual, California is leading the way with wind power generation. However, other areas of the nation are rising up to challenge the national dominance of California.

Let us look at a little town in Texas by the name of Sweetwater. In an article entitled, “Can Wind Power a Rural Renaissance,” Melanie Warner wrote:

“Jon Bergstrom, a cotton and hay farmer in Sweetwater, Texas (population 10,472), looks outside his window every day and feels grateful. The giant white towers spinning on the near horizon have everything to do with it. Sweetwater is in Nolan County, which boasts more wind turbines than any other U.S. county. Its 1,253 turbines produce a total of 2,000 megawatts of electricity per year at peak. (Coal-fired power plants average 603 megawatts.)

“Before clean, renewable wind energy came to Sweetwater, it was best known for its rattlesnake roundup, held every year since 1958 on the second weekend in March. Rattlesnakes may have put Sweetwater on the map, but wind is keeping it there, giving the town the sort of solid economic development American rural communities desperately need. Sweetwater offers a glimpse of what's possible if the United States actually focuses on becoming a world leader in alternative-energy technology and creating a green economy.

“Wind power has given landowners like Bergstrom some juicy annual lease revenue. The 13 turbines sitting on his farm earn him at least $52,000 a year, a figure that he says is scheduled to go up. Next year, wind companies are expected to dole out $15 million to Nolan County property holders.

“What really makes Bergstrom happy, though, is the thought that his two grandsons, now 3 and 8, may actually want to stick around. (One of Bergstrom's two children left Sweetwater for greener – and more urban – pastures in Austin.) "There's nothing better than being able to spend time with those boys," he says.

“The value that wind is bringing to Nolan County gives his grandkids more reasons to stay. Wind farms offer significant property-tax revenue to counties, which means those boys are likely to get a much better education than they would have before. Between 2002 and 2007, wind companies put $23.7 million in the coffers of the county's four school districts, and each district has either erected a modern school building or has one under construction.

“There are also good local jobs available. Because wind turbines are such massive structures, their manufacturing, installation, and service has to happen locally. That means the return of some of those all-American well-paying blue-collar jobs – $12 to $23 an hour for manufacturing and $20 to $30 an hour for maintenance – that have disappeared overseas. Sweetwater's unemployment rate is just 3.5%, and over the past two years, the county gave residents a 30% property-tax reduction, making the area even more livable.

“Sweetwater is not an isolated wind success story. Home prices, down about 20% nationally since their euphoric high in the summer of 2006, are only down 5% in the dusty town of Pipestone, Minnesota (population 4,095), where 450 new jobs have been created since a turbine-manufacturing facility and service operation opened in 2007. Farming families in Lamar, Colorado, are getting annual checks for more than $250,000 apiece in lease revenue.

“What these small towns have in common is not just geography – they're all in the wind-swept Midwest and West – but proximity to reasonably adequate transmission lines. That's what's needed to carry that wind energy to larger metropolitan areas.

“If wind is going to power a rural renaissance, policy makers in Washington must put in place a strategy to fund the building of new electricity transmission lines that will connect more rural areas to big population centers where most energy is consumed. Construction estimates for this modern clean-energy superhighway? About $60 billion. If it means new jobs and middle-class affluence, as well as carbon-free energy independence, it may be one of the best investments that we can make.” (Melanie Warner, “Can Wind Power a Rural Renaissance?” January 15, 2009.)

Although the United States lags behind Germany there is a new movement to make the United States the number one producer of clean energy through wind power generation. One of the largest wind corridors in the world blows right through the middle of America. This power is just waiting to be tapped. Of course, there will need to be a new electric grid laid in America. However, the Obama Administration is determined to see this happen.

The American people should embrace this clean source of energy. It is literally blowing in the wind. The manufacturing base is in place. One of the largest manufacturers of wind power turbines is General Electric – an American company. Tens of thousands of jobs could be created here n America if we simply begin the transition to renewable energy sources with zeal.

 

Chapter 10

Geothermal Power Warms the Green Building Movement 

Deep below the surface of the earth there is a tremendous source of new clean power – geothermal power. Geothermal energy is heat that is located deep inside the earth.

Underground water circulates in deep caverns and lava tubes where it encounters molten magna which turns the water into steam. Large pumps bring the steam and hot water to the surface where it is used to turn large generators producing abundant electricity. The water is returned to the caverns below the surface. Until recently the cost of the geothermal plants exceeded the returns from generating electricity. However, once again clean technology is driving a revolution – the Clean Tech Revolution and geothermal power is an abundant new source of power for the American people, especially in the Northwest portion of the nation where the giants plates beneath the Rocky Mountains are merging with the large plates beneath the Pacific Ocean. The result is volcanic eruptions which lead to the lava tubes and caverns and immense heat from the magma.

According to a report from Renewable Northwest Project:

“The Northwest has the potential to generate more than 2,600 average megawatts of electricity from geothermal power, or enough clean, renewable energy to meet the annual needs of almost 2 million average homes. Although estimates of available resources are uncertain until exploratory work is done, the Northwest Power Planning Council has identified eleven specific areas where it expects there are about 2,000 megawatts of developable geothermal resources.

 

“Geothermal areas in the western United States are usually found where there has been relatively recent volcanic activity. Virtually all of the geothermal electric generation developed in the U.S. so far has been in California and Nevada. The most promising sites in the Northwest are in the Basin and Range area of southeastern Oregon and southern Idaho, as well as some areas along the Cascades in Oregon, Washington and northern California.

 

“Significant potential also exists in the Northwest for direct, non-electric use of geothermal heat. Low temperature geothermal district heating has been used for decades in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho.

 

Cost

 

“Real levelized costs for geothermal electricity generation are 4.5–7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour – competitive with many fossil fuel facilities, but without the pollution. Delivered costs depend on ownership arrangements, financing, transmission, the quality of the resource, and the size of the project.

 

“Geothermal plants are built of modular parts, with most projects including one or more 10–50 MW turbines. Geothermal plants are relatively capital-intensive, with low variable costs and no fuel costs. Usually financing is structured so that the project pays back its capital costs in the first 15-20 years, delivering power at 5–7¢/kWh. Then costs fall by around 50 percent, to cover just operations and maintenance for the remaining 10–20 years that the facility operates.

 

Economic Benefits

 

“Geothermal power, like all renewable resources, keeps economic benefits local. The most promising geothermal project sites are in rural areas. Geothermal power provides local jobs, retains dollars locally, pays local property taxes, and contributes royalties to the local county to support services. A study by the Oregon Department of Energy found that a 100 MW project in Eastern Oregon could create over a million dollars of additional local income each year, and would pay $4–6 million in local and state fees, royalties and taxes. In contrast, a similarly sized natural gas project sends $20-35 million out of the region every year for fuel costs alone.

 

How It Works

 

“There are several types of geothermal power technologies. Most of the installed geothermal electrical generating plants use either flash or binary technologies. Generally, flash technologies are used when the geothermal resource has temperatures of 350°F and higher, and binary technologies are used with temperatures below 350°F. In both technologies, the geothermal fluids are returned to the underground reservoirs and naturally reheated for reuse.

 

“In a flash steam process, water from underground wells is separated (flashed) into steam and water. The water is directly returned to the geothermal reservoir by injection wells, or cycled for other process or agricultural uses before reinjection. The steam is used to drive a turbine and generate electricity. Any gases in the steam are removed and, if necessary, treated to remove dissolved pollutants. The steam is cooled to liquid form and then also re-injected into the geothermal reservoir. For very high temperature resources, the water can be controlled

to flash more than once to recover even more energy from the same resource.

 

“A binary power plant is used for moderate-temperature resources. The hot water from a geothermal source is used to heat a secondary working fluid, such as ammonia or isobutane, in a closed-loop system. The working fluid is vaporized in a heat exchanger and is then used to drive a turbine generator. A cooling system is used to condense the vaporized working fluid back into liquid form to begin the process again. The hot water from the geothermal resource is injected back into the reservoir. The hot water and the working fluid are kept separate, so that environmental issues are minimal.

 

System Integration  

 

“Geothermal plants are one of the most reliable of all electricity sources, regularly operating at 90 percent or more of their rated capacity year round. Because they can run continuously, geothermal plants are most often used for providing baseload energy. In addition, some plants in Italy and at The Geysers in California have been used to help meet daily peak loads. Geothermal power can provide significant system diversity, stability and transmission benefits, thereby increasing system reliability and lowering overall operating costs.

 

Environmental Impacts

 

“Although geothermal is one of the more benign power sources, it must be properly sited to prevent possible environmental impacts. New geothermal systems re-inject water into the earth after its heat is used, in order to preserve the resource and to contain gases and heavy metals sometimes found in geothermal fluids. Care must be taken in planning geothermal projects to ensure that they don’t cool nearby hot springs or cause intermixing with ground water. Geothermal projects can produce some carbon dioxide emissions, but these are up to 35 times lower than the cleanest fossil-fuel power plants of the same size.” (“Geothermal Power”, Renewable Northwest Project. Portland, Oregon, September 2006, pp. 1-2.)

 

In January of 2006, the Western Governors’ Association met in Reno, Nevada to discuss the potential development of geothermal sites. It issued a 67 page report entitled: Geothermal Task Force Report.” The study found the following:

 

“Although geothermal power plants have been producing electricity for decades, only a small fraction of geothermal potential has been tapped. With new technology and rising energy costs, geothermal resources that historically have not been economical to develop will become increasingly more attractive to investors and utilities. New geothermal technologies for direct use, such as for greenhouses, district heating, and fish farms, can also play an important role in  reducing a community's overall need for other energy supplies.

 

“ The western states share a capacity of almost 13,000 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy that can be developed on specific sites within a reasonable timeframe (e.g., by 2025).

 

“Geothermal power plants, ranging from 10 to over 200 MW (depending on the resource), can supply enough electricity to meet the needs of 10,000 to 200,00 homes respectively.

 

“Of these, 5,600 MW are considered by the geothermal industry to be viable for commercial development within the next ten years; i.e., by about 2015. (To put this into perspective, the U.S. had 2,828 MW of geothermal power capacity on-line in 2005.) This is a             commercially achievable capacity for new generation and does not include the much larger potential of unknown, undiscovered resources.

 

“The 5,600 MW is estimated to be developable at busbar costs in a range of levelized costs of energy (LCOE) of about 5.3 to 7.9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This assumes commercial project financing conditions and the extension of a production tax credit (PTC) consistent with current federal law. Lacking a PTC t catalyze renewable energy development, LCOE values would be 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour higher.

 

“The state-by-state capacity subtotals are provided below. Numbers in (parenthesis) reflect the number of sites in each state.

 

“State Capacity (MW) Alaska (3) 20 Arizona (2) 20 California (25) 2,400 Colorado (9) 20 Hawaii (3) 70 Idaho (6) 860 Nevada (63) 1,500 New Mexico (6) 80 Oregon (11) 380 Utah (5) 230 Washington (5) 50 TOTAL 5,630 MW

 

“Data for Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming has not yet been analyzed but will be added.

 

“New geothermal power capacity of 5,600 MW could add 9,580 new full-time jobs from geothermal power facilities, and also generate an additional 36,064 person-years of construction and manufacturing employment. An economic multiplier effect would increase these numbers further.

 

“New power facilities would also increase state and local tax and royalty income. For example, in 2003, the Geysers Geothermal Field in California, with almost 1,000 MW of geothermal power generation capacity in place, paid $11 million in property taxes to two counties, while royalty venues added several million dollars more to state and county revenues.

 

“If actual future markets sustain energy costs up to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour or the risk and cost of development is reduced substantially, the Task Force estimates that know resources could support new capacity of about 13,000 MW.

 

“The Task Force goes on to note that geothermal power is a reliable, continuously available (24 hours/day - 7 days/week) baseload energy source. Except for short outages to repair equipment and conduct overhauls every few years, geothermal facilities have very high availability and capacity factors; they typically operate 90 to 98 percent of the time.

 

Geothermal's high reliability compares favorably to conventional power plants.

 

“Moreover, geothermal energy is one of the cleanest resources for generating electricity. Compared to fossil fuels, geothermal utilizes less land, consumes and discharges less water, has fewer air emissions, and generates fewer wastes. Geothermal particularly stands out when the relative air emissions from geothermal plants and fossil fuel plans are compared. In contrast to fossil fuel plants, geothermal plants only emit small amounts, if any, of carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxides, and nitrogen oxides.

 

“Standing as a testament to this point, the air basin downwind of the largest geothermal field in the world, The Geysers, is the only air district in California to be in attainment with all federal and state ambient air quality standards for over 18 years.

 

 “To tap the potential described by the Task Force, its members outlined a series of priority policy proposals.

 

MARKET DEVELOPMENT:

 

“The marketplace needs to support the continued development of geothermal resources.

 

1.) Federal and state tax credits are important to reduce the risk and high capital cost of new projects. The federal production tax credit (and clean renewable bonding authority) should be made permanent, or at least extended ten years.

 

2.) State laws and regulations should promote a continuing series of opportunities for power purchase agreements between developers and utilities. Whether generated through Renewable Portfolio Standards, Integrated Resource Planning, or other mechanisms, power purchase contracts are fundamental drivers of the market.

 

3.) Federal and state law and regulations should provide incentives for utilities and others to enter into long-term contracts for renewable power. Accounting and regulatory standards should treat renewable power contracts as benefits instead of liabilities, and power purchase contracts should have he backing of the government to ensure their credit worthiness.

 

TIMELY PERMITTING AND ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS:

 

“Geothermal projects should be prioritized to ensure that permitting, leasing, and environmental reviews are completed in a timely and efficient manner.

 

1.) Federal, state, and local agencies should coordinate resources and requirements. Agencies should be designated to take the lead on specific issues to avoid duplication, and once issues are resolved, they should not be revisited without cause.

 

2.) A critical path for new projects should be defined as part of this cooperative effort, and timeframes for key agency decisions along the pathway should be established.

 

TRANSMISSION ACESS AND ADEQUACY:

 

“The Western Governors should lead the process to ensure that adequate transmission is available for the identified resources.

 

1.) There should be consistent Western state policies on inter-connection to the grid that facilitate new geothermal (and other renewable) power development.

 

2.) A fee to support the cost of new transmission could be set that would spread the cost across all states, parties, and technologies on a capacity basis.

 

3.) Both inter- and intra-state transmission is needed to support the identified resources and should be fast-tracked for permitting and environmental reviews.

 

FEDERAL PROGRAM SUPPORT:

 

“Continuing support from key federal agencies is needed to achieve the 2015 goals. Federal programs should be coordinated with state agencies.

 

1.) As the National Research Council concluded in its study "Renewable Power Pathways, 2000", given the enormous potential of the resource base, geothermal research by the U.S. Department of Energy should be increased, particularly into technologies that can reduce risk, reduce costs, or expand the accessible resource base.

 

 

2.) Better resource information is needed. The USGS' new resource assessment and DOE's cost-shared drilling and exploration technology efforts should be priorities.

 

 “The U.S. Department of Energy's "GeoPowering the West" initiative should continue to support state and local governments, Indiana Tribes, and other seeking to utilize the West's untapped geothermal resources. (“Western U.S. Has 13,000 Megawatts of Near-Term Geothermal Power Potential,” 2006.)

 

Geothermal power is a clean, efficient way to produce electricity. It is a major component of the Clean Tech Revolution and has the power to light up tens of thousands of new green homes and new green buildings and create thousands of new jobs. Once again, the people in the United States have the opportunity to move in a new direction – a direction that leads away from fossil fuel and toward renewable energy sources which do not produce carbon dioxide and pollute the land, air and water on earth.

 

 

Chapter 11

Ocean Power Waves the Way 

All it takes is a stroll along any beach in the world and you quickly learn to appreciate the awesome power and majesty of the ocean. The earth is often called the “Blue Planet.” Why? Ask any astronaut and they will tell you that the view of the earth and the oceans from space is singularly spectacular. Nearly three-fourths of the earth is covered by deep blue oceans.

Like the sun and the wind, the oceans are an abundant source of energy. The incredible power of the oceans is just waiting to be harnessed so it can provide abundant clean energy. There are three main areas where the oceans may play a major role in energy production in the days ahead: (1) offshore wind power; (2) wave power; and (3) current or tidal power.

The first source of clean abundant power is offshore wind power. According to the U. S. Department of the Interior:

“Wind is air in motion. It is produced by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun. Since the earth’s surface is made of various land and water formations, it absorbs the sun’s radiation unevenly. When the sun is shining during the day, the air over landmasses heats more quickly than the air over water. The warm air over the land expands and rises, and the heavier, cooler air over the water moves in to take its place, creating local winds. At night, the winds are reversed because the air over land cools more rapidly than the air over water. Similarly, the large atmospheric winds that circle the earth are created because the surface air near the equator is warmed more by the sun than the air over the North and South Poles.

 

“Wind energy is mainly used to generate electricity. Windmills work by slowing down the speed of the wind. The wind flows over the airfoil-shaped blades causing lift, like the effect on airplane wings, causing them to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator to produce electricity. Wind turbines are being installed on offshore oil and gas platforms in many areas to generate power to operate the equipment.

 

“For wind machines to be economical, there must be winds that blow consistently above 10-14 miles per hour. Many offshore areas have ideal wind conditions for wind machines. Denmark and the United Kingdom have installed large offshore wind parks to take advantage of the consistent winds. Several offshore parks are planned for the United States in the near future, including one in Nantucket Sound and one off Long Island, NY.” (Ocean Energy, U. S. Department of the Interior. p. 10.)

 

The second source of clean abundant power is ocean wave power. According to the U. S. Department of the Interior:

“Waves are caused by the wind blowing over the surface of the ocean. In many areas of the world, the wind blows with enough consistency and force to provide continuous waves. There is tremendous energy in the ocean waves. The total power of waves breaking on the world’s coastlines is estimated at 2-3 million megawatts. The west coasts of the United States and Europe and the coasts of Japan and New Zealand are good sites for harnessing wave energy.

 

“One way to harness wave energy is to bend or focus the waves into a narrow channel, increasing their power and size. The waves can then be channeled into a catch basin, like tidal plants, or used directly to spin turbines. There aren’t any big commercial wave energy plants, but there are a few small ones.

 

“Small, on-shore sites have the best potential for the immediate future, especially if they can also be used to protect beaches and harbors. They could produce enough energy to power local communities.

 

“Japan, which must import almost all of its fuel, has an active wave-energy program.

 

“Another way to harness wave energy is with an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) that generates electricity from the wave-driven rise and fall of water in a cylindrical shaft or pipe. The rising and falling water drives air into and out of the top of the shaft, powering an air-driven turbine. In Norway, a demonstration tower that is built into a cliff produces electricity very economically using this method. The wail of the fast-spinning turbines, however, can be heard for miles.

 

“Float devices can generate electricity from the bobbing action of a floating object. The object can be mounted to a floating raft or to a device fixed on the ocean floor. These types of devices can power lights and whistles on buoys.” (Ocean Energy, U. S. Department of the Interior. p. 11.)

 

The third source of clean abundant power is underwater ocean currents or tidal waves. According to the U. S. Department of the Interior:

“The tides rise and fall in eternal cycles. Tides are changes in the level of the oceans caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, and the rotation of the earth. Nearshore water levels can vary up to 40 feet, depending on the season and local factors. Only about 20 locations have good inlets and a large enough tidal range—about 10 feet—to produce energy economically.

