How Green It Is

One litmus test to tell faith apart from reason is that when people base decisions on faith, they get things backwards.  For example, every magazine and TV show that touches the subject of houses is in favor of building green.  Good, that’s the first priority.

OK, now that we’ve all agreed on being green, the second step is to define what that means!

Isn’t this backwards?  Wouldn’t a rational person want to know what something is before agreeing to it?

So, buried in the details, on page 49 to be precise, of the 2007 New Home Construction Green Building Guidelines, is this:

1. Design Entryways to Reduce Tracked-In Contaminants
Up to two-thirds of dust and particulates in houses is tracked in on shoes…

I doubt this is what the smelly, unwashed hippies were thinking about back in 1970 when they had their first stinking “earth day.”  The irony is that they were quite dirty and smelly, and now building “green” is about how to keep the carpets and HVAC air filters a little cleaner!

This illustrates another point.  There are millions of ideas for how to make a better house.  Most of them have nothing to do with the alleged green agenda of reducing use of energy and materials.  But all of them have to do with a key part of their strategy.

They need to make a “package deal” to get broad popular support.  Who could stand up and say he is for dirty carpets?  It’s like the classic welfare-nanny-state tactic of positioning a new trillion-dollar program as being “for the children”–and then let’s see if the opposing party is willing to stand up “against the children.”

The trick is to smuggle in the controversial and evil part of the agenda once people have bought into the harmless part.  With clean carpets (and hundreds of other reasonable ideas) comes pressure to mandate a “green” part of the building code.  This would make it illegal to build a house using the owner’s choice of lighting, plumbing fixtures, windows, etc.  The free choice of home buyers trading off costs and benefits is to be short-circuited by a mere gun in the hands of a bureaucrat.

That is why it’s so dangerous to smile when they talk about wiping your shoes or taking your shoes off.  Like breaking a horse to ride, it first starts with offering you a harmless-looking carrot.

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