Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Green: The Color of Money

Joshua Green writes in this month's Atlantic Magazine about a California couple who've built what they consider "the world's greenest home."  The two reside in a 5,600 square foot house, complete with 50,000 gallon underground cistern; enough solar panels to run the entire house, charge 5 electric cars and still return power to the grid; sliding glass walls to let in the fresh air; ground-source heat exchanger; and a fancy irrigation system, run by an iPad.  Built of reclaimed Chicago stone, the house also features a bio-filtered "natural swimming pond," surrounded by what looks like concrete.  It's green enough to easily be certified as LEED platinum when it's completed in November.  

Are any of you able to read this stuff without spitting out your coffee?  Who do they think they're kidding, anyway?  I imagine the world's greenest house probably belongs to a subsistence-level tribal family somewhere.  Wouldn't it be greener simply for these two people to live in a more appropriately sized home?  To ride their bicycles to the local pool?  To use building materials that didn't have to be trucked across the country?  To charge one or two electric cars, not 5?

The thought that they are training docents to conduct tours of the house, to "edify" and "inspire" the rest of us, makes me sick.  If this is the future of the green movement, I don't want to have anything to do with it.


  1. Have to agree! It's contentious but I am rather sick of 'greenies' - I've cared all my life about wildlife, have never been wealthy enough to waste anything (my children say I invented recycling!) and would prefer to live with the tribal family than 'Mr and Mrs Eco-Green'
    thanks for this post


  2. Thanks, Laura. I think until people try to solve the problem by spending less instead of spending more, we really won't make much progress.
    Take care,

  3. Being truly green is about self-sufficiency and making do with what you've got. Thanks for exposing these posers!