 

“The generation of electricity from tides is similar to hydroelectric generation, except that tidal water flows in two directions. The simplest generating system for tidal plants involves a dam, known as a barrage, across an inlet. Sluice gates on the barrage allow the tidal basin to fill on the incoming high tides and to empty through the turbine system on the outgoing tide, known as the ebb tide. Flood-generating systems that generate power from the incoming tide are possible, but are less favored than ebb generating systems. Two-way generation systems, which generate electricity on both the incoming and ebb tides, are also possible.

 

“The construction of a tidal barrage in an inlet can change the tidal level in the basin. It can also have an effect on the sedimentation and turbidity of the water within the basin. In addition, navigation and recreation can be affected. A higher tidal level can cause flooding of the shoreline, which can affect the local marine food chain. Potentially the largest disadvantage of tidal power is the effect a tidal station has on the plants and animals that live within an estuary. Since few tidal barrages have been built, very little is known about the full impact of tidal power systems on the local environment. In every case, it will depend on the local geography and marine ecosystem.

 

“There are currently two commercial sized barrages in operation—a 240 MW turbine at La Rance, France, and a 16 MW plant at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. Several other tidal power stations are being considered, including the Severn project in England. The United States has no tidal plants and only a few sites where tidal energy could be produced economically. France, England, Canada and Russia have much more potential. The keys are to lower construction costs, increase output, and protect the environment.

 

“Tidal fences can also harness the energy in the tides. A tidal fence has vertical axis turbines mounted within a fence structure called a caisson that completely blocks a channel, forcing all of the water through it. Unlike barrage stations, tidal fences can be used in unconfined basins, such as in a channel between the mainland and a nearby offshore island, or between two islands. As a result, tidal fences have much less impact on the environment, because they do not require flooding the basin. They are also significantly cheaper to install. Tidal fences have the advantage of being able to generate electricity once each individual module is installed. Tidal fences are not free of environmental and economic impacts, however, since the caisson can disrupt the movement of large marine animals and shipping. A 55MW tidal fence is planned for the San Bernadino Strait in the Philippines.

 

“Tidal turbines are a new technology that can be used in many tidal areas. Tidal turbines are basically wind turbines that can be located wherever there is strong tidal flow, as well as in river estuaries. Since water is about 800 times as dense as air, tidal turbines will have to be much sturdier than wind turbines. They will be heavier and more expensive to build, but will be able to capture more energy.” (Ocean Energy, U. S. Department of the Interior. p. 10.)

 

The election of President Barack Obama signals a new era in energy production. The President’s new energy plans include the production of clean abundant energy from the oceans. The United States has one on the long shorelines in the world. It is a resource that is just waiting to be harnessed.

 

Chapter 12

Natural Gas Lights the Way 

Nearly everyone is familiar with the bright blue flame that is emitted from the burning of natural gas. Although natural gas is technically a fossil fuel, it is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuel on earth. It is miles ahead of oil and coal. Natural Gas is usually trapped deep underground in very porous rocks that lie above large oil deposits. Deep wells are required to bring it to the surface. Raw natural gas that is pumped to the surface is composed of several gases. The main ingredient is methane which is processed into the fuel that we used in our vehicles, homes and businesses. Natural gas also is used to produce electricity through co-generation units. Natural gas provides the American people with over 20 percent of its fuel needs.

In light of the Clean Tech Revolution that is sweeping across America and the world, the natural gas industry is quickly turning the blue flame into a green flame. And they are trying to distance themselves from their big cousins – oil and coal. Since natural gas is a clean burning fuel, many people are anxious to include it in the Clean Tech Revolution. 

The American Gas Association has done a wonderful job of making the transition to the new green economy. They have launched a dynamic new program entitled, “Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. I am sure they will soon introduce a “Naturally Green Natural Gas Office and Commercial Building Program too.

Let us take a look at the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program report since it was especially designed for new green homes.

In the executive summary to their report, the American Gas Association states:

“America is going green. The Green revolution is a rapidly expanding grassroots movement throughout American culture, and it presents natural gas utilities with a unique growth opportunity. Because natural gas is widely acknowledged as an environmentally friendly fuel, gas utilities are poised to readily and authoritatively assume a leadership role in the Greening of the American home.

“To assist gas utilities in taking this leadership role, the American Gas Association (AGA) has developed the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. The Program is intended to be marketed and disseminated by the gas utility to home builders and remodelers in its service territory. Then, by installing natural gas appliances, builders and remodelers use the Program to self-certify their homes as Naturally Green Natural Gas Homes. This Green Home certification is a marketable brand identity that clearly spreads the word about the builder’s/remodeler’s decision to use natural gas to the fullest. This Program, then, is the vehicle for the natural gas utility, the builder/remodeler, and the homeowner to take an active and productive part in America’s Green revolution.” (Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. American Gas Association, Washington, D. C., 2008, p. 5.)

In a section entitled, “Ensuring Natural Gas’s Rightful Place in the Green Home, the report states:

“By now, it is more than a trend.

“Having a Green home is fast becoming a non-negotiable demand of the vast majority of Americans. The Green home is a high-interest feature in daily newspapers, on radio and TV, on the Internet, in everyday conversations, and most importantly, in the minds of home buyers and homeowners. For most people, their largest and longest-term investment is their home. They know that installing energy-conserving measures like natural gas heating and appliances is a win-win proposition. With natural gas appliances, the homeowner ensures dependable and convenient home comfort while decreasing the home’s carbon footprint for now and the future. At present, comfort and energy costs are still primary for most homeowners, but in months and years to come, lowering the carbon footprint will inevitably become more and more important.

“So, just how does natural gas measure up in its

“Measures of “carbon intensity” can vary widely among end uses and regions of the U. S., particularly since carbon dioxide production from electricity generation for competing electrical appliance and equipment applications varies. But some general average comparisons are valid and useful. On average, approximately 90% of the energy produced as natural gas is delivered to consumers’ natural gas appliances. The 10% of “losses” include natural gas lost from the pipeline system and consumption in transit. In contrast, only about one third of the energy provided for electricity generation is delivered to consumers when generation and transportation losses are included, on average and across all generation technologies and fuels, based on data from the U. S. Energy Information Administration. These losses mean that much more energy input is required for electricity than for natural gas to deliver the same amount of energy to the consumer. And as a result, much more carbon dioxide is produced in running electrical appliances than for natural gas appliances when the “full fuel cycle” is taken into account, even with the diversity of electricity generation approaches. The following graphs for residential water heating illustrate this. While electric water heating options often have higher end use efficiencies based on their rated “Energy Factor” (EF), national average full fuel cycle consumption of energy and related carbon dioxide emissions are much higher for electric water heater technologies.”

“While carbon footprint comparisons of natural gas and electric appliances can be more complex for other end uses, the relationship for carbon dioxide production between natural gas and electric appliances generally holds true when full fuel cycle efficiency is taken into account. In addition, beyond carbon dioxide emissions, direct use of natural gas holds distinct environmental advantages in reduced production of other air pollutants (oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and particulates), reduced solid waste and wastewater pollution at the point of production, and reduced land use disruption.” (Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. American Gas Association, Washington, D. C., 2008, pp. 6-8.)

In a section entitled, “Green Means Sales and Profits for Builders/Remodelers, American Gas Association report states:

“Like gas utilities, builders and remodelers are big winners in this win-win scenario. By installing the high-efficiency natural gas heating and appliances they would specify anyway, they become self-certified natural gas home builders or remodelers. They are increasing the desirability and marketability of their homes because they are including precisely what the home buyer wants. They are building increased value into their homes, which buyers instantly recognize and appreciate. A Naturally Green Natural Gas Home is designed to save money while the owner is living in it, and it retains increased marketability and value when the homeowner wants to sell it. These Green value issues speak directly to home buyers’ hearts and minds, and that translates into increased home sales. 

“When the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program is effectively marketed by the natural gas utility, builders and remodelers will welcome it as an opportunity to expand sales and business. It positions the builder/remodeler as a friend, facilitator, and environmental leader for home buyers who are avidly seeking a Green home. It places the builder/remodeler at the leading edge of the environmental movement that all Americans inevitably must join. The builder/remodeler who embraces the gas utility’s Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program is truly catching this wave toward greater sales and profits.” (Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. American Gas Association, Washington, D. C., 2008, p. 10.)   

The American Gas Association has designed a new home energy efficiency rating system for new homebuilder and remodelers. Like LEED it awards points for saving energy. The report states:   

“So, why another energy ratings approach? 

“The Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program serves a different purpose from the ENERGY STAR® Homes and LEED programs mentioned above. The Program provides a means of rating new natural gas homes relative to one another in terms of their energy efficiency and associated environmental advantages. The Program presumes natural gas options are installed in the homes with their rating while most other programs do not. 

“As a result, the Program provides consumers with information on how their natural gas homes stack up against other homes with natural gas appliances. They do not rank natural gas homes against other end use energy technologies. The Program also is much easier to implement than these other ratings approaches, which many times require rating by certified energy analysts (at additional expense ultimately borne by consumers) and complex considerations of tradeoffs in design and construction that are not readily explainable to new home buyers. The Program simplifies the process of rating and communicating with consumers about the relative efficiency and environmental advantages of homes on the market.” (Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. American Gas Association, Washington, D. C., 2008, p. 13.)   

Let us now look at the new ratings program and see how it works. The report states: 

“The key to this Program is its simplicity. The objective for builders and remodelers is to certify their homes as Naturally Green Natural Gas Homes. The builder or remodeler earns a specific number of points toward certification by installing natural gas appliances. The certification of a Naturally Green Natural Gas Home is achieved when the builder/remodeler has accumulated a total of 237  points for Bronze Certification, 311 points for Silver Certification, and 395 points for Gold Certification. 

“For the gas utility, the beauty of the Program is that it is easy to implement and operate. The builder or remodeler tallies the points toward certification by filling out the Award Worksheet (see pages105-124). After accumulating the points needed for certification, the builder/remodeler submits the point tally to the gas utility. The gas utility then simply verifies the number of points the builder/remodeler has listed and presents the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Certificate to the builder/remodeler. 

“Here is the certification process step-by-step: 

“Step 1 | A gas utility representative contacts the builder/remodeler and explains the advantages of attaining certification and the certification process. 

“Step 2 | The builder/remodeler determines which natural gas appliances will be installed in the project’s homes. 

“Step 3 | Using architectural plans for the project, the builder/remodeler fills out the appropriate Award Worksheet, totaling up the points achieved by the project. The builder/remodeler then submits the filled-out award worksheet to the gas utility for verification. 

“Step 4 | An authorized gas utility representative verifies that the energy efficiency point tallies are accurate and qualify for Naturally Green Natural Gas Home certification, records the total points on the back of the certificate for the appropriate award level and signs the Certificate. The utility then presents the signed certificate to the builder/remodeler. 

“Step 5 | The gas utility then offers to the builder/remodeler the appropriate marketing resources (signage, co-op advertising, rebates, or other marketing tools) for promoting the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home.  

“It is a simple, straightforward process, requiring minimal time, effort, and paperwork. And it opens the door for a full range of opportunities to market the home as a Naturally Green Natural Gas Home.” (Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program. American Gas Association, Washington, D. C., 2008, p. 15.)   

What is especially remarkable about the Naturally Green Natural Gas Home Program is that the natural gas industry recognizes the Green Building Revolution is not just a trend, it is the wave of the future. In 2010 over 50 percent of all new homes build in American will be classified as green homes. In 2020 almost every home built in America will be a green home.

New green homes, new green buildings and new green communities will soon fill the landscapes of America. The natural gas industry is poised to join the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. They should be welcomed with open arms.

 

Chapter 13

LEEDS Leads the Way 

In 1993 a bright green a little know non-profit organization launched a program that was destined to change the concept of construction in America and the world. It was known as the U. S. Green Building Council.  In 1994 the the Council developed a rating system or set of guidelines for builders and developers to follow to make their building more sustainable know as LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It also launched a green building conference known as Greenbuild. The guiding force behind the U. S. Building Council was the natural Resources Defense Council.

Today the Council has over 15,000 member organizations in America and around the world. The Council included architects, engineers, city planners, government officials, environmentalists, builders, developers, project managers, product manufacturers, etc.

In an article entitled, “The US Building Green Council: Building Clean and Green Homes, Offices, Hospitals and Schools,” Lisa Carey stated:

“With over 15,000 organizations from across the building industry, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization that works to bring environmentally sound and healthy places to live and work. Their organization provides assistance with sustainable building practices, including construction, renovation and operation. Members of USBGC include building owners, engineers, architects, designers, contractors, manufacturers, other nonprofits and even government agencies. Their mission is "to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life." They are headquartered in Washington DC and support a variety of programs to encourage and increase the growth of building and renovating green.

“The US Building Green Council offers four programs to homes, businesses, and schools for building and sustaining green homes, schools and offices. Among these are the international recognized rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The LEED program is a "third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings." USBGC's LEED program promotes, provides support and services, and certification to architects, building engineers, interior designers, lenders and even government officials to assist them in instituting and utilizing sustainable "green" buildings. Projects are in progress in 41 countries and include design, construction, and operation of homes, neighborhoods, commercial interiors, new constructions, and even schools and health care facilities. State, local and federal governments are utilizing LEED programs for public housing buildings and projects, not only new project, but also for improving existing buildings to be more self sustaining and energy efficient.

“Chapter Programs of the US Green Building Council are designed to help individuals get information about building green, as well as making changes in their homes or businesses to make them more eco -friendly and sustainable. Each Chapter helps individual to connect with experts in the field, tour green buildings and share resources and information. The USGBC website provides a search function to look for chapters near you. Participation in local chapters also provides you with access to the Green Building Council online resource center for archived information as well as important information on the LEED program. Chapters may also use these online resources to promote their events and recruit new members.

“The United States Green Building Council also provides Educational Programs provide courses both online and in person, to obtain LEED certification, specialized information for your industry, and professional development courses.

“Educational opportunities also include access to and download of "greenbytes" pod casts, articles and video on green building, for your personal and professional use. The US Green Building Council also works with K-12 and higher education educators who wish to provide green building information and experiences to their students as well as assist educators in networking efforts and grants and awards applications and information.

“One of the most prestigious educational offerings from the USGBC is the award of "Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards & Incentive Grants."

“This program recognizes innovative green building curricula from pre-K through college and provides financial support for promising new programs. There have been 12 programs to receive these awards and grants since its beginning, and there are plans to continue and increase the award and grant opportunities as well as amounts. Peter Templeton, Senior Vice President, USGBC, states, "USGBC launched this initiative to highlight the central role education plays in furthering the green building movement." Participation in the USGBC top quality educational programs on green design, construction, and operations includes professionals from all areas of the building industry and numbers more than 54,500.

“USGBC also hosts the largest green building international conference and expo entitled, "Greenbuild." From professional to personal interest the US Green Building council provides for much needed information, references, resources and training in the area of building and renovating homes, businesses, schools, and even complete neighborhoods with energy efficient, eco-friendly and self sustaining homes.

“Through its use of local chapters and education programs information is dispersed to both up and coming building and design professionals as well as homeowners interested in just doing more, to save money and help the environment. Their awards, grants and design initiatives keep their members and their programs competitive and up to date with the latest in design and implementation of green building programs. Professionals to governments rely on this important information to make innovative changes in both public and private buildings, and those interested in more information or joining a local chapter should visit the website at http://www.usgbc.org/.” (:Lisa Carey, “The US Building Green Council: Building Clean and Green Homes, Offices, Hospitals and Schools.” Associated Content. February 26, 2009.)

The U. S. Green Building Council has one of the finest web sites on the internet. It should be daily reading for those interested in green design, construction and operation of green homes, green buildings and green communities. Every new building in the United States and around the world should follow the LEED rating system.

 

Chapter 14

New Green Building Codes Set New Standards for the Building Industry 

The battle over climate change is going to be fought in the legislative halls of the state and federal government. Those who believe in the old brown world – the status quo – will use all of their immense power to promote the continued use of fossil fuels and imported foreign oil. While those who people in the new green world and clean technology will endeavor to enact government statutes at the local, state, federal and international levels of government.

The giant multinational oil companies whose power and influence stresses around the world and into every nation is not about to roll over and play dead. They have marshaled their top lobbyists, public relations and advertising executives, and pulled the strings of the political which they control at all levels of government through bribery – campaign contributions. Nowhere is their power and influence more visible than in Washington, D. C. where dozens of key U. S. Senators and U. S. Congressmen and Congresswomen are on the payroll of Big Oil. The debate over cap and trade rules is a case in point.

A major battles is underway in the nation’s capital as the two forces gather their troops and engage each other in the halls of congress and the floor of the U. S House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate. Lobbyists for both sides are lining the halls of congress and pressing staff and key legislators for important concessions of the cap and trade legislation before Congressman Henry Waxman’s Energy Subcommittee in the House.

The Obama Administration is using the power of the White House and the influence of key environmental groups to draft a new energy bill that limits the carbon emissions in the United States.

 Let’s look inside the beltway battle that is raging in Washington, D. C. over cap and trade legislation. In an article entitled, “President Talks Climate Change, 'Cash for Clunkers,' with House Democrats.” Jake Tapper wrote:

“President Obama signaled a willingness to compromise on major environmental legislation, a key House Democrat said today.

“The president held a private meeting in the State Dining Room Tuesday morning with Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, after which members of the committee spoke to reporters.

“The most contentious issue in the Climate Change bill – on track to be voted on in the House this year, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said – is a "Cap and Trade" system.

“In "Cap and Trade," the federal government would limit the amount of carbon emissions permitted, and require companies to bid in an auction for permits to emit greenhouse gases.

“Eventually the government would lower the amount of credits available. Firms that reduced their emissions below the required level could auction leftover credits to other polluters.

“Some power companies have been lobbying for the administration to initially give free allowances to some utility companies, so as not to drive consumers' utility bills too high.

“The president has previously stated that his preferred approach was a "100 percent auction," with some Democrats discussing giving tax rebates to consumers adversely impacted.

“Asked how President Obama today received suggestions to allow free allowances, Waxman said that the president "wants us to try to work out our bill. And he’s giving us a lot of latitude to do that. He wants us to move. He wants legislation."

“When a reporter suggested that such a move would be contrary to the president's budget, which counts $645 billion in tax revenue raised from "Cap and Trade" fees, Waxman said, "I wouldn’t say it’s contrary. He wants us to get to a point where we’re going to have an auction and eventually we will look into an auction."

“Waxman said that off-shore drilling expansion was also discussed during the meeting, though the president had previously stated his opposition to such drilling.

“The group of House Democrats said they made progress on one key provision of the Climate Change bill: so-called "Cash for Clunkers" legislation.

"Once in a while when you're in Congress, you do something that really matters in people's lives," the president said in the meeting, participants recounted, referring to the compromise worked out on "Cash for Clunkers."

“Amidst some disagreements between more environmentally-conscious members of the committee, and those from Michigan and other Rust Belt states, a collaborative agreement was reached today, Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, the author of the original bill, told ABC News.

“Under the new agreement, consumers will be able to trade in a "clunker" – a car that gets 18 miles per gallon or less – for a voucher for a new fuel-efficient car. The amount of the voucher will range from $3,500 to $4,500, depending upon the fuel efficiency of the new vehicle.

"’Cash for Clunkers" legislation will likely be folded into a larger Climate Change bill, which Waxman said is on schedule to pass the House this year.

"’We are determined to pass a bill by this year and our committee is on a schedule to complete the markup on the legislation by Memorial Day recess," Waxman said. "The president said that he wants legislation, he wants us to move as quickly as possible. He said this is an opportunity to move and we ought to take this opportunity."

“Waxman said that the environmental legislation will not interfere with the health care reform bill, which President Obama has suggested is a higher priority.

“Asked how the committee plans on dealing with requiring polluters to reduce carbon emissions, he said, "the proposal for dealing with the carbon emissions is to put a cap on the amount of emissions that will be reduced over the years and within that cap we will have market-based system to promote innovation to reduce our reliance on carbon energy."

“Republicans and some Democrats suggest that the costs to corporate America of any fee on pollutants – what's called "Cap and Trade" – will be passed on to consumers, constituting a hidden tax. (House Republicans are even doing their own count of Democratic Senators and Members of Congress who have expressed concerns about the bill.)

“Waxman said the burden on consumers and particular regions would be factored into the legislation.

"’It’s going to require during that transition of period of decades for the Congress to deal with the cost to consumer and the cost to different industries and the development costs of the new technologies, and the allocations of the credits under the cap and trade bill."

“The California Democrat added that the committee members "are trying to be mindful of the regional concerns and the rate-payers particularly, the consumers, and that’s the purpose of our legislation and we’re going to maintain the integrity of that." He said the committee aims to protect the "rate-payers, the public, and to ameliorate the harm that may come to any region of the country that might be affected by the cap because of their industry."

“As for that other legislative body, the Senate, where Cap and Trade would have a more difficult time surviving a vote, Waxman said "the Senate is waiting for us to put together a consensus with the business community and the environmental community. ... We think we have the ability to get that kind of consensus."

“Consensus among Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is no small thing.

"’If we can reach agreement with the coal sector, with the steel, with the auto sector, with the refining sector on our committee which is very representative of the Congress on the whole, then we believe that will be a template for passage in the Senate as well."

“Take the varied voices on Cash for Clunkers, for instance.

"’We had to decide how green these cars need to be to get that credit," environmentally-focused Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., told reporters.

"’It's a good agreement," agreed former committee chairman Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a leading protector – some say enabler – of the U.S. auto industry. "It means sales of autos, it means fuel efficiency and it means progress." (Jake Tapper, “President Talks Climate Change, 'Cash for Clunkers,' with House Democrats.” ABC News, May 5, 2009.)

The debate over cap and trade is heating up at opponents and proponents of the new legislation hammer out the complex details of the new climate change bill limiting gashouse emissions in America. Congressman Henry Waxman is confident that a new cap and trade bill will be enacted by congress before the end of the year.

In an article entitled, “Congressman Predicts Cap on Greenhouse Gases Will Be Law by Year's End,” we read:

“U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman predicted that a plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions will become law by the end of the year.

“President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to reach agreement on a bill during a meeting today with committee Democrats, Waxman said outside the White House.

 “’The president says he wants legislation, he wants us to move as quickly as possible,” Waxman told reporters after the meeting. “We said we’re moving it this year and he didn’t object.”

“He said panel members also agreed to push forward with legislation to give consumers an incentive to trade in old cars for newer, more fuel-efficient models. The “cash for clunkers” program seeks to reduce pollution from old cars.

“Democrats remain divided over cap-and-trade legislation to use pollution permits to limit greenhouse gas emissions, particularly over how to distribute the permits. Lawmakers from states that heavily rely on coal and other polluting industries want free permits to aid the transition to a cap-and-trade system.

“’We are trying to be mindful of the regional concerns and the ratepayers,” Waxman said.

“We’re setting out the allocations to accomplish the goals of protecting the ratepayers and ameliorate the harm that may come to any region of the country.”

“Some lawmakers said before the meeting that they would ask the administration to help them sell a cap-and-trade plan to the public. The matter is contentious because any scenario for limiting pollution likely will raise energy costs in the short term. Republican leaders who oppose the proposal have labeled it a “cap-and-tax” system.

“Sell to the public

“’We have to get out and explain and sell this to the American people,” said Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat who said he is concerned about the costs to steelmakers and other energy-intensive industries. “There’s no better person in the Democratic Party to do that than the president.”

“Obama wants pollution permits to be auctioned under a program that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from their 2005 levels by 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050.

“Polluting industries, including coal-fired utilities and chemical companies, want to have free permits while they develop technology to limit emissions and to protect against competitors in developing countries that don’t have such restrictions.

“Waxman, Markey plan

“Waxman and Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in March released a draft cap-and-trade system. The plan didn’t specify how pollution allowances would be distributed, and energy committee lawmakers so far can’t agree on that fundamental provision.

“Today, about 3,000 members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, an Arlington, Va.-based coalition with utilities in 47 states, will visit the Capitol to lobby lawmakers against an auction system.

“Association Chief Executive Officer Glenn English said auctioning pollution permits would put small local utilities at a disadvantage against wealthier global interests such as oil companies and could enrich market speculators at the expense of consumers.

“’You can side with Wall Street and the speculators, or you can side with Main Street and your constituents,” English told several thousand cooperative directors at a Washington rally yesterday.

“White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama climate- change adviser Carol Browner have been lobbying committee members to reach a deal.

“Representative G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, said “very strong” differences remain on auctioning pollution permits. “Hopefully the White House can weigh in and reconcile some of our differences,” he said.” (“Congressman Predicts Cap on Greenhouse Gases Will Be Law by Year's End.” Asbury Park Press, May 5, 2009.)

The winner of the debate over climate change in Washington, D. C. will be determined by the lobbyists who represent giant oil, coal and natural gas industries and the lobbyists who represent environmental companies and groups.

The debate is raging inside the Democratic Party where congressional members are under intense pressure from major fossil fuel companies within their districts. This debate was outlined in an article entitled, “Industries Push for Free Pollution Credits.” Stephen Power stated:

“A growing number of industries are lobbying for free pollution permits under legislation capping greenhouse-gas emissions, in a potential threat to the funding for President Barack Obama's proposed middle-class tax cut.

“A range of industries, including electric utilities, auto makers, and oil and natural gas refineries, are making their case to lawmakers ahead of a vote on proposed climate legislation expected this week by the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. The jockeying has intensified in recent days after a push by electric utilities to secure up to 40% of the emissions permits for free, an amount that would be proportionate to their share of U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions.

“The measure by Reps. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and Edward Markey (D., Mass.) calls for reducing U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions roughly 20% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by mid-century. It is largely silent on how much companies would have to pay for pollution permits under a proposed cap-and-trade system that would allow companies to buy and sell such permits.

“Mr. Obama has called for auctioning off 100% of the emission allowances and using the bulk of the revenue to fund tax credits for the middle class. His 2010 budget blueprint projects raising $645 billion from the auction of emissions permits between 2012, when the system kicks in, and 2019. A smaller portion would be devoted to research and development of low-carbon technologies. But Mr. Obama and some of his aides have signaled they are willing to compromise on giving away the pollution permits.

“The bill's fate could hinge on how willing Messrs. Waxman and Markey are to give in to the demands of about a dozen Democratic committee members who want to soften the impact on their districts, which depend on coal, manufacturing, or oil and natural gas for jobs.

"’There are a lot of things in the bill I need to have changed," said Rep. Gene Green (D., Texas). Mr. Green, whose district is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the world, wants Mr. Waxman to give some pollution permits to oil refiners for free. "If that's not in the bill, I can't vote for it," he said.

“Refiners are lobbying to get for free 30% of the pollution permits, an amount that corresponds roughly to the share of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions produced by transportation fuel. Without such allowances, the industry says, it will lose out to refineries in India and the Middle East that ship their product to the U.S. and don't operate under carbon caps at home.

"’The electric utilities want 40%, and if they're getting 40%, the refiners say 'Why shouldn't we get 30%?"' Mr. Green said. Mr. Green said he has asked Mr. Waxman to give the refining industry a smaller share of the allowances – roughly 5%.

“Messrs. Waxman and Markey have said they intend to work out a distribution of the allowances after consulting with their colleagues, but haven't indicated specifically how the matter will be resolved. A spokeswoman for Mr. Waxman said, "We are encouraged by the progress that we are making, and the committee will continue meeting with members to discuss the legislation."

“Economists say generally that consumer prices will rise regardless of whether permits are given away for free, and that giving them away for free will divert money from other purposes in the public interest, such as tax cuts for consumers. But "the politics of passing [climate legislation] in the committee are tough; it's hard to be a purist," said Chad Stone, chief economist of the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“The issue is particularly thorny for the auto industry. The Obama administration has billions of public dollars at stake in turnaround efforts at Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. At the same time, Mr. Obama has vowed to promulgate more aggressive fuel-economy standards for vehicles, which won't be cheap. Last summer, the Transportation Department estimated that its proposal to require auto makers to achieve fuel efficiency of 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015 would cost auto makers $46.7 billion, which the agency said would make it among the most expensive rule makings in U.S. history.

"’There are a lot of interests competing for the pot of money, but I think there's a general recognition that some of the revenue…should be used to push advanced, low-carbon technologies because that's how we're going to drive the emissions reductions we need," said Alan Reuther, legislative director of the United Auto Workers.

“The union, along with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, is lobbying Mr. Waxman to direct that a portion of the revenue raised from the auction of carbon allowances go toward helping the industry develop more fuel-efficient vehicles to meet a federal mandate to improve new-vehicle fuel economy at least 40% by 2020.

“Mr. Reuther's concerns have been echoed by Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.), another swing vote on the panel who is leaning on Mr. Waxman to devote a portion of permit revenue to an Energy Department program that awards low-interest loans to car makers to develop advanced vehicles.” (Stephen Power, “Industries Push for Free Pollution Credits.” Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2009.)

On almost every piece of legislation before Congress, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce represents the large Fortune 500 companies and the giant multinational corporations that dominate the world economy. However, the chamber is under fire from some of its members for opposing the cap and trade legislation before congress. In an article entitled, “Chamber Under Fire on Warming,” Lisa Lerer states:

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking heat from Johnson & Johnson, Nike and other corporate members over its opposition to global warming legislation pending in the House.

“In a letter to the Chamber, Johnson & Johnson has asked the Chamber to refrain from making comments on climate change unless they “reflect the full range of views, especially those of Chamber members advocating for congressional action.”

“Nike spokeswoman Anne Meyers said her company has also been “vocal” with the Chamber’s leaders “about wanting them to take a more progressive stance on the issue of climate change.”

“While the Chamber’s opposition to cap-and-trade legislation introduced by House Democrats mirrors the views of some in industry, particularly energy producers, Meyer said Nike “didn’t feel that consumer companies had a particularly strong or vocal voice around the issue of climate change.”

“Lobbyists at business coalitions that support federal climate change legislation say other companies are discussing the possibility of sending their own letters to the Chamber — or of threatening to withhold dues from the Chamber in protest.

“But William Kovacs, the Chamber’s vice president for the environment, technology and regulatory affairs, downplayed the divide within the nation’s most powerful lobbying group.

 “’We deal with 300 to 400 issues a year, and there are times when members would disagree,” he said. “But on 95 percent of the issues, we have 95 percent of the support.”

“While some energy producers and manufacturers oppose any federal action to cap carbon dioxide emissions, at least 35 major corporations — including Johnson & Johnson and  Nike — have joined coalitions designed to push federal climate change legislation.

“The Chamber has not taken an explicit position against  all federal climate change regulation, but it has opposed the most significant proposals introduced in Congress.

“The business lobby has come out strongly against a draft bill in the House that would create a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gases and promote the development of renewable energy technology.

“In the House Energy and Commerce committee last month, Kovacs said the legislation would “result in energy shortages and high energy prices, which in turn means higher prices for just about everything else.”

“And last week, the Chamber released a study showing that the bill could result in more than 3 million jobs lost by 2030 and a cost of more than $2,100 per household.

“The Chamber also opposed a cap-and-trade proposal introduced by former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) during the past session of Congress.

“Environmental advocates say the positions the Chamber has taken put it out of sync with many of its members.

“’Based on the public statements from the other members of the Chamber, Johnson & Johnson is certainly not alone in having a different position from the Chamber,” said Peter Altman, climate campaign director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“According to Altman’s analysis, 99 of the 122 companies represented on the Chamber’s board have taken no public position on global warming. Nineteen support regulation, while four oppose regulation or disagree with the science behind it.

“’The U.S. Chamber is representing the views of a small minority of its board members,” said Altman.

“Chamber lobbyists say that the group’s positions are determined by its members, which are organized into 16 policy groups and five taskforces.

“Kovacs said the Johnson & Johnson letter came the day the Chamber’s environment and energy committee was meeting. The group of more than 100 members debated cap and trade, the carbon tax and the use of technology for nearly three hours, he said.

“’At the end of the debate, there were no members asking to change our policy,” he said.

“The draft version of the House climate change legislation incorporated proposals suggested by the United States Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of business and environmental groups that supports capping emissions. The Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, a group of consumer companies, also backs the House bill.” (Lisa Lerer, “Chamber Under Fire on Warming.” POLITICO.com, May 5, 2009.”

One thing is certain, cap and trade legislation will pass congress in 2009 in one form or another. There will be huge concessions made to certain congressmen and congresswomen and senators. Lobbyists will simply wave their magic wands and campaign contributions will flow into the coffers of support legislators. The president will pressure certain legislators and make untold promises to those who are wavering. Cap and trade legislation will surely come. It is a movement that seems unstoppable.

Another thing seems certain, cap and trade legislation is a wiser move than a carbon tax. In an article entitled, “Why Cap and Is Better Than a Carbon Tax,” the Natural Resources Defense Council stated:

“While there is widespread support for the goal of reducing our emission of global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050, there is a vigorous debate about the best means for reaching that goal. Advocates for a carbon tax suggest that it would be simpler and more transparent than a cap and invest system, but such arguments often compare a “real-world” cap and invest design with an idealized carbon tax. When factoring in the pressure for special accommodations in the legislative process that will undoubtedly face either system, a cap and invest program is preferable to implementing a carbon tax. The following list offers five reasons, including greater certainty where it counts and more flexibility where it is needed, why a cap and invest system will best help us meet the urgent goal of reducing global warming pollution.

 

“1. Guaranteeing Reduced Emission of Global Warming Pollution

 

“A cap and invest program that gradually reduces the amount of CO2 permits available to polluters over time will be more effective than a carbon tax at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more. A pollution cap is designed to directly regulate the quantity of dangerous pollution emitted on an annual basis, creating more certainty that our environmental goals will be achieved. A carbon tax, on the other hand, can attempt to change polluters’ behavior and encourage them to meet desired emission reductions targets within a specific time frame, but there is no guarantee that these efforts will achieve the targets set by the program.

 

“2. Creating Better Long-Term Economic Certainty to Spur Investment

 

“Companies and investors need clear price signals to make the investments needed to achieve our global warming pollution reduction goals. A cap and invest system provides a 40-year economic framework that will allow investors to base their decisions on industry’s own estimate of the long-term price of carbon. A carbon tax would only offer what government thinks the price of carbon should be on a year-by-year basis to meet desired emissions reduction targets. In addition, a low carbon cap makes clear that long-lived and highly polluting investments like coal plants

that do not capture CO2 do not make good economic sense in the long term and are not attractive investments.

 

“3. Responding Appropriately to Economic Cycles

 

“The price of carbon under a cap and invest system will respond to fluctuations in the economy in ways that reduce carbon emissions without creating an undue burden during difficult economic times. The price of carbon will fall as the CO2 output from the economy slows and will rise as the CO2 output from the economy accelerates. This responsive way of pricing carbon will make a cap and invest system more effective than a carbon tax, which would require the difficult calculation of whether significant progress had been made in reducing carbon pollution before deciding whether or not to provide economic relief during an economic slowdown.

 

“4. Providing Better Protection from Political Intervention

 

“Although the regulation of a cap and invest market for CO2 is likely to be reviewed every five years, the program itself will be designed to last 40 years and will not be subject to the intense political pressure that a rolling carbon tax would be subject to—especially during periods of economic stress. Given the political advantages of underestimating the amount of tax needed to bring about a certain change in behavior, it is likely that a carbon tax program would be persistently behind on its reduction targets and frequently confronted with calls either to reform or abandon the program. Further, during periods of economic recovery, politicians will struggle to determine the level of carbon tax that best balances emissions reduction goals with sustaining economic growth.

 

“5. Supporting and Advancing Complementary Emissions Reduction Standards

 

“A cap and invest program is more effective at encouraging public support for complementary policies to increase efficiency and reduce global warming pollution. For example, all energy consumers have a stake in encouraging strong standards for appliances, minimum efficiency codes for buildings, and fuel economy standards for vehicles under a cap and invest program since all of these would help to reduce the long-term market price of carbon allowances. (“Why Cap and Invest Is Better Than a Carbon Tax.”  Policy Brief, Natural Resources Defense Council. 2009.)

 

At the local level, cities, counties and state governments are already passing statures and ordinances requiring a reduction in carbon emissions.

At the international level, a common language is being implanted to focus the attention of the world on reduction of carbon emissions. The goal is to “map and develop metrics to measure emissions of CO2 equivalents from new homes and buildings.” Paul King, the CEO of UK Green Building council stated: “The way in which we construct and operate buildings accounts for almost half of all CO2 emissions contributing to climate change globally. Rating tools like BREEAM, LEED and Green Star have a proven track record in driving significant improvements in performance, and I’m delighted they are now coming together to help create an international language that will enable us to talk with one voice about the vital role green buildings can pplay in creating a low-carbon future.” (“Common Language for Carbon in Sight: Leading Rating tool Providers to Sign MOU.” World Green Building Council, March 3, 2009.)

Astute and far-sighted builders and developers have already turned their companies from brown to green and are preparing to join the new green building revolution and the new green world order. New building rules and regulations will be green. The time to make the change was yesterday. A new day is dawning and it is a green buildings day.

 

Chapter 15

Green Design Components - Green Roofs and Rainwater Harvesting 

The Green Building Revolution has given rise to a host of new manufacturing and technology companies. Thousands of new companies are now producing new technologies and new green products that builders and developers are utilizing in the design, construction and operation of new green buildings.

Let us look at a few of the new design and construction changes that are transforming the building landscape of America and the world. Let us start with green roofs. In an article entitled, “Green Roofs Sprout Up All Over, “ Ketzel Levine stated:

“It all started in ancient Mesopotamia. That's how old the idea of a "green" roofs is. From the Ziggurat of Nanna to the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon, humans have been growing plants on roofs. Turf and sod have topped an array of human dwellings – but the emergence of a bona fide green roof industry is fairly recent.

“Here in the United States, that industry is just a few years old. But green roofs are being touted as the answer to a number of environmental problems – and they're showing up all over the country. NPR's Ketzel Levine reports.

“Commercial green roofs are not roof gardens; many of them can't take foot traffic. Instead, they're like green skins, layers of vegetative matter that grow directly on rooftops. They are far less romantic than they sound.

“Green roofs are tools for dealing with stormwater runoff and reducing urban heat islands. Other industry claims include their ability to reduce energy use by insulating buildings from extreme temperatures. The scientific data to support these and other benefits are still being collected, but based on how they've performed – for decades – in Germany and the Netherlands, green-roof specialists are confident in their curative powers.

“A growing number of architects, engineers, urban ecologists and city planners agree. Increasingly high-profile green roof projects have been built in the United States in the last five years. Among the best-known green roofs are the ones atop Chicago's City Hall and a Ford Motor Co. facility in Dearborn, Mich. Some of the newer roofs making the news include a residential high-rise in New York City, a prairie-covered library in Evansville, Ind., and the top of the Multnomah County Building in Portland, Ore. (Ketzel Levine, “Green Roofs Sprout Up All Over.” National Public Radio, June 23, 2004.)

Private Benefits of Green Roofs

Let us look at the private benefits from green roofs:

Increased Roof Life

The life expectancy of a "naked" flat roof is only 15 to 25 years, even with professional installation. This is due to the physical, chemical and biological stress on the roof skin/ waterproofing over the years. Temperature differences of more than 100 °C during the year and 60 °C over 24 hours are not unusual. UV-radiation and high Ozone ratios accelerate the ageing process of the waterproofing; which results in, material fatigue, shrinking, crack formation, and leakage. Green Roofs provide protection for the waterproofing. The vegetation layer buffers the temperature stress during summer and winter, and temperature differences of, 35 °C during the year and 15 °C over 24 hours are not usually exceeded. In addition, the Green Roof creates a protection layer for the waterproofing in case of mechanical damage like hail, wind, vandalism, and fireworks.

Reduced Noise Levels

Green Roofs reduce sound reflection by up to 3 dB and improve sound insulation by up to 8 dB. This is important for people who live near airports, noisy discotheques, or industrial parks. Additionally, electromagnetic waves from transmitting stations can be effectively shielded by the vegetation layer.

Thermal Insulation

Green Roofs can be regarded as additional thermal insulation, thus, reducing the use of primary energy. This is a well known economic benefit; however, in former times it was not possible to quantify this effect and integrate Green Roofs into the building energy balance.
This gap was closed at the beginning of the nineties when special Green Roof build-ups were officially credited with thermal resistance values (R-Values) by the German Institute for Construction engineering. Depending on the original thermal insulation, an amount of 1 - 2 L/m2 of oil can be saved with this additional thermal insulation.

Heat Shield

During the summer months Green Roofs reduce indoor temperatures through transpiration. According to tests from Drefahl (1995), the microclimate of an apartment underneath a Green Roof is comparable with one on the base floor. The typical overheating of attic flats in summer can be avoided with vegetated roofs; therefore, decreasing the use of air conditioning and energy consumption.

Use of Space

Green Roofs offer various possibilities for usage, including: natural refuges for insects and plants, recreational roof gardens, roof cafés, and sporting areas. If the technical and construction requirements of the building are met, there are virtually no limits for landscape designs with perennials, small trees, terraces, or gardens. Due to the utilization of the roof property, the building owner can save costs from purchasing additional land at ground level. A gorgeous view, fresh air, and privacy are also included in the price. Roof gardens increase the work environment enormously and offer nearby recreational areas, even in conurbations. (Green Roofs – Private Benefits. International Green Roof Assocation. 2009.)

Public Benefits of Green Roofs

Now let us look at the public benefits of green roofs.

Natural Habitat for Animals and Plants

The sealing of the landscape by human building activities has several negative effects on the ecosystem and the human habitat. This applies in particular for urban areas, where a large share of the total land area is sealed. Vegetated Roofs can compensate for lost green areas. As "step-stone habitats", they create lively and vigorous places and connect isolated refuges for flora and fauna within sterile city centres. Low maintenance extensive Green Roofs especially promote biodiversity, as wild bees, butterflies, and beetles find food and shelter there. Even rare and protected species can be found on Green Roofs. The natural cycle of plant growth, self-seeding and stress-selection lends to ecological systems with unique character.

Stormwater Retention

Green Roofs are very important instruments in preventing local flooding. Depending on the Green Roof system and the depth of the growing medium, the immediate water run-off can be reduced by 50-90%. Most of this water returns directly into the natural water cycle by transpiration/evaporation of the Green Roof. The excess rainwater is filtered and drained off with a temporal delay. This leads to reduced stress on the sewer system during the year and at peak flow periods. As a result less or smaller dimensioned sewerage systems can be installed. In combination with other forms of modern rain water management (for example, storage tanks or retaining trench-soaking hole-systems) the rainwater can be entirely infiltrated on the landowners ground. The benefits of Green Roofs for stormwater management can lead to incentive programs for Green Roofs in various cities, such as, reduced stormwater taxes.

Urban Heat Island Effect

Global warming, increasing sealed surfaces and excess heat from residential buildings, industry and traffic are leading to continually rising temperatures within urban agglomerations. The temperature difference between a city and the surrounding countryside is referred to as the urban heat island effect. In summer this effect can reach nearly 10 °C. The urban heat island effect drastically reduces the quality of life and impairs health of the city's inhabitants. Natural "air conditioners" such as green areas and parks can absorb up to 80% of the energy input; however, in densely populated districts green areas are rare. Landscaped roof surfaces are an alternative, as they decrease the "urban heat island effect" through the process of transpiration and humidify dry air. This process lends to a better climate for the occupants of adjacent apartments and buildings.

Reduction of Dust and Smog Levels

Inner city air pollution can cause serious adverse health effects, which has been proven by numerous studies over the last years. In particular, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, volatile organic compounds, and diesel exhaust gases are creating dangerous combinations of toxic substances for urban inhabitants. Plants are able to enhance the quality of the air. One square metre of Green Roof can filter approximately 0.2 kg aerosol dust and smog particles per year. In addition, nitrates and other harmful materials in the air and from rainfall are deposited in the growing medium.

Cities and Landscapes

Green Roofs are visually enhancing the quality of life in the cities. Already a few blooming "islands" are able to interrupt the monotony of the grey, dismal city centres and better people´s mental and physical health. Not only in cities, but also in rural areas, Green Roofs allow industry buildings to blend harmoniously with the scenery. (Green Roofs – Public Benefits. International Green Roof Assocation. 2009.)

It is apparent that the private and public benefits of green roofs indicate that builders and developers should embrace this new concept and begin adding these new green design, construction and operation components to the new buildings of the future.

Rainwater Harvesting

Let’s look at the wise use of rain. In an article entitled, “What is Rainwater Harvesting: the Responsible Solution for Healthy Landscape Irrigation,” we find:

Rainwater harvesting is a technology used to collect, convey and store rain from relatively clean surfaces such as a roof, land surface or rock catchment for later use. This is water that would otherwise have gone down the drainage system, into the ground or been lost to the atmosphere via evaporation. The water is generally stored in a rainwater tank or directed into mechanisms that can recharge groundwater. Rainwater harvesting can provide water for human consumption, reduce water bills and lessen the need to build reservoirs which may require the use of valuable land.

“Rainwater harvesting has been practiced for over 4,000 years throughout the world. It has provided drinking water, domestic water, water for livestock, water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels. Traditionally, rainwater harvesting has been practiced in arid and semiarid areas. It has become an integral part of societies in remote places where piping water and reliance on wells is not an option.

“Rainwater harvesting in urban areas and cities can have diverse benefits. Providing supplemental water for the city’s requirements, increasing soil moisture levels for urban greenery, increasing the ground water table through artificial recharge, mitigating urban flooding and improving the quality of groundwater are a few of the many benefits. In homes and buildings, collected rainwater can be used for irrigation, flushing toilets and washing laundry. In hard water areas rainwater is superior to city water for non-potable use. With proper filtration and treatment, harvested rainwater can also be used for showering, bathing, or drinking.

“Rainwater harvesting is also effective in reducing stormwater runoff pollution into the watershed. When rain falls, it is clean, but it immediately picks up pollutants from rooftops and pavement. This pollution is carried into storm drains and then into streams. Collecting stormwater from rooftops and directing it to storage tanks so it can be used in and around a building decreases the volume and rate of stormwater runoff.

Sustainability

“Rainwater harvesting is one of the most promising alternatives for supplying water in the face of increasing water scarcity and escalating demand. The pressures on water supplies, greater environmental impact associated with new projects as well as deteriorating water quality in reservoirs already constructed, constrain the ability of communities to meet the demand for freshwater from traditional sources. Rainwater harvesting presents an opportunity for augmentation of water supplies allowing for self-reliance and sustainability. Sustaining the environment contributes to the overall conservation of our precious natural resources.

“Simple rainwater harvesting systems, such as rainbarrels, are great for collecting small volumes of water for use in residential gardens or for watering plants around the home. However, to fully reap the benefits of the huge amounts of rain that run off a roof during a storm, a fully-integrated rainwater irrigation system should be considered. With such a system, rain water passes from a roof, through a gutter system, into large cisterns (water tanks) and gets distributed through common underground sprinklers. Since a properly designed system does not rely on any groundwater resources, most installations can be exempt from certain watering restrictions. In fact, many local and regional water resource officials encourage the harvesting of rainwater as part of responsible conservation practices.” (“What is Rainwater Harvesting: the Responsible Solution for Healthy Landscape Irrigation,” Rainwater Services. 2009.)

City of Seattle Report on Rainwater Harvesting

According to the City of Seattle, the American people use over 400 billion gallons of water each year in their homes and businesses. The Department of Planning and Development issued an excellent report entitled, “Rainwater Harvesting for Beneficial Use.” It reads:

What is Water Harvesting?

 

“Water harvesting is the capture and storage of water for beneficial use. It can be accomplished anywhere water supply is available for collection and a water source is desired or required. To understand the process fully, it is important to understand water harvesting terms.

 

“Rainwater harvesting is the capture and storage of rainwater and is considered the cleanest form of harvested water.

 

“Greywater harvesting is the capture and storage of water that has already been used for non-sewage purposes — from baths and showers to washing machines, sinks and vehicle washing run-off. Reuse of greywater triggers more code requirements and design regulations than the use of rainwater. Some applications are restricted by local code.

 

“Reclaimed water is wastewater treated to levels that allow it to be used for non-drinking water purposes.

“Reuse of reclaimed water triggers more code requirements and design regulations than reuse of rainwater.

 

“Potable water is clean water — satisfactory for drinking, culinary and domestic purposes, and meets the drinking water standards established by the Washington State Department of Health.

 

What are the goals and benefits of rainwater harvesting?

 

“Rainwater harvesting provides a host of design benefits that range from reducing owner utility rates and improved landscape health, to reducing combined sewer overflows into Seattle water supplies and reducing demand on the city’s potable water systems.

 

Financial benefits: City of Seattle residents are charged for both the potable water they use and the related sanitary sewer treatment they need to treat used water. Use of collected rainwater helps residents save on potable water use fees and on sanitary sewer use fees.

 

Plant health: Landscape plants flourish with irrigation from collected rainwater. Rainwater does not contain chlorine (an important additive that keeps potable water safe for drinking), benefiting many ecologically sensitive plants.

 

Water quality: When it rains, it pours — and during extreme rain events, our combined sewers fill to overflowing, pouring into the Puget Sound and contributing water bodies without full water quality treatment. Removing rainwater from the combined sewer systems and redirecting it to cisterns lowers peak flows and reduces the amount of pollutants that find their way into our natural water bodies.

 

Water supply: Combine a rapidly increasing population with lower annual rainfall and higher

temperatures, and the demand for potable water increases dramatically — putting greater pressure on municipal water supplies. Rainwater harvesting reduces this demand.

 

Green building credits: Many green building systems offer credits for rainwater harvest systems, helping your project reach certification goals.

 

Rainwater Harvest System Components, Requirements and Design Considerations

 

“A rainwater harvesting system begins at the point of collection and ends at the supply to approved plumbing fixtures and other outlets. Systems typically consist of the following components:

 

“Harvest sources: Unless otherwise approved by the City, only runoff from roof surfaces is allowed for rainwater harvesting collection. To protect the water quality of the rainwater harvested, avoid roofing materials such as copper or zinc that may release contaminants into your system, as well as roofing materials treated with fungicides or herbicides. Consult Seattle Public Utilities to understand any water rights issues that may apply to your project. See the "Regulations, Guidelines, and Design Resources" section of this document for contact information.

 

Collection systems: Collection systems include gutters and downspouts, as well as the piping and any other conveyance needed to route harvested water from harvest sources to the cistern. All portions of the collection system should be constructed in accordance with Chapter 11 of the 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). See the "Regulations, Guidelines, and Design Resources" section of this CAM.

 

Initial water quality treatment/debris excluders: Pre-storage treatment must be used to divert debris and/or “first flows” prior to entering the storage system, and to keep leaves and other larger debris from entering and clogging the system. “First flows” are defined as the initial rain that falls during a typical rain shower. These waters convey any sediment that has built up on the roof surface. They typically contain the greatest concentration of pollutants in harvested rainwater. Leaf screens and self cleaning bug screens are a typical choice for initial water quality treatment in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Cistern/storage system: Cisterns can be constructed from a variety of materials and placed in

various locations. They can include tanks, pipes, and enclosed portions of buildings — above or

below ground level. Construction materials include underground concrete and fiberglass, partial and above ground plastic, and enclosed basement structures. All cistern systems must meet the

following criteria:

 

“All cisterns must be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s installation instructions

and the building code.

 

“If a foundation is required for installation, then the foundation must be flat and capable of

supporting the cistern weight when full with water (in accordance with the building code).

 

“Cistern/storage systems that are capable of being filled from both the rainwater harvesting

systems and a public or private water system must be protected from cross contamination

in accordance with the UPC.

 

“Cistern/storage systems must have both access points and drains to allow inspection and cleaning.

 

“Cistern/storage systems that are buried below ground level must have a manhole riser that

sticks out a minimum of eight inches above the surrounding ground. Manhole covers must

be secured and locked to prevent tampering.

 

“Any cistern/storage system opening that could allow the entry of personnel must be

marked: “danger — confined space."

 

“Cleaning of any accumulated sediment on the bottom of the cistern must be possible

by flushing through a drain, vacuuming or another approved method.

 

“The cistern must have a designated overflow when the volume of the tank meets capacity.

The cross section of the overflow must have an area equal to or greater than all of the

areas of the devices delivering water to the cistern. The minimum overflow is four inches

in diameter. The overflow must be protected with a screen with openings no greater than

one-quarter inch.

 

“The discharge location for the emergency overflow must be approved by the local authority.

 

“Cisterns should be designed to prevent mosquitoes and other life forms from entering the

cistern system. This can be done with appropriate screening at any opening to the cistern.

 

While not required, locating the cistern in an area that allows access for replacement in case of failure may be desirable. Consider using opaque containers for an above ground location to minimize algae growth.

 

Delivery/distribution system: Delivery may be accomplished by a gravity system or include the pumps and pipes needed to move water from the storage system to the end use area. Consider

designing a potable water back-up that can operate without electricity in emergency conditions.

 

“All distribution system components must be sized and installed to meet the requirements

of the UPC.

 

“As specified in the Seattle and King County Public Health Rainwater Harvesting Policy

included in the "Regulations, Guidelines, and Design Resources" section of this document,

all pipes, irrigation hose bibs, irrigation outlets and related equipment rooms must include

appropriated labeling of the rain water harvesting system.

 

“Any connection to the domestic potable water system must be protected from cross contamination per the UPC.

 

“Water must be drawn from at least four inches above the bottom of the tank.

 

Final water quality treatment: The extent of water quality treatment is dependent on both the quality of the water entering the storage system and the desired reuse. Systems must protect the functions of delivery valves and fixtures and range from simple screens to cartridge filters, UV light, and chlorination. Screen systems and/or basic mechanical filtration are typically adequate for irrigation and toilet flushing reuse.

 

Operations and maintenance manual: This document should include all operations and

maintenance information needed to ensure proper function for the life of the rainwater harvest system. Information should include timing on replacing and/or cleaning filters, removing sediment and other pollutants from storage systems, backflow prevention inspections, valve schedules and operation, backup and cross connection, and seasonal startup and shutdown and freeze protection. It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the system until abandoned per guidelines.

 

Education program: Written documentation of this program can be included in the Operations and Maintenance Manual. All users and system operators need to understand how to operate and maintain the system in order to ensure proper function. This can be done with training and/or signage. User behavior to minimize the wasting of water should be encouraged.

 

Public information materials: Additional information to inform the public of the system benefits and operation can be included in a project through signage. An education program can also be developed to allow non-users (the public) to learn about the benefits and operation of a rainwater harvest system.

 

Design Process

 

“Rainwater harvesting systems used in structures must be engineered for site specific conditions. This requirement can be waived by the permitting authority for very simple systems. Rainwater systems are required to be submitted for plan review for building and plumbing permit. The UPC, Seattle and King County Public Health procedures title, Rainwater Harvesting and Connection to Plumbing Fixtures, and any manufacturer’s installation instructions must be followed.

 

Permits, Inspections and Review Requirements

 

“Rainwater harvesting systems must comply with permitting, planning and zoning requirements, this may include one or more of the following:

 

“design review

 

“building permits for cistern footings, foundations, enclosures and roof structures, and may include:

 

“zoning review for location and setback

 

“grading permits and erosion control plans for underground tanks

 

“critical area determinations

 

“plumbing permits for all systems from the collection area to the final point of rainwater reuse

 

“electrical permits for pump and electrical controls possible water rights from the Department of Ecology regional office

 

“Before beginning construction check with each authority to determine if permit and inspection is required for your specific project. Before submitting for a permit or plan review, it is important to clarify submittal requirements. Typical submittal requirements include site plans, elevations, isometric drawings of the harvest system and specifications along with manufacturer’s installation instructions for cistern, pump and filtration or disinfection components.” (“Rainwater Harvesting for Beneficial Use.” Client Assistance Memo 701, City of Seattle, The Department of Planning and Development. April 28, 2008.)

 

 

The Seattle report also contained a sidebar on LEEDs. It states:

 

LEED™ Benefits for Water Harvesting

 

“LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a national green building standard created by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED has programs for commercial and residential construction. Rainwater harvesting can contribute towards the following credits:

 

“Stormwater Design: Quantity Control

 

“Water Efficient Landscaping: Reduce by 50 Percent

 

“Water Efficient Landscaping: No Potable Water

 

“Use or No Irrigation

 

“Innovative Wastewater Technologies

 

“Water Use Reduction: 20 Percent Reduction

 

“Water Use Reduction: 30 Percent Reduction

 

“Innovation in Design: Potable Reduction for Process Water

 

“Innovation in Design: Education Credit

 

For more information visit www.usgbc.org

 

There was also a sidebar included in the study on Built Green. It states:

 

Built Green™ Benefits for Water Harvesting

 

“Built Green™ is a green building program developed by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties in partnership with local governments including the City of Seattle. Built Green has programs for single family, multifamily and communities. Rainwater harvesting can contribute to the following credits:

 

“Install Rainwater Collection System (Cistern) for Reuse

 

“Prepare a Roof Water Management Plan Showing Best Practices for the Site Soils and Storm Water Infrastructure

 

“Stub-In Plumbing to Use Greywater Water for Toilet Flushing

 

“Use Greywater Water for Toilet Flushing

 

“Plumb for Greywater Irrigation

 

“Install Irrigation System using Recycled Water

 

For more information visit www.builtgreen.net.

 

(“Rainwater Harvesting for Beneficial Use.” Client Assistance Memo 701, City of Seattle, The Department of Planning and Development. April 28, 2008.)

 

The concept of green roofs and rainwater harvesting are ancient practices that are being used once again today. It shows the wisdom and practicality of the ancient environmentalists who lived in the Middle East and Asia. Their concepts of eco-design are as applicable today as they were in ancient times. Green roofs and rainwater harvesting are simple solutions to large problems.

                                                                

Chapter 16

Green Developers Transform the Building Industry 

The debate over climate change around the world has created a monumental paradigm shift in how people should live on the earth. Sustainable communities are springing up all over the earth as people begin to question the viability of the old fossil fueled, carbon based economy.

The brown economy, based upon fossil fuels, has turned out to be environmental, socially, financially, politically and economically unsustainable. A new economic model has emerged based upon sustainable living, green buildings, alternative energy sources and clean technology. Environmentally friendly building materials have emerged to replace the chemically based building materials of the old brown world.  Thousands of new businesses have begun supplying home owners and commercial builders with a whole new range of natural building materials that are designed to create new sustainable communities and a healthier world free of CO2 emissions.

Home builders and commercial real estate developers are facing the demise of the old brown world and the emergence of a new green world. Builders and developers need to adapt quickly or their companies will become as extinct as the dinosaurs of the past.

Governments around the world are responding to the demand for new rules and regulations that mitigate the effects of CO2 emissions on the planet. New building codes are emerging at the city, state and federal level of government in the U. S. The new government regulations are mandating that government agencies, businesses, builders and developers lower their carbon footprint.

New green homes, schools, universities, hotels, resorts, office buildings, government buildings and warehouses are being built throughout the United States. Builders and developers who are quick to change their design, construction and operation models will prosper in the new green economy.

In light of the dramatic changes that are occurring in the development world, it is important that new green commercial developers position themselves as leaders in the new green economy and in the new green building revolution.

The financial benefits that will accrue to green developers are immense.  New opportunities are arising daily as major corporations such as Google, Adobe, Dell and a host of others prominent Fortune 500 companies begin constructing new green offices and commercial buildings to manufacture and sell their new green products and services. Government agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Defense are commissioning new green buildings and employing new alternative energy sources to lower their carbon footprint. 

In order to position themselves in the forefront of the new green building revolution, the new green developers need to look at the financials and social benefits for lenders, owners, property managers, brokers and tenants.  Green developers can lead the way in the design, construction and operation of green commercial buildings. They can also assist former clients who may want to retrofit their buildings and new clients who may want to seize upon the enormous benefits to be gained from the construction of new green buildings.

The green development world is indeed green. In an article entitled, “The Future Bodes Well for Green Development, Bert Gregory stated:

“Around the world, “we will erect as many buildings in the next 50 years as we have in the last 5,000,” predicts David Orr of Oberlin College. For those developers in the Northwest who see light at the end of this tough economic tunnel, this bodes well.

“We know that market demand will return. When it does, a building’s quality may need to be defined by more than the traditional criteria of the past. Definitions of quality in the near future may likely include environmental factors.

“Commercial demand

“In the building industry, the trend toward environmental awareness is ever apparent. More than 1,400 organizations have joined the U.S. Green Building Council, which developed the leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, a widely accepted green-building rating system. In less than three years, the number of LEED-registered projects has grown from zero to over 370. Both Ford and Honda already have buildings that are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“According to Nigel Howard, vice president of the U.S. Green Building Council, more than 40 percent of all new projects in the United Kingdom enroll in its equivalent to the LEED system. The U.K.’s commercial developers are seeking the system as a way to secure tenants who are looking for environmentally responsible buildings. Could this be a precursor to the future in the United States?

“Quality and value

“Traditionally, speculative developers have created value based on direct and immediate economic incentives related to minimizing risk and maximizing short-term returns — very tangible measures. The intangible element of the equation that can affect a building’s value is the building’s perceived quality.

“The challenge is to find measurable “value” and “quality” through environmental values. This can include minimizing risk of liability for indoor air quality by creating healthy buildings; minimizing risk of unstable utility costs by minimizing current consumption; minimizing risk by providing flexibility now to install more advanced utility technologies in the future; responding to public perception/pressure of corporate responsibility; and by creating more demand through positive impacts on the health/productivity of the building’s tenants.

“Energy-efficient buildings are more resilient to fluctuations and instability in energy and water costs, and may actually result in higher future profits for developers based upon higher desirability from potential tenants and, ultimately, lower vacancy rates.

“Economic motivators

“While an increasing number of speculative developers are responding to an internal value set — a strong belief that environmentally smart development is “the right thing to do” — the bottom line is still what matters in the end.

“Research is beginning to show that green development could be a smarter economic decision and a potential criterion for investment in the future. Unique factors play into making economic decisions when doing a green speculative development. The Seattle-based Urban Environmental Institute recently identified several strategies arising from the emerging green market.

“However, all are not yet economically proven and only serve as a guide for developers.

Higher rents might be commanded for certain green features, including low   emission materials and natural daylighting, as well as systems that offset   increasing energy and water costs. In a 2001 research poll on the residential   market by Professional Builder and HousingZone.com, 96 percent responded that   they are willing to spend more money for “green” — a 7 percent increase in one   year. And 20 percent reported that they are willing to spend up to $10,000   more for a home in green developments.

“Lower vacancies might be achieved by using green features as a marketing edge.

“A LEED-certified building may rent more quickly.

“Insurance expenses may be reduced as a result of decreased environmental risk.

“Lending costs may be lower and financing incentives may be developed for green structures.

“Inflation risk may be reduced if environmental features are developed now but   implemented in the future as utility and water costs rise.

“Increase in building valuation through a net operating income increase on non-triple net rents.

“According to a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, staff productivity gains of 6 percent to 16 percent have been reported from energy-efficient designs,   demonstrating “green” as a marketable asset.

“Public savings

“Governments, utilities and other institutions are encouraging green development through economic incentives in order to help reduce the demand for services and minimize expensive infrastructure investments. Some examples:

“Seattle City Light Energy Smart Services — Packages offering up to 70 percent   or more of the cost of upgrading facilities with energy-efficient lighting and   equipment; reimbursement for professional design and engineering services   required to develop cost-effective conservation measures; partial   reimbursement for developing a building commissioning plan.

“Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities LEED incentive program — For   those who meet eligibility, grants are provided for projects committed to   achieving a LEED-certified rating, in some cases up to $20,000.

“Building area and height incentives — Portland is encouraging low-impact   stormwater strategies to help enhance critical salmon habitat and minimize   expensive infrastructure investments. This includes allowing 3 square feet of   additional floor-area ratio for each square foot of vegetated roof.

“The next wave of public incentives will likely grow out of the fact that a green development could be housing more people for significantly less resource consumption per square foot, which means less infrastructure investment. As such, why not allow a 25 percent floor-area ratio or a height increase?

“The future

“Over time, market demand for environmentally smart speculative development may become a necessity as energy resources continue to be depleted and costs for utilities continue to increase.

“In 2001, the Seattle area saw an average increase of almost 17 percent in gas costs, a 20 percent increase in electrical costs and a 12 percent increase in sewer costs. Developers that adjust their definitions for quality and value now may experience a market advantage over developers that choose to build more traditionally.

“It is time now for companies in our sector to ready themselves for the business environment of the future, not the past,” said London developer Sir Martin Laing, addressing the Sustainable Construction Task Group in London last fall. “This requires leadership from the top — we have got to stop regarding sustainability as some irksome burden being forced on us. It is an opportunity to be grasped, to improve our reputation, reduce our risk and gain the bottom-line rewards.”

“In the U.S. this also rings true. In order to protect the future for our businesses, we all need to work towards a new definition of quality.” (Bert Gregory, “The Future Bodes Well for Green Development.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce Newspaper, May 2, 2002.)

The old brown development world is dying. The developers who decide to retool their companies for a new green world will prosper in the days ahead. Those who fail to see that a major paradigm change is occurring in the development world will soon close their doors.

One of the most prominent leaders in the new green building industry is Jerry Yudelson. He has been a leader in training professionals in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. He is a engineer and author and has led the movement toward green buildings since 2001. Recently, he published another great book entitled, Developing Green: Strategies for Success. The GreenBiz staff reported on his new book as follows:    

“More than half of the world's 500 largest corporations issuing sustainability reports in 2005 say that they want to build and occupy real estate that reflects their values, according to Developing Green: Strategies for Success, a new book published by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).

“The report, Developing Green: Strategies for Success, authored by Jerry Yudelson, is designed for professionals engaged in financing, building, and marketing projects with green features. It illustrates the practice of marketing green developments and includes case studies, exemplary projects, and companies that are transforming the building and development industry.

“In addition to the case studies, narratives and materials outlined in the book, each Developing Green: Strategies for Success is accompanied by a CD featuring sustainable design projects from across the country.

“The market for green buildings for public agencies is among the greatest single green market in the United States, and it is growing rapidly. The combined office, public safety and recreation segments exceed $43 billion per year, much of it in smaller buildings amenable to green building approached.

"Developing Green: Strategies for Success provides a road map to assist developers in navigating the course of green development, providing a true insiders' look into best practices and presenting the case for building green," says Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president. “The book is an excellent tool for marketing and development professionals who want to effectively understand green development and the growing role it’s playing in commercial development.”

“Owners and developers of commercial and institutional properties in North America are advancing green development through state-of-the-art tools, design techniques, advanced green products and creative use of financial and regulatory incentives.

“Throughout Developing Green: Strategies for Success, Yudelson delineates the practice of building green and includes seven keys to successful green marketing. He also validates the cost of green buildings and explains how to incorporate green features into any project.

“A national LEED faculty member for the U.S. Green Building Council, Jerry Yudelson is a leading expert in the LEED green building rating system. He has trained more than 2,000 building industry professions on LEED and has chaired Greenbuild, the U.S. Green Building Council’s international conference.  (GreenBiz Staff, “Commercial Demand for Green Development Grows, Says New Book.” August 6, 2006.)

The economic downturn in the United States is now sweeping through the commercial development world. However, those who are hardest hit at this time are the old brown developers who refused to see the signs of change and kept plowing ahead in the same old way until their businesses has grinded to a stop. Green developers, on the other hand, are seeing a brighter future.

The green developers who changed their design, construction and operation of their companies over the last several years are finding new clients and new lenders. In an article entitled, “Green Lending Picks Up Despite Credit Market Woes,” Barbara Murray stated:

“At a time when securing a real estate development loan is an uphill battle, ShoreBank Pacific has decided to pave the way for those builders who are dedicated to eco-friendly development. With the establishment of  its new Green Building Loan Program, the bank has joined the ranks of those financial institutions that are making an extra effort to step up the support of green commercial development in the midst of the credit crisis.

"’The only people who are going to build today are, one, very serious builders–no one's building on spec unless they're idiots–and, two, people with a fair amount of capital who are building for themselves. So if they're doing that and they're adding green elements to the building, we can help them get there," David Williams, ShoreBank Pacific CEO, told CPN. The 12-year-old Washington-based bank serves the Pacific Northwest and its new green building loan program, created in conjunction with the bank's nonprofit affiliate ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, offers green builders financing of up to 85 percent loan-to-value, a ratio that is hard to come by for most developers these days. ShoreBank Pacific's partnership with its affiliate allows it to provide higher lending amounts; loans range from $1 million to $10 million.

“The program is designed for the truly committed green developer. Proposed projects must be designed to meet ShoreBank Pacific's internal sustainability guidelines or the qualifications for Earth Advantage, Energy Star or LEED certification. "We also have scientists on staff who get out and assess the projects," said Williams. "It's all part of our strategy to help folks become more sustainable. A lot of green building starts with strategy; there's pre-thinking that goes into a building that works, and the scientists can help them think further, more deeply into what they want to do."

“In general, it costs more to develop a certified green building than a traditional one, so in the midst of a bleak economy, why would a bank promote the more expensive development concept? “The long-term costs of building are reduced if you follow green building strategies," “Williams noted. "And our approach is different from banks that are just out there chasing the deal. Our whole message is to focus on building sustainable communities. For example, if we're dealing with a retailer, we get ourselves completely involved in the industry; we say, 'we can create a market for your product,' so that reduces the risk for the bank."

“Green lending is still a niche market, but more than a few financing entities specialize in this area, including Houston-based Green Bank and San Francisco's New Resource Bank. In Austin, a group of banking and environment industry experts is planning to open One Earth Bank this      spring; the entity will incorporate sustainable business practices and will provide financing with a focus on environmentally friendly projects and business pursuits. And despite the challenging economic environment, traditional banks are continuing to jump on the green bandwagon. In     November of last year, Roseburg, Ore.-based Umpqua Bank joined forces with Energy Trust of Oregon to form GreenStreet Lending, a program that provides loans to businesses and homeowners to make their properties more energy efficient.

“While ShoreBank's green building loan program is brand new, it is clearly already on developers' radar. However, this route to financing isn't for borrowers who decide to go green simply to get the loan. "We've gotten a lot of calls from desperate developers, and that's not useful," Williams       said. "It's got to be in their bones to do this." (Barbra Murray, “Green Lending Picks Up Despite Credit Market Woes.” Commercial Property News, February 9, 2009.)

New green commercial buildings will begin to emerge all across. It is now just a trend; it is the wave of the future. Green developers will lead the way, the only way, in fact.

 

Chapter 17

Green Homes Lower Your Carbon Footprint

One of the key ways to lower the carbon footprint of homes in America is to make the transition to new or remodeled green homes. Modern homes today account for approximately 30 percent of the energy use in America. If we could find a new way to design, construct and operate homes, we could significantly lower energy consumption, save homeowners money and reduce the usage of fossil fuels for production of electricity.  It makes sense – green sense to build green homes today.

The U. S. Green Building Council publishes “The Green Home Guide.” It is a valuable tool for those who are preparing to invest in a new green home or for those who are interested in remodeling an existing home and retrofitting it with new green technology and natural building products. According to the USGBC’s Guide:

 “A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources, creates less waste and is healthier for the people living inside compared to a standard home. It’s as simple as that!

“A home can be built green, or you can make it green later. A green makeover can happen all at once, or it can be a gradual process. But what it all comes down to is a new way of thinking – and a new way of living. From a more energy-efficient kitchen to a tree-filled backyard paradise, your home can be green top to bottom, front to back, inside and out. And it doesn’t matter whether you rent or own, live in an apartment or single-family home, or live in the city, the suburbs or the country.

The Benefits of a Green Home

“There are many very real benefits to living in a green home, and every day, more and more Americans are discovering those benefits. Green homes are healthier, more durable and more cost-effective.

 

Average Predicted Energy Savings of LEED Homes

Based on their average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores, homes certified under LEED for Homes since the program launched in January 2008 are predicted, on average, to have the potential for reduced energy usage compared with International Energy Conservation Code standards:

LEED-Certified

LEED-Silver

LEED-Gold

LEED-Platinum

~30%

~30%

48%

50-60%

 

“That’s why green homes are expected to make up 10% of new home construction by 2010, up from 2% in 2005, according to the 2006 McGraw-Hill Construction Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report. Owning or renting a green home is good for your health, your wallet and our environment.

“There are many very real benefits to living in a green home, and every day, more and more Americans are discovering those benefits. That’s why green homes are expected to make up 10% of new home construction by 2010, up from 2% in 2005, according to the 2006 McGraw-Hill Construction Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report. Owning or renting a green home is good for your health, your wallet and our environment.

A Healthier Home

“Green homes’ use of toxin-free building materials helps combat indoor air pollution, which can be much worse than outdoor pollution. Unhealthy air inside can pose serious health risks for residents.

“Natural ventilation in green homes, as well as use of mechanical ventilation systems to filter and bring fresh air inside and vent stale air outside. Keep residents breathing easy.

A Cost-Efficient Home

“The net cost of owning a green home is comparable to-or even cheaper that – owning a standard home. If upfront costs are higher, it is often because many architects, homebuilders, engineers, plumbers and other industry professionals just don’t have the knowledge and experience to cost-effectively plan, design and save you money and ensure you’re getting the best-quality work possible.

“Month to month, people who live in green homes save money by consuming less energy and less water than standard homes. Over the years, that adds up to big savings.

“A healthiercan mean fewer expensive doctor’s visits and fewer days of missed work.

“Soon, it will cost less to insure a green home than a standard home. An increasing number of insurance companies are offering discounts on policies covering green homes. Similarly, several mortgage companies offer discounted loan rates for homebuyers buying green.

“A green home is often more durable than most standard homes because of its high-quality building materials and construction processes, requiring fewer repairs.

“The value of a green home is often higher than that of a comparable standard home, and the market demand for green homes continues to rise. The Solaire, a green residential high-rise in New York City, brings in rents 10% to 15% higher than market rates, and in Rocklin, Calif., the LEED-certified homes in the Carsten Crossings development outsold the competition 2-to-1.

“Local, state and federal governments are increasingly offering tax breaks and other incentives for building   LEED homes or adding green features to your home. homes or adding green features to your home.

An Environmentally Friendly Home

“Residential cooling and heating alone make up 20% of the United States’ yearly energy use. Throw in household lighting, appliances and other electronic equipment, and homes are clearly a major source of energy consumption. Most of that energy comes from greenhouse gas producers like oil and coal, contributing to global climate change. Green homes use 40% less energy than comparable standard homes.

“Some green homes further reduce our dependence on conventional energy sources as they generate some or all of their energy needs through alternative energy sources like the sun, wind, geothermal energy and biomass.

“Efficient plumbing and bathing fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping and water-conserving irrigation systems help green homes use less water than standard homes.

“Far fewer natural resources are used in the construction of a green home. Many green building materials have significant recycled content. Some companies, for example, now make carpets and floor tiles from recycled tires and bottles. Green homes can also be constructed with salvaged materials from demolished buildings. Green homes use materials made from rapidly renewable materials, like bamboo, hemp, agrifibers and soybean-based products. And the use of wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council helps promote socially and environmentally beneficial forestry practices.

“Building a standard 2,500-square-foot home creates approximately 2 tons of construction waste that ends up in landfills. Construction of a green home, however, should generate less waste – often much less.  (Green Homes 101, USGBC. 2009.)

In addition to the energy savings and the health benefits of living in a green home, there are a number of financial incentives that are available from governmental agencies at the city, county and state level and some utility companies. Usually there are rebates and tax breaks for installing and using new clean technology.

The U. S. Green Building Council has a searchable database for local incentives for those who build a LEED certified home.

The U. S. Department of Energy has a Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiences for those who switch to new energy saving devices.

The Environmental Protection Agency has links on its web site to help homeowners locate grants, tax credits, etc.

The U. S. Department of Energy’s web site helps homeowners secure federal tax credits for those who use energy saving devices.

It seems abundantly clear that designing, building and owning a green home is a great investment. A new green home or a recently remodeled green home is the first component of a new green community. It is also an important way to lower your carbon footprint and help the environment to be a little greener.

 

Chapter 18

Green Buildings Lower Your Carbon Footprint 

One of the most important steps we can take to lower carbon emissions in the United States is to make the transition to building all green buildings and to retrofitting existing buildings with new clean technology and energy saving devices.. Green buildings, offices, hospitals, schools, warehouses, government buildings, etc., would substantially lower the carbon footprint of the spaces these building now occupy and will occupy in the future.

In an article entitled, “Why Build Green.” Global Green USA stated:

Did You Know?

“Typical building construction, use, and demolition, as well as the manufacturing of building materials, contribute significantly to environmental problems. In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 36% of total energy use
  • 65% of electricity consumption
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output (equal to 136 million tons annually)
  • 12% of potable water consumption
  • A typical 1700 sq. ft wood frame home requires the equivalent of clear cutting one-acre of forest

“Despite all these intensive inputs, we are not constructing healthy buildings. More than 30% of buildings in the US have poor indoor air quality, a serious problem given that most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. A 1990 study by the American Medical Association and the U.S. Army found that indoor air quality problems cost U.S. businesses 150 million workdays and about $15 billion in productivity losses each year. The World Health Organization puts the losses at close to $60 billion.

“By the year 2010, another 38 million buildings are expected to be constructed in the US, bringing our country’s total to over 100 million. The challenge is to build those new buildings, and renovate the older ones, in ways that reverse these unhealthy trends. Fortunately, there are ways we – as consumers, designers, builders and product manufacturers – can respond to this challenge. By building green, we can assist in preserving natural habitats, watersheds, and ecosystems, protect air and water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste, all while conserving natural resources and creating healthier indoor and outdoor environments.

“Green building also has tangible economic and public health benefits. These include lower operating costs via reduced energy and water utility bills, and reduced maintenance and replacement costs due to greater durability of materials. The use of non-toxic materials in residential construction is especially important in protecting children from respiratory and other diseases.

“In commercial settings, green building results in improved occupant health and comfort (primarily due to indoor air quality measures and daylighting) which in turn leads to higher produc-tivity, less absenteeism, and reduced insurance costs and liability risk.

“On the hierarchy of human needs, shelter is second only to food. Everyone wants a place to live. One of the best and easiest ways to lessen the impact on the planet of fulfilling that need is to build environmentally-sound structures. Not only can we improve the global environment, building green can improve your local environment.” (“Why Build Green.” Global Green USA. 2004.)

Making the transition to green buildings will significantly reduce the carbon footprint left by tens of thousands buildings that dot the landscape of America. It is imperative that the old status quo, brown, fossil fuel burning builders and developers join the new League of Green Builders and Developers and curtail the use of fossil fuels in the United States.

The Green Building Revolution, the Clean Tech Revolution and the Wellness Revolution have the power to change American forever. It is now up to courageous and dynamic entrepreneurs and revolutionaries to change the status quo in the building and development industry.

As a new generation of green builders and developers emerge to confront climate change and needless carbon emissions, it is important to follow basic guidelines to ensure that the new buildings are in fact really green buildings. The following checklist may be helpful:

Green Site and Land Use

“Site Selection - Avoid development on sites that are: agricultural; in the 100-year flood plain; subject to landslides, erosion or wildfires; habitat to endangered species; wetlands.

“Urban Redevelopment - Channel development to urban areas with existing infrastructure, protecting greenfields and preserving habitat and natural resources.

“Alternative Transportation - Reduce pollution and land development impacts from car use by locating buildings near transit, providing bicycle amenities, encourage carpooling, and providing alternative fueling stations.

“Reduce Site Disturbance - Conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

“Stormwater Management - Limit disruption of natural water flows by eliminating storm water runoff, increasing on-site infiltration and reducing contaminants. Minimize impervious surfaces. Implement groundwater recharge.

“Landscape and Exterior Design to Reduce Heat Islands - Reduce heat islands by eliminating or shading blacktop paving and dark roof surfaces.

“Light Pollution Reduction - Eliminate light trespass from the building site. Improve night sky access.

Green Water

“Water Efficient Landscaping - Minimize the use of potable water for irrigation by using xeriscaping and high efficiency irrigation technologies, including drip irrigation, rainwater capture, graywater, etc.

“Water Use Reduction - Maximize water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems. Specify water-efficient fixtures and equipment.

Green Energy and Atmosphere

“Optimize Energy Performance through siting, orientation, building form, insulation, glazing, daylighting, and controls. Study performance with energy modeling programs. Practice integrated design including all parties of the project from inception.

“Renewable Energy - Promote energy self-sufficiency and minimize reliance on limited fossil fuels by incorporating on-site renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.

“Building Commissioning - Verify that the building is designed, constructed, and calibrated to operate as intended with third party quality control assurance.

“Eliminate HCFCs - Reduce ozone depletion by installing building level HVAC and refrigeration equipment and fire suppression systems that do not contain HCFCs.

Green Materials


“Building Reuse - Extend the life cycle of building stock, conserve resources, retain cultural resources, reduce waste, and reduce environmental impact of new buildings.

Construction Waste Management - Divert construction, demolition, and land clearing debris from landfills. Redirect recyclable material back to the manufacturing process.

“Resource Reuse - Specify salvaged or refurbished materials such as wood flooring/paneling/cabinets, doors and frames, mantels, ironwork, decorative light fixtures, brick, masonry.

“Recycling/Recycled Content - Provide for occupant recycling of waste. Specify products that contain recycled material.

“Local/Regional Materials - Specify materials that are harvested, extracted and manufactured regionally.

“Rapidly Renewable Materials - Specify rapidly renewable materials such as straw, bamboo and some woods.

“Certified Wood - Specify wood from certified sustainably managed forests.

Green Indoor Environment


“Carbon Dioxide Monitoring/Exhaust - Install independent system or make a function of building HVAC system.

“Assure Ventilation Effectiveness - Employ architectural and HVAC design strategies to increase ventilation effectiveness and prevent short-circuiting of airflow delivery. Consider underfloor HVAC and operable windows.

“Construction IAQ Management Plan - Implement during construction process to protect ventilation system and workers.

“Low-VOC Materials - Specify low-VOC adhesives, sealants, coatings, composite wood products and carpet systems.

“Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control - Install entry grates to capture dirt. Segregate and separately ventilate areas of chemical use and storage. Appropriately plumb drains used for liquid waste disposal.

“Controllability of Systems - Provide a high level of individual control of thermal, ventilation and lighting systems.

“Daylight and Views - Provide a connection between indoor spaces and outdoor environment through the introduction of sunlight and views in a glare-free way. Consider courtyards, atriums, clerestory windows, skylights, and light shelves. (“Green Architecture Checklist: Commercial Buildings.” Doerr Expressive Ecological Design.2009.)

A new green building is not only healthy for the environment and all life forms that inhabit the earth, it is healthy for the tenants and those who visit the new green building. Green builders and developers, along with the host of supporting cast of architects, engineers, project managers, natural building material manufacturers and others, that come together to construct the new green buildings of tomorrow have the power to change the environment and lower the carbon footprint of the space where their building will be located.

As brown world builders and developers shed their brown coats, ideologies and brown way of doing business and put on a bright new shiny green coat with a new green ideologies and green ways of doing business, a new green economy will emerge and a new green world will be one day closer. The end result will be fewer carbon emissions, energy savings, lower carbon footprints and a greener, healthier world for all. 

 

Chapter 19

Green Communities Lower Your Carbon Footprint 

New green homes and new green buildings are beginning to grace the landscape of America and in the process new green communities are emerging full of individuals and families who are dedicated to a new green lifestyle. The individuals and families who have embraced the new Wellness Revolution, the Green Building revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution, are not only participants in a new movements that is sweeping American and the world, they are the leaders. They are educated and dedicated to being healthy, living healthy and promoting healthy lifestyles in their communities.

Millions of new green homes will soon fill the suburbs of America. Thousands of new green building will arise to serve the inhabitants of these areas. New technology, industries and manufacturing entities are emerging to fill the needs of the new green consumer.

The new green communities are changing the dynamics of the American economy and lowering the carbon footprint where they are located. Through an enormous savings of energy and natural resources, the carbon emissions will be significantly lowered in the decades ahead.

As citizens learn the facts about climate change, industrial pollution, land, air and water pollution via hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals, fertilizers and poisons, a new healthier way of living will emerge – a new sustainable lifestyle that embraces the natural world and opposes the artificial chemical world.

As builders become familiar with new eco-designs, entire housing developments will be built with natural building products, new clean technology and renewable energy sources, new green communities emerge.

As developers become familiar with new eco-designs, entire business parks and business campuses will be built with natural building products, new clean technology and renewable energy sources new green communities emerge.

As educators become familiar with new eco-designs, entire new green college and universities campuses will be built that adhere to sustainable development and new clean technology.

As government officials become familiar with new eco-designs, new government buildings will reflect the desire of citizens who favor downsizing the role of government and limiting the carbon footprint of government agencies and buildings.

As doctors, nurses and hospital administrators see the benefits of the Wellness Revolution, new green hospitals and wellness centers will emerge that reflect the ability of the body to heal itself when provided with wholesome organic food, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, herbs, etc.

As manufacturers learn the lessons from the failure of globalism, they will turn to the creation of new green, clean tech manufacturing facilities that produce a whole range of new natural products for the green homes, green businesses and green communities. Made in the USA will rise from the ashes of globalism and thousands of new jobs will be created through the manufacture of products to be bought by enlightened consumers who eschew the artificial and chemically altered consumer products of Communist China, Asia and a host of third world countries who use child labor, prison labor, pheasant labor and the poor of the earth to manufacture products that do not adhere to the principles of genuine free and fair trade.

As consumers learn about natural products and natural healing techniques, eco-design, organic family farms, organic food, natural clothing, furniture and a host of similar natural products, a new green economy will emerge centered upon the new green communities that are already beginning to emerge in various parts of the USA such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado.

In the near future new green cities will arise in America built with the latest in eco-design techniques, natural building products, clean technology and renewable energy sources.

A new era is emerging. A new green economy is emerging. A new green world order is emerging. And in the process the old brown world, based upon excessive consumption of fossil fuel and perishable consumer goods is beginning to wane. Soon it will fade away and a new green world will emerge based completely upon organic farming and organic food, clean technology, green building blueprints, natural clothing and renewable energy sources.

As new green business parks, new green business campuses, new green office buildings, new green schools, new green colleges and universities, new green shopping areas, new green recreational areas, new green manufacturing entities, new green wellness centers and hospitals, new green organic shopping markets and new green residential areas are built, tens of thousands of individuals and families will flock to these new healthy and prosperous green communities.

The Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution have emerged at just the right time in the history of the world. Together they have the ideology, the political power and the economic might to literally transform the world and change it from a brown world into a green world.

The eco-system of the world is reaching a breaking point due to people’s addiction to fossil fuels. The current world order is dominated by large multinational oil companies, large multinational chemical companies, large multinational pharmaceutical companies, large multinational food companies, large multinational armament companies, large multinational media companies and large international organizations, all of which combine to serve the interests of a small elite who control and dominate the world economy and the current world order. These powerful forces have created a multitude of social, political, economic, military, intelligence, environmental and health crisis that only perpetuate the old brown world.

It is imperative that a new green economy, a new green world economy and a new green world order arise to replace the current global system that is in place today and which is administered by a small elite who goal is the maintenance of power and gain at all costs.

Ideas do have consequences and ideas have a time to emerge and cause a revolution. And that is what is needed today. More than any time in the history of the world, we need to understand, support and promote the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. We must labor as if our lives depended upon it, because in reality, they do.

New green homes, new green buildings and new green communities must be built upon the natural world and sustainable principles. Only then will we be able to halt the pollution of the land, air and water with all manner of chemicals, toxins and poisons that are destroying all life forms on earth. Only then will we be able  to stop the excessive consumption of fossil fuels and the carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

New green homes, new green buildings, new green communities built upon the principles which underlie the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution will provide the inhabitants of the earth and all life forms with a new lease on life.

 

Chapter 20

Green Cities Lower Your Carbon Footprint 

If you travel extensively throughout the nation you will quickly come to realize that a multitude of America’s cities are decaying and dying. Why? It is now clear that globalism is unsustainable and a complete failure from every point of view, except for those (a small elite) who prosper from so-called managed trade and the exploitation of people and resources around the world.

As a result of globalism, hundreds of manufacturing plants, family farms and ranches have closed and new ghost towns, once the legends of the West, have arisen throughout the land.

The people who are affected by the outsourcing of jobs, the continual importation of cheap foreign manufactured goods, the rise of factory farms, the closure of manufacturing plants and the resulting layoffs and unemployment, have nowhere to go except to flee into larger metropolitan areas in search of new employment opportunities.

As more and more people move from small towns and rural areas into large cities, a host of new problems and new challenges arise which confront city, county and state officials who are already flooded and burdened with demands for government services. Inadequate housing, transportation corridors, sewer systems, water treatment plants, law enforcement personnel, garbage disposal, waste management, manufacturing and distribution facilities, electric grids, schools and universities, work opportunities and recreation areas give rise to a host of social problems such as school dropouts and various criminal activities that are turning large cities into crime zones.

Over forty states and hundreds of cities throughout America are facing serious financial crisis due to a drop in tax revenue from citizens who are now unemployed and factories and plants that are now closed or in the process of closing.

On the top of all these problems, the people who are now living in decaying and dying cities are being bombarded each and every day by hundreds of tons of pollutants that are contaminating the land they walk upon, the air they inhale and the water they drink. Toxic chemicals, drugs and poisons are now causing new illnesses, sickness and disease. All life forms are being threatened by a legion of man-made chemical pollutants.

Time to Build New Manufacturing Cities of Tomorrow

It is time to built completely new cities in America. It is time to build tens of thousands of new green homes, green buildings and green communities. It is time to put millions of people to work designing, building and operating new green cities. It is time to harness the renewable energy sources that God provided all of his children and provide clean sources of heat, fuel and electricity. It is time to build completely new manufacturing centers in America. It is time to build the Manufacturing Cities of Tomorrow™ (MCOT™).

For the first time in world history, the emergence of the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution, at the same time, has provided us with the tools which are necessary to transform America and create new green, sustainable cities.

There is an abundance of land available in the states such as Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas where new cities could be built using the clean technology, green building guidelines and sustainable land development and food production.

We now have the clean technology and natural building products to literally create dozens and dozens of new cities and manufacturing centers where millions of people could live and work in clean, wholesome, healthy areas free of toxic pollutants and chemicals.

The design, construction and operation of new eco-friendly green cities must be an enormous collaborative effort of green designers, architects, engineers, planners, builders, developers, financiers, city planners and government officials.

A tour of America’s top twenty five largest cities will convince nearly everyone that the problems afflicting these communities seem insurmountable. While a host of eco-friendly designers, architects, planners, developers, city planners and government officials are daily addressing the social, political, economical, financial, logistical, environmental problems, etc., of these large metropolitan areas, there is no reason that we cannot also design, build and operate new green cities in areas of the nation where there is an abundance of renewable energy sources and wide open spaces.

The abundant land in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are perfect locations for new green cities. Surely it is time to make the desert bloom once again.

The land is available. The clean technology is available. The natural building materials are available. The sun, wind and geo-thermal power is available. The principles of organic farming, natural healing and wellness are available. The principles of green building are available. The talent to design, construct and operate new green cities is available. Manufacturing technology is available to operate new American based manufacturing facilities. Financing is available. So what is holding us back?

It is time to break out of the old brown world, the old brown economy and the old brown world order. It is time to design a new green world, a new green economy and a new green world order.

It will require vision, dedication, courage, stamina, patience, endurance, commitment, faith, sacrifice, persistence and freedom.

It is time to create millions of new jobs in the Manufacturing Cities of Tomorrow™ (MCOT™). It is time to build world class, environmentally-friendly, sustainable, high-tech, interactive green Manufacturing Cities of Tomorrow™ (MCOT™) today. Let us begin. Together we can accomplish remarkable things. All that is required is a commitment to support and sustain the new Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution.

The creation of new green homes, new green buildings and new green communities inside new green cities will substantially lower the carbon footprint of every person who lives, works or visits such a pristine environment. It would truly be a carbon-free green city.

 

Chapter 21

The Rise of Sustainable Cities 

Masdar, Dongtan, La Rioja and Zira Island are not common household names in America. However, to a small group of world class developers and architects, these names are emblazed upon their foreheads.

The Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution has created an intense desire by millions of people in America and around the world to become healthier, live longer, live in green homes, work in green buildings and live in green communities based upon a more natural lifestyle. These global revolutions are sweeping the world with tectonic changes and paving the way for the rise of new sustainable communities in remote locations of the world where only the elite, powerful and wealthy are able to travel, visit and live.

For centuries the elite lived in gated cities known as castles. Today, a new form of the castle is being built under the name of sustainable cities. Instead of gated communities, we now have gated cities being built in various parts of the earth. Only the very wealthy will be able to visit or live in them. They are the greenest cities on earth because they literally cost tens of billions of green dollars to design, construct and operate them.

Let us look at these modern day marvels made possible by the fruits of  the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution.

We shall begin with the most famous sustainable city in the world. It is known as Masdar City. It is located in Abu Dhabi and is the mastermind of one man – the richest man in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, he is the Prime Minister and the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai. He is known as “His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

There is nothing like Masdar city anywhere in the world. When it is finished, it will probably become one of the Nine Wonders of the Word. In an article entitled, “Abu Dhabi Unveils Plans for Sustainable City“, we learn the following:

“WWF [World Wildlife Federation] and the government of Abu Dhabi today launched a Sustainability Strategy to deliver the world’s greenest city – Masdar City.

“The six square kilometre city, designed by Foster and Associates, is to house an eventual 50,000 people in accordance with WWF One Planet Living sustainability standards which include specific targets for the city’s ecological footprint.

“Independent and public verification of Masdar City's performance in meeting these standards is just one of the features distinguishing the project.  Another is the commitment that the project will not just preserve existing regional biodiversity but enhance it.

“Masdar City - which will be zero-carbon, zero-waste and car-free - plans to exceed the requirements of  the 10 sustainability principles of the One Planet Living programme, a global initiative launched by WWF and environmental consultancy BioRegional.  It is expected this will make it a global benchmark for sustainable urban development.

“The electricity for the six square kilometre city will be generated by photovoltaic panels, while cooling will be provided via concentrated solar power. Water will be provided through a solar-powered desalination plant. Landscaping within the city and crops grown outside the city will be irrigated with grey water and treated waste water produced by the city. Construction is to begin in early 2008.

“Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, Director of WWF International’s One Planet Living initiative, said, ”Today Abu Dhabi is embarking on a journey to become the global capital of the renewable energy revolution. Abu Dhabi is the first hydrocarbon-producing nation to have taken such a significant step towards sustainable living.  

“’Masdar is an example of the paradigm shift that is needed and the strategic vision of the Abu Dhabi government is a case study in global leadership. We hope that Masdar City will prove that sustainable living can be affordable and attractive in all aspects of human living – from businesses and manufacturing facilities to universities and private homes.”

“The city is part of the Masdar Initiative, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted investment in the exploration, development and commercialisation of future energy sources and clean technology solutions. A model of the Masdar City will be unveiled on January 21, at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

“Dr. Sultan al Jaber, CEO of the Masdar Initiative, said, “Masdar City will question conventional patterns of urban development, and set new benchmarks for sustainability and environmentally friendly design – the students, faculty and businesses located in Masdar City will not only be able to witness innovation first-hand, but they will also participate in its development.”

“’We are pleased to be able to work with One Planet Living to make our vision a reality,” he said.

“Pooran Desai OBE, co-founder of BioRegional and Technical Director of the One Planet Living Communities programme, said Masdar would be the largest and one of the most advanced sustainable communities in the world.

“’The vision of One Planet Living is a world where people everywhere can lead happy, healthy lives within their fair share of the Earth’s resources. Masdar gives us a breathtaking insight into this positive, alternative future.

“’In realising the goal of a sustainable future, Masdar is committed to achieving the One Planet Living Program’s Ten Guiding Principles, covering issues that range from how waste is dealt with to the energy performance of the buildings.”

“The One Planet Living programme is based on 10 unique principles of sustainability. Masdar City will meet and exceed each of these, as detailed below.

“These targets are to be achieved by the time the Masdar City is completed and fully functioning in 2012. (“Abu Dhabi Unveils Plans for Sustainable City“, World Wildlife Federation. January 13, 2008.)

Eco-City Masdar Plan

In an article entitled, “Abu Dhabi’s Ambitious Eco-City Masdar Plan”, the Economist Group Intelligence Unit in London wrote:

“The world’s grubbiest people, measured by emissions of greenhouse gases per head, are the citizens of the United Arab Emirates. The country’s huge oil wealth allows many of them to drive big, fuel-guzzling cars and live in huge, power-guzzling homes. What is more, the country’s hot and muggy climate means that almost all the buildings are air-conditioned, and almost all the water is obtained from energy-intensive desalination plants. The result is an offence to the atmosphere.

“What is more, Abu Dhabi, the biggest of the country’s seven princely city-states, has a huge vested interest in the continued domination of the world economy by fossil fuels. It sits atop some 8% of the world’s proven reserves of oil. At current rates of extraction, the oil will last for another 92 years. So it is with some scepticism that the world has greeted Abu Dhabi’s plans to reinvent itself as a crucible of greenery.

“In 2006 Abu Dhabi’s development agency unveiled the Masdar Initiative, to pursue “solutions to some of mankind’s most pressing issues: energy security, climate change and truly sustainable human development”. The initiative consists of a research institute to develop environmental technologies, an investment arm to commercialise and deploy them, and an eco-city to house these two outfits and to serve as a test-bed for their ideas. All this, it is hoped, will turn Abu Dhabi into the Silicon Valley of clean technology, where green-minded academics, entrepreneurs and financiers will rub shoulders.

Thinking big

“The project is nothing if not ambitious. Masdar’s managers say they will create an academic institution on a par with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a global manufacturing hub for technologies such as solar power and desalination, and a city of 40,000 people with no greenhouse-gas emissions and no waste—all while turning a profit. The government of Abu Dhabi is putting up $15 billion in seed capital, but the investment arm and Masdar city are intended to be run on a commercial basis, in conjunction with other companies.

“In the past, some of Abu Dhabi’s grandiose schemes have come to nought—most notably a plan to build a global financial hub from scratch a decade ago. More recently, developers have suggested that they might scale back other splashy projects, such as a huge new cultural quarter. But Masdar is proceeding apace.

“Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed al-Nahyan, was excited about the idea from the start and is taking a personal interest in its progress, says Sultan al-Jaber, Masdar’s boss.

“Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) will admit its first students next year; the first phase of Masdar city is under construction and Masdar has built up a big portfolio of renewable-energy investments, including a stake in an offshore wind farm in Britain and three solar-thermal power plants in Spain. It has also placed an order for machinery for two solar-panel plants: one that is already under construction in Germany, and another that is to be built in Abu Dhabi itself.

“Outsiders seem keen to get involved. MIT is helping MIST with the recruitment and training of its faculty. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, has invested $100m in the initiative’s clean-tech fund—the same amount as Masdar itself. Foster + Partners, a British architecture firm, has come up with the master-plan for Masdar city. BP, a big oil firm, and Rio Tinto, a mining giant, will collaborate on a carbon-capture and storage scheme. Masdar is working with such partners not because it lacks capital, says Mr al-Jaber, but because it wants to take advantage of foreign expertise and have its ideas independently scrutinised.

“It is Masdar city that has attracted the most scrutiny. To reduce its emissions, especially in such an unwelcoming environment, the city will employ all sorts of innovative and outlandish technology. All the buildings, naturally, will be supremely energy-efficient. Water will be recycled, to reduce the need for desalination. There will be dew-catchers, rainwater harvesting and electronic sensors to raise the alarm in case of leaky pipes. There will be green spaces, but with drought-resistant plants rather than the thirsty lawns and flowers that are the norm in Abu Dhabi.

“No cars will be allowed. Instead, people will have to walk, or take “personal rapid transit”—small pods that will zoom around the city on tracks, akin to metro cars for individuals. Goods will be moved in the same way. The city will be walled, to keep out the hot desert wind. The lack of cars will allow for narrow, shaded streets that will also funnel breezes from one side of the city to the other.

“Roofs, canopies and a large patch of land on the edge of the city will be given over to solar panels. The city is already testing 41 types of panel from 33 different manufacturers, to see which work best in the sunny, hot and dusty desert conditions. There will also be the odd wind turbine, solar water-heaters and small waste-to-energy facilities (the city’s planners do not like to call them incinerators).

“The plans leave space to adopt new technologies when they reach maturity. A spot has been saved for algae ponds that might some day produce biofuel, for example. For the time being they will be used for research. The whole city is being built on a raised platform, to give easier access to the pipes and wiring that would normally be buried underground and to allow the transport pods to zip around unfettered. That will also make it easier to install revolutionary new kit in future. Indeed, the source of roughly a fifth of the city’s power supply has not yet been decided, on the assumption that there will be better options available by the time the project is due to be completed, in 2016.

Following the footprints

“All this, it is hoped, will allow the city to produce more energy than it consumes and ensure that less than 2% of the waste it generates ends up in landfills. Carbon sequestered in the city’s vegetation, along with exports of surplus green energy, should be enough to offset the emissions associated with construction, says Khaled Awad, who is managing the site. Contractors say they are keeping careful track of their carbon footprints and mutter about the difficulties of finding concrete and steel with a high recycled component. A bewildering array of recycling bins stands prominently in the waiting area of the site office.

A vision of the clean-tech future

“But the city’s zero-carbon claim is a bit of a fudge. For one thing, the city will not produce enough energy to power itself at night, due to its reliance on solar panels. Instead, it will import gas-fired power from Abu Dhabi’s grid, at least until energy-storage technology improves. It will make up for this in its carbon accounting by exporting excess solar power to the grid during the day. In addition, to keep energy use down, the city will not allow any energy-intensive industries within its boundaries, even though spurring local manufacturing is a big part of the Masdar initiative.

“Furthermore, in itself, Masdar will do little to improve Abu Dhabi’s carbon footprint. Cheap oil, natural gas and power will continue to spur emissions-intensive industry and conspicuous consumption. Next to Masdar city, a Formula One racetrack and a Ferrari-themed amusement park are being built. In fact, Mubadala, the development agency behind Masdar, owns a 5% stake in Ferrari and sponsors its Formula One team. Just a few miles up the road, it is building the world’s biggest aluminium smelter, complete with its own gas-fired power plant. A nearby mall is even planning to install an indoor ski slope, like the one in nearby Dubai.

“But Masdar’s creators, to be fair, seem to see it more as a development project than as an environmental one. They do not pretend that Abu Dhabi is about to wean itself off oil and gas.

“But its rulers, they say, want to diversify its economy, in preparation for the day it runs out of oil—or of customers for it.

“Since local workers and officials have already built up some expertise in energy, it makes sense to capitalise on that.

“What is more, Abu Dhabi, with its intense, year-round sunlight and desperate thirst for water, is ideally suited to develop technologies such as solar power and desalination. And thanks to all that oil, there is no shortage of capital. Masdar plans to help finance promising technologies at all stages of development. It will set up its own incubator to nourish local start-ups, in addition to the clean-tech fund and other strategic investments in mature firms.Human capital, however, is another story. Mr al-Jaber says that Masdar has studied successful technology clusters around the world in an effort to recreate the same conditions in Abu Dhabi. He is particularly keen to mimic the welcoming regulatory environment and efficient infrastructure of places such as Singapore and Ireland. Foreign firms setting up shop in Masdar city will, he points out, be able to work without local partners if they want, and to move capital freely in and out of the country. There will be strong protection of intellectual property and little in the way of paperwork. Most alluringly, they will not pay any taxes.

“MIST, meanwhile, seeks to entice great minds with the promise of minimal teaching requirements—just one course at a time—and plenty of opportunities to pursue original research. The “open laboratory” of Masdar city is another draw, says Marwan Khraisheh, who runs the institute. It has succeeded in recruiting faculty or students from grand American universities such as Cornell, MIT and Princeton.

“Masdar itself, meanwhile, has recruited such figures as Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nations’ climate panel, and John Browne, a former boss of BP, to help select the winner of a prize for innovation in energy. Britain’s Prince Charles is a patron. In the project’s headquarters, renewable-energy executives hoping to sell their wares fill the waiting room, while thrusting young staffers of many nationalities rush to and fro. Jonathon Porritt, a celebrated British environmentalist, ambles past.

“Of course, Abu Dhabi is still not Silicon Valley. MIST is tiny, and will not admit its first doctoral student until 2011. The city has a miserable climate and little in the way of entertainment apart from malls and restaurants. But it is more cosmopolitan and less conservative than many imagine. Most foreigners arriving in Abu Dhabi for the first time find it “better than they expect”, says Mr Khraisheh. Perhaps the same will be true of Masdar, too.” (“Abu Dhabi’s Ambitious Eco-City Masdar Plan”, Economist Group Intelligence Unit, London, December 4, 2008.)

It is interesting that the world’s greenest city will be built by billions of dollars in oil money.

Communist China Creates Eco-City in Dongtan

Another interesting diacotamy is the creation and construction of another eco-city in the home of the largest global polluter on earth - Communist China. It is known as Dongtan, China.

In an article entitled, “China Envisions Environmentally Friendly Eco-City”, we learn:

“At the mouth of the Yangtze River, an hour by ferry from Shanghai, a new kind of Chinese city will rise from the  mudflats and wetlands.

“In three years, the island's black-faced spoonbills and other rare birds will share this migratory stop with 25,000 humans, the initial inhabitants of what developers call the world's first "eco-city."

“If Dongtan Eco-City opens on schedule, it will become a carbon-neutral urban showcase at about the same moment scientists foresee China surpassing the United States as the globe's leading emitter of greenhouse gases.

“The state-run developer behind the $1.3 billion project envisions three modern villages on Chongming Island, which is about three-quarters the size of Manhattan. The communities will be powered by energy captured from sun, wind, biofuels and recycled organic material. A quarter of the island will be untouched ecological buffer. Grasses will grow on rooftops for natural insulation. Rainwater will be purified for use. Vehicles will operate on clean fuels.

“Four other Chinese cities plan to build similar eco-zones. London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who visited Dongtan last April, said he wants to build a smaller version along the River Thames.

Development and damage

“China has managed a century of economic development in little more than a generation — and ravaged itself in the process. Today, it is home to 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities, the World Bank says. It battles the effects of deforestation and overgrazing — soil erosion and spreading deserts — while annually losing grasslands equivalent to an area the size of Connecticut. The State Environmental Protection Administration says China's major rivers are dangerously polluted, half its cities are choked by hazardous air, and acid rain falls on a third of the country's land mass.

“Thanks to prevailing winds across the Pacific, the USA is firmly in China's firing line. China is the major source for deposits of mercury, a highly toxic metal, in the western half of the USA, says Jozef Pacyna, a professor at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. Mercury billows       into the atmosphere from coal-burning power plants, source of 70% of China's energy, but it is only the tip of a toxic iceberg: Coal contains more than 60 trace minerals and heavy metals, Pacyna says.

“Dongtan's backers see the city as an answer to the staggering environmental degradation in China. "It could be a model — and not just for China," says Nicole Deng, operations director for Shanghai Industrial Investment Co. (SIIC), the company behind the project.

“The British design firm hired by SIIC to design Dongtan says the city will be practical and commercially sensible — high-tech, economically vibrant, a model for urban planners everywhere — not a green utopian boondoggle.

"’The main grid of the city will be for walking and cycling, not cars. There will be public transport within (550 yards) of each home," says Peter Head, director of Arup, the British firm designing Dongtan. "With no (gasoline) or diesel engines, Dongtan will be a quiet place. So you can open windows and ventilate buildings."

“To be carbon-neutral, Dongtan must cut carbon emissions as much as possible and offset remaining emissions by planting trees and using environmentally friendly technologies to generate energy.

“The island is to be connected to Shanghai and the mainland by a new 15.6-mile bridge and tunnel. Road and rail links will cut commuting time from Dongtan to 45 minutes.

“Construction on the island is to start in September. Even with 20% of projected dwellings set aside for affordable housing, the farmers living here say it will be too pricey for them to stay. Dongtan "won't help me," says Peng Shouyong, who makes about $700 a year raising pigs, growing crops and breeding crabs on the island. "But China needs it."

Doubts about project

“In Shanghai, there is skepticism. "So many real estate projects advertise themselves as 'green this' or 'green that,' " says Shen Yue, a film director.

“China "is littered with expensive demonstration projects that have not been replicated," says Elizabeth Economy, senior fellow at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and author of The River Runs Black, a book about China's environment. Even so, she says Dongtan is "potentially an exciting advance."

“SIIC won't discuss some details, such as how much it will charge for homes and apartments. It has scaled back aspects of the project. Head says Dongtan is "the first step down a new road, not a final answer to anything."

“The project comes as the central government tries to halt the country's environmental decline and find workable energy alternatives — without slowing the 10% annual economic growth rate. Beijing has moved to shut unlicensed power plants. Alternative fuels are to provide 16% of total energy by 2020.

“Pan Yue, deputy director for the State Environment Protection Administration, told state media that environmental issues have "become a key bottleneck" for the economy. The government's China Modernization Report, issued last month, acknowledged that the country had made no       progress in protecting the environment over the past three years.

“China's leaders "finally realize they need to use new energy. Not because it is cheaper, but because they see the environmental problems associated with fossil fuels and (because) they are worried about the increased importation of oil," says Zhang Zhongxiang, an energy and environment expert at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

“Wind farms have sprouted up in Inner Mongolia and elsewhere. "If there is any spare land in windy areas, people are looking to develop wind farms," says Alex Westlake, chief operating officer of Camco International, a British firm that helps companies reduce emissions.

“Yang Ailun, a climate and energy specialist at Greenpeace China, says the country's belated environmental awakening can't prevent it from becoming the world's top polluter — and might not be enough to keep Dontgan from being doomed.

“Global warming is raising ocean levels so fast, Yang says, that the eco-city and Chongming Island could eventually "disappear because of climate change." (“China Envisions Environmentally Friendly Eco-City”, USA Today, February 15, 2007.)

Eco City in La Rioja , Spain

On a slightly smaller scale in a new eco-city planned for La Rioja, Spain. In an article entitled, “Spain’s Eco City”, we learn:

“Dutch design firm MVRDV, together with Spanish office GRAS, have created a sustainable vision for an urban extension to the city Logroño, in Spain. The Eco Ciudad Montecorvo Logroño is a sustainable design concept for a medium size city of approximately 130,000 inhabitants, in the wine region of La Rioja in the north of Spain.


“The proposed eco-neighborhood consists of approximately 3,000 houses, with schools, social buildings and sports facilities. The green neighborhood will have a CO2 neutral footprint as all the energy needed will be created on site.


“The 138 acre site will provide a large area for solar cells (the mountain slopes on the site are orientated to the south so solar energy is easily generated) and wind-turbines will cover the tops of the hills. The combination of solar and wind energy will ensure that 100% of the energy demand is generated on site.


“The proposed eco-development is also designed to minimize impact on the landscape with buildings occupying 10% of the site. The remaining space will be an eco-park with a mix of landscape and energy production. (“Spain’s Eco City”, Greenmuze, December 15, 2008.)

A Carbon Neutral City in Spain

In an article entitled, “Longrono Montecorvo Eco City, La Rioja, Spain”, we learn:

In La Rioja, Spain, a northern province famous for wine, government officials have approved a plan for an eco city. Ideally, the Logroño Montecorvo eco city will be a carbon-neutral community in which residents use only solar and wind energy generated on site.

The Dutch firm MVRDV (based in Rotterdam) and the Spanish firm Gras (with offices in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca) collaborated to win first prize in a 2008 competition for the design of this city.

MVRDV is known for creating dense, stacked spaces while Gras emphasises collaboration. The two firms have also collaborated on the BCN business park (a mix of offices and factories) in Martorell, Spain, a project still in the design phase.

The Logroño Montecorvo eco city will provide nearly 3,000 housing units for approximately 130,000 inhabitants. In addition to flats, buildings will contain schools, shops, restaurants, sports facilities and areas for socialising.

Eco city site

Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, is home to nearly 150,000 people. The Ebro River, Spain's most voluminous river, flows through Logroño. The area is mountainous; the elevation of Logroño is 384m.

Across the river, to the north, is a sparsely populated area with two small hills, Montecorvo and la Fonsalada. Because both are arid and steep, some say they have little environmental value and that building an eco city there would be an enhancement.

The Logroño Montecorvo eco city will span the two hills, with all the buildings arranged in a serpentine line stretching more than 1km. The buildings will have a north-south orientation, providing optimal natural lighting and natural ventilation.

Buildings will cover about 11% of the 56ha site. Another 73% will be a combination of green space (including wind and solar farms) and paved areas (such as pathways). Finally, 16% will be a highway into the city. The idea is to build compactly, minimising the impact on the landscape.

Energy and water sources

Because the slopes of the mountains face south, it will be easy to harness and generate solar power. Photovoltaic cells will cover the mountains and the roofs of some buildings. According to one estimate, sourcing solar power in this way eliminates the emission of 3,500t of greenhouse gases annually. To the north of the buildings, windmills on top of the hills will provide the rest of the energy.

For irrigation, the city will reuse 200,00m³ of grey water each year. The community will also have water purification systems.

Building design and function

The long, snaking line of interconnected buildings will feature volumes of different heights, skins and window arrangements. But each unit will have an identical or virtually identical layout.

To take housing blocks as an example, a ten-storey northern unit will include three storeys of underground parking, a ground floor for the public and six storeys of apartments. To the south of that, another building will provide one storey of underground parking and three storeys of housing. Bridges will connect the northern and southern buildings. The same layout applies when the buildings serve other functions.

Each unit will have a view to the south, enabling residents to see Logroño and other parts of La Rioja. Given the steepness of the hill, the southern buildings will not block views from the northern buildings.

Southern units will feature green roofs with porous paving. Residents can socialise on these plazas.

Transportation

At its highest point, a funicular will terminate at a museum and viewing point hidden in a research and promotion centre for renewable and energy-efficient technology. This centre will be hidden in the top of one hill. It is unclear how far down the hill the funicular will go, or how many funiculars will serve the city.

Criticism

The concept has generated some criticism, including questions about why an 'eco city' would encourage reliance on motor vehicles. Other critics wonder where all the building materials will come from and how the project will offset the carbon generated during the sourcing and transportation of those materials. Such critics accuse the architects and developers of 'greenwashing'. (“Longrono Montecorvo Eco City, La Rioja, Spain”, DesginBuild-Network, 2009.)

Zira Island – An Eco-City in Azerbaijan

The concepts of eco-cities is rapidly spreading throughout the elite world as nations seem to be competing to design, construct and operate the world’s first totally green city. One of the most innovative ideas for an eco-city is known as Zira Island and is located in Azerbaijan.

In an article entitled, “Azerbaijan’s Carbon Neutral Zira Island”, we learn:

“Zira Island is a 1,000,000 sq meter island In the Caspian Sea that will soon be developed into an incredible eco-community and sustainably built resort.

“Master-planned by Denmark-based BIG Architects, the carbon-neutral eco-island is based on the seven peaks of Azerbaijan and its mountainous ecosystems. Located in the bay of the capital city Baku, Zira Island is a ferry ride away from a growing metropolis and will stand as an example to a region so dependent on oil, that it is possible to live off the wind and sun.

“BIG Architects‘ Zira Island will feature seven major structures modeled after the peaks of Azerbaijan that are connected by trails, greenbelts and the coastline. The Seven Peaks will each house a residential development and public space, and there will also be 300 private villas near a golf course in the central valley. Zira’s new skyline of organic buildings will resemble a mountain range that merges with the natural topography of the island.

“Many carbon neutral communities are currently being developed around the world, like Masdar, Rioja, and Dongtan. All promise a new way of life completely independent of carbon-based fuels. Zira Island is less of a city and more or a resort, but it still holds the same promises of sustainability and will use the sun, wind and water to heat and power the island.

“Heat pumps, which plunge into the surrounding Caspian Sea, will heat and cool the buildings on the island, and Solar Hot Water Collectors are integrated into the architecture to provide hot water. Photovoltaics on strategically angled facades and roof tops will generate electricity, and an off-shore wind farm will be constructed in the Caspian Sea, utilizing the existing oil platforms and foundations for the new and more sustainable power supply.

“Potable water will be provided via a desalination plant, while waste and stormwater will be collected in a wastewater treatment plant and recycled for irrigation. The solid waste will be composted and reused as fertilizer for the island. Many trees and lots of lush vegetation will be planted to create a tropical environment, although no information is provided for how the island will deal with their trash or whether or not they will grow any of their own food.” (Bridgette Steffen, “Azerbaijan’s Carbon Neutral Zira Island.” Inhabitat, February 2, 2009.)

It appears that the world’s leading architectural firms are in a race to design and construct a series of eco-cities around the world. They have certainly picked some interesting, yet remote locations to showcase their immense talents.

Without the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution, these prominent artists, designers and architects would not be able to bring their creative masterpieces to life. Soon the world will be filled with eco-cities.

 

Chapter 22

Developing Your Green Team

The Green Building Revolution presents many opportunities and many challenges. However, one thing is sure, the Green Building Revolution is here to stay. Therefore, it is imperative for builders and developers to quickly make the transition to the new green economy. Otherwise, they will be left behind and their doors will close permanently. The opportunity is everywhere. The challenge will be to develop a green team that is really a green team, not a brown team.

Jerry Yudelson, one of the foremost leaders in the green building industry, spoke of the opportunity, yet issued a kind warning to developers who fail to make the transition from a brown world to a green world. He stated:

“The green building revolution is a tidal wave approaching the commercial building and development industry. Any commercial green building project started today that does not explicitly incorporate green features and certify itself according to a recognized, third party-validated standard will be functionally obsolete the day it opens and may be economically disadvantaged the rest of its lifetime. At this time of rapid convergence between awareness of green building technology, green building certification, and a growing awareness of green buildings’ benefits, a building owner’s entire portfolio may be at risk without a clear commitment to green building.” (The Green Building Revolution, Washington, D. C. Island Press, 2008, p. 79,)

The challenge facing builders and developers will be to assemble a truly qualified green team. There is no better place to begin than the United State Green Building Council and the Green Building Certification Institute. There are over 50,000 professionals in America, over 10,000 architects and over 2000 project managers who are now LEED certified. These organizations contain America’s Green Team and they are anxious to begin designing, constructing and operating new green homes, new green buildings and new green communities and new cities.

The Green Building Revolution has caused a seismic change in building design and construction practice in America and the world. Despite the best efforts of the proponents of the old brown world, dominated by fossil fuels, a new green world is emerging. And it is emerging more quickly than more people expected. Revolutions have a way of changing the status quo very quickly.

Concerning the monumental changes and challenges in building design and construction, Jerry Yudelson stated:

“Green building is revolutionizing the practice of architecture and engineering, forcing all design professionals to look at the broader effects of their project work. Just as the green building revolution has spurred designers and builders to incorporate sustainable design into many types of buildings, it has also affected the professional practices of architects, interior designers, engineers, and contractors. For example, by the end of 2006, more than 35,000 design and construction professionals, along with thousands of building officials, financiers, brokers, and other industry participants, had become recognized as LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) by taking a national exam in the LEED system. This number will undoubtedly exceed 50,000 by the end of 2008. By mid-2007, several large architecture firms had more than 400 LEED APs.

The Challenge of Integrated Design

“By learning to use the LEED system for building evaluation, these professionals are committing themselves to a new approach to building design and construction. Yet it is a painful process for many, because the skill sets for participating in an integrated design process and for actually designing green buildings are still not widespread in the architecture and engineering fields.

“In my experience, engineers are particularly reluctant to be full participants in the early stages of project design for several reasons. Many have told me, ‘We only get paid to design the building once,’ yet architects go through many iterations to arrive at a final design concept. For this reason, engineers typically wait until the architect’s design is firmly established before beginning serious design efforts. Yet integrated design requires their involvement from the earliest stages. Building engineers also have become narrowly focused on heating, cooling, and lighting buildings using mechanical and electrical systems, rather than approaching projects with full consideration of building envelope (glazing and insulation) measures, renewable energy systems, natural ventilation, and other techniques that don’t rely on equipment alone.

“Professional education is also a factor. Mechanical and electrical engineers need to know far less about architecture than architects know about engineering design, for two reasons. First, architects have to take courses in building engineering, and many architecture schools have been teaching passive solar design and bioclimatic design for decades. Second, architects have complete responsibility for project budget and construction, so they have to integrate every aspect of building design into a final product, whereas engineers tend to focus on their own narrow specialties.

“These are broad generalizations, of course; even as more experienced engineers struggle to learn sustainable design approaches, there is a new generation coming out of school that knows how to integrate considerations of health, comfort, and productivity into engineered systems while fully appreciating architectural concern.

“For example, proper daylighting design requires electrical engineers and lighting designers to integrate electric lighting controls with daylighing. This may mean that electric lighting is required, which in turn reduces the need for air-conditioning (the province of electrical engineer), since all electric light eventually becomes heat that must be removed from a building. Reducing the size of an air-conditioning system reduces costs; these savings can then be applied to exterior shading devices, skylights, rooftop monitors, and other means to create effective daylighting. Yet most engineers design buildings using handbooks and ‘rules of thumb,’ and are reluctant to reduce HVAC systems sizes from established norms. In design-build projects, mechanical contractors typically design HVAC systems, and they are even more risk-averse; moreover, they have little incentive to downsize HVAC systems, since the more money the project spends on HVAC, the more money they make.

“Green buildings present professional challenges. For example, plumbing designers have traditionally taken water into a building from a municipal utility and sent our wastewater to the public sewer. One pass through the building has been all they were required to think about. Now, many projects want not only to conserve water via efficient fixtures, but also to capture and reuse rainwater, which requires a dual piping system, on-site water treatment, and use of ‘less than potable’ water in toilets. (Some projects even want water-free urinals in public restrooms.) So plumbing engineers have had to add all these systems to their repertory, and have had to learn how to deal with local plumbing officials not well versed in these new systems and technologies.

“Electrical engineers have traditionally brought power into a building from the local electrical utility; now, they are being asked to design on-site power systems using solar power, micro-turbines, or cogeneration systems, on a scale and with an importance to the client that they have not previously experienced….

“Mary Ann Lazarus is director of sustainable design for HOK, the largest architectural and engineering firm in the United States. She is also the co-author of a standard textbook on sustainable design. Lazarus says,

“’From what I can tell, the architectural profession and our standard design process is behind the times. Integrated design is not something that naturally happens-because of the way that contracts work, because of traditional relationships between contractors, engineering consultants, design teams, and the archietects. We need to be willing to work at making integration happen and adjust contract, schedule, and fees appropriately. In five years, I think that things that we now consider sustainable design, such as LEED certification, will be considered fundamental requirements for buildings. They will become expected components, and if you don’t do them, you’re going to be behind in the market and you’re not going to design buildings that have long-term value.’

“Practiced properly, integrated design requires major changes in the current system for designing and delivering projects, in order to realize high-performance goals on conventional budgets.” (The Green Building Revolution, Washington, D. C. Island Press, 2008, pp. 168-170,)

It is clear. If builders and developers are going to design, construct and operate green homes, green buildings and green communities, you must assemble the finest green team available. The green team is really a team. It requires all of the green professional involved in the design, construction and operation of new green homes, new green buildings and new green communities work together right from the beginning.

The green team approach requires a major paradigm change in operational practices of those involved in the residential and commercial building industry.

Fortunately, the U. S. Green Building council and the Green Building Certification Institute already exist. Thousands of LEED certified professionals are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to join a local green team and begin the process of changing America one community at a time.

Only a fully functioning and fully integrated green team will be able to design, construct and operate new green homes, new green buildings, new green communities and new green cities. So much has been accomplished to date. Yet so much remains to be done today and tomorrow. The challenges and opportunities are waiting.

 

Chapter 23

A Bright New Green Future 

The dawn of a new age is upon us. For thousands of years the inhabitants of the earth lived in a natural world free of toxic chemicals, drugs and poisons. However, for the last one hundred years the natural world has been under siege by powerful global forces which are bent upon controlling the inhabitants and natural resources of the planet. These forces now control the world economy and the existing world order. It is a world order that is dominated almost completely by fossil fuels - a carbon based brown world. The fossil fueled based world has created an ecological disaster. As a result of CO2 greenhouse gases, monumental changes are occurring on the earth. The land, air and water have become polluted almost beyond repair.

New voices have arisen. Voices which are challenging the giant global corporations and the fossil fuel based world order. A grass roots revolution is underway. No, two grass root revolutions are underway. No, three grass roots revolutions are underway. Three powerful new revolutions are sweeping across America and the world. They are the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. They are literally changing the world today. It is time to join the revolution.

In a chapter entitled, “Join the Revolution,” Jerry Yudelson issued a call to action with these words:

“By now, you’re probably convinced that the green building revolution is real, important, sustainable, and happening all around you. You may be asking yourself, where do I sign up? This chapter briefly outlines some the opportunities available to each of us to ‘join the revolution.’ No one knows how this revolution will proceed, but one thing is certain: it won’t happen without your efforts!” ((Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution. Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 2008, p. 180.)

In a section entitled, “What You Can Do at Work,” Jerry Yudelson admonished future green building advocates to become involved in making the world a greener place. He stated:

“… As Alexander de Tocqueville observed in the 1830s, a defining characteristic of Americans is that they don’t wait for someone in authority to tell them what to do, they just organize a group and do it. If your company doesn’t use hybrids or support employees’ public transit use, start lobbying leaders to get on board. If your firm is moving to new quarters, insist that they choose a LEED-NC registered (and certified) building and pursue a LEED-CI rating for  the tenant improvements….

“If you work for a large corporation, you might be surprised at how many incentives will be offered in the coming years for you to ‘go green.’ For example, early in 2007, Bank of America offered a $3,000 cash rebate to any of its 185,000 employees who bought a hybrid car….

“If you work at a government agency or school district, see what you can do to affect its design, construction, remodeling, and purchasing policies. There’s nothing an elected official, planning commission member, or senior civil servant like more right now than a way to look good by instituting a sustainability policy. With the mayors of most of America’s large cities pledged to taking action to slow climate change, they’re going to be looking to their staffs to come up with practical solutions to meet this commitment….

“The United States comprises about 3,000 counties and more than 30,000 incorporated cities. Counting special districts, it contains nearly 75,000 political subdivisions, including about 14,000 school districts. There are plenty of opportunities to make your voice heard…

“What can you do to encourage your city or county government to create a focus on green buildings?

“… You may even want to start a company to manufacture, distribute, sell or install a green building product, service, or technology….

“The green building revolution has just begun, but it’s quickly becoming mainstream. It is one of the great social and political revolutions of our time. We can all play a part, and each one of us should….” ((Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution. Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 2008, pp. 181-186.)

It is imperative that each of us lift up the Green Torch and showcase the benefits of building new green homes, new green buildings, new green communities and new green cities. The future will be bright indeed – bright green.

 

Chapter 24

Conclusion – Warning - Owner's Beware 

Over the last 300 years an interesting phenomenon has occurred in the area of international business and finance.  The world has witnessed the gradual, but continual concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. As a result of thousands of mergers and acquisitions throughout the world, less than five hundred private global corporations now control the world economy. The end result of this quiet process has been that a relatively small group of elites in nine advanced counties of the world have gained a tremendous stranglehold over the inhabitants of the earth.

Carroll Quigley, a famous professor at Georgetown University, described the goals, influence and power of these forces in a book published in 1966 entitled, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time.

   "... [T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the Bank of France, and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.

     "In each country the power of the central bank rested largely on its control of credit and money supply. In the world as a whole the power of the central bankers rested very largely on their control of loans and of gold flows.... [T]hese central bankers were able to mobilize resources to assist each other through the B. I. S., where payments between central banks could be made by bookkeeping adjustments between the accounts which the central banks of the world would keep there. The B. I. S. as a private institution was owned by the seven chief central banks and was operated by the heads of these, who together formed its governing board. Each of these kept a substantial deposit at the B. I. S., and periodically settled payments among themselves (and thus between the major countries of the world) by bookkeeping in order to avoid shipments of gold. They made agreements on all the major financial problems of the world, as well as on many of the economic and political problems, especially in reference to loans, payments, and the economic future of the chief areas of the globe.

     "The B. I. S. is generally regarded as the apex of the structure of financial capitalism whose remote origins go back to the creation of the Bank of England in 1694 and the Bank of France in 1803.

     "... It must not be felt that these heads of the world's chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather, they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up and were perfectly capable of throwing them down.

     "The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investment bankers (also called 'international' or 'merchant' barkers) who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These [bankers] formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks. This dominance of investment bankers was based on their control over the flows of credit and investment funds in their own countries and throughout the world. They could dominate the financial and industrial systems of their countries by their influence over the flow of current funds through bank loans, the discount rate, and the rediscounting of commercial debts; they could dominate governments by their control over current government loans and the play of the international exchanges.

     "Almost all of this power was exercised by the personal influence and prestige of men who had demonstrated their ability in the past to bring off successful financial coupes, to keep their word, to remain cool in a crisis, and to share their winning opportunities with their associates. In this system the Rothschilds had been preeminent during much of the nineteenth century, but, at the end of that century, they were being replaced by J. P. Morgan whose central office in New York, although it was always operated as if it were in London (where it has, indeed, originated as George Peabody and Company in 1838). Old J. P. Morgan died in 1913, but was succeeded by his son of the same name (who had been trained in the London branch until 1901), while the chief decisions in the firm were increasingly made by Thomas W. Lamont after 1924." (Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966, pp. 324, 326-327.)

Carroll Quigley gives a fascinating account of the history of international business and finance over the last several centuries. The volume is 1311 pages in length. However, if you take the time to carefully study this monumental work, you will understand how the world of finance capitalism really works throughout the world. It is an informative and insightful story of monopolies, cartels, empires, and natural resource wars.

Global Multinational Oil and Chemical Cartels Circle the Earth

The powers of financial capitalism, outlined by Carroll Quigley, still exist today and they control the large multinational oil and chemical cartels and the subsidiary companies around the world that are closely tied to the oil business. These same forces constructed the present world order which is based almost entirely upon fossil fuels. They have invested hundreds of trillions of dollars in the current world economy. They reap trillions of dollars in profits from thousands of companies who are tied directly and indirectly to a carbon-based world. They will never embrace renewable energy sources because it would put them out of a very lucrative business.

It is important for the proponents of a new green economy and a new green world order not to underestimate the challenges they face today. The Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution are grassroots revolutions. These revolutions are a direct challenge to the giant multinational oil, gas and chemical companies. A global battle is raging today around the world between the brown world and the green world.

Carbon Based Corporations Seek to Neutralize Green Movement

The carbon based corporations have fought the new green movement since its inception. They have quietly devised a number of strategies to neutralize the green movement.

Campaign Contributions and Financial Contributions

The large multinational oil and chemical corporations have changed strategies over the years as the situation demanded. However, their goals have remained the same. If they could not eliminate their opponents, they would control them through the use of financial contributions, the same tool they have used successfully for the last 75 years with government officials and politicians around the world. After all, financial contributions are merely a form of bribery. And they work. All you have to do is look at the annual report of various organizations and you can learn quickly who controls that organization and its leaders.

And all you have to do is look at the voting record of key committee chairmen and members of congress to see that money speaks loudly in Washington, D. C. Over 90,000 lobbyists besiege the halls of congress and the White House every day. They are quite effective.

Environmental Rules and Regulations Eliminate Competitors

Over the years the lobbyists for the large multinational oil and chemical companies have drafted and promoted legislation which created new environmental rules and regulations at the state, federal and international levels of government. These rules and regulations place enormous financial and legal burdens upon smaller companies which very cleverly put their competitors out of business.

It is clear that the greatest tools these multinational oil and chemical companies have in their arsenal is their tremendous financial resources (hundreds of millions of dollars for lobbyists, public relations and advertising campaigns) and the political power which they have garnered over the last century in almost every nation on earth. They have the ability to pull a lot of strings in high places in ever capital on earth.

Purchase of Clean Tech Companies and Wellness Companies
to Control Products and Services

One of the latest strategies the large multinational oil and chemical companies are employing today is to quietly purchase new clean tech companies, new green building companies and new wellness companies and control their products and services. This is a very effective strategy and it is very difficult to counter. That is why this last chapter had been written. It is a petition to the owners and shareholders of new clean tech companies, new green building companies and new wellness companies not to sell your companies to those who secretly may just want to control them in order to mitigate their effectiveness and downgrade their products and services.

This process is already happening with herb companies whose formulas are being changed and dosages reduced after being bought by front companies and shell corporations.

There are a variety of ways to capture your opponent. Most new companies are always seeking start-up funds, venture capital and financial resources to expand new product lines and services. It is very easy to conceal the true ownership a company today. The use of shell companies and dummy corporations has turned into a science today.

It is crucial for new clean tech companies, new green building companies and new wellness companies to be very careful as they obtain funds to develop or expand their companies. It will be very difficult to maintain the institutional integrity of these companies in light of their very real need for capital. This is where the danger lies. These companies must maintain their independence of the large multinational oil and chemical companies or the wellness revolution and the clean tech revolution will be neutralized and become merely public relations and advertising campaign tools for the fossil fuel and chemical industry while they maintain the current world order and carbon based global economy.

Use of Military Forces and War to Secure Oil
and Natural Gas Reserves and Protect Pipelines

The recent invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were orchestrated by high level government officials at the behest of the large multinational oil companies who are determined to control the oil and natural gas resources of the Middle East and the Caspian Sea. Fourteen permanent U. S. military bases have been constructed in these areas to secure the oil and natural reserves and protect the pipelines that have been built to transport the fossil fuels to cargo ships. The war it is all about oil, despite what paid lobbyists, political and media pundits and government officials say about regime change and so-called threats to national security. It is a natural resource war and similar wars are being fought today through the use of covert operations in various countries around the world where large oil and natural gas reserve lie below the surface.               

It is important to maintain the integrity of the Wellness Revolution, the Green Building Revolution and the Clean Tech Revolution. This will not be an easy task. However, it is not an impossible one due to the fact that these revolutions originated at the grassroots level and are being led by sincere believers and idealists. Equally important is the fact that the principles of these revolutions are being embraced by tens of millions of people today throughout America and the world. The future of America and the world is green not brown.

 

Promoting Green Building Design, Construction and Operation, Sustainable Living,
Clean Technology, Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Independence