The following is a response to the article “Showing the Benefits of ‘Green’ Retrofitting” by Julie Satow, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion Section. The article begins by explaining how retrofitting has been around for quite some time, and although it’s proven to be beneficial both economically and environmentally, there seems to be a lack of data supporting the practice. This is why the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is funding a project to create a public database for all retrofitted buildings in New York. According to Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, data is one of the key aspects that building owners typically look at when trying to improve their buildings, and it’s the lack of data towards retrofitting that is keeping the practice from going mainstream. Developers also agree that the lack of a database is the main obstacle in spreading green technology throughout the country, but they are also confident that this new database will ,hopefully, remove this obstacle.
This is really good news to hear. Knowing that progress is being made to make buildings and businesses of all kinds greener through retrofitting makes me hopeful that America is finally getting on the right track. Although I personally did not connect as much to the article, due to the fact that I do not work at a business nor do I live in a retrofitted home, there are hundreds of other people that it does connect to, which is why it’s important to keep in mind, especially for those who haven’t read the article. Technology such as this has the capability of being expanded to homes and large businesses, which relates to just about every home-owner and business worker there is. The writing of this article sound optimistic towards a big project, which is not something that’s seen too often these days. I also liked how the article was easy to read, and introduced the possibilities of savings in energy, money, and job number increase, which are three of America’s largest problems aside from environmental issues. I think it’s truly a great idea to have a public database promoting the benefits of green technology, and I hope to hear more about the success of this project in the future.
The following is a response to the article “Why Bother?” by Michael Pollan, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion Section. Pollan starts his article by asking the question “why bother?” The question is in regards to human behavior towards being environmentally friendly, such as using different light-bulbs and driving less. The article explains how difficult it is to bother with being environmentally friendly when millions of human beings unconsciously commit acts that are against mother earth. Even the most unlikely of actions can cause damage to the environment, such as using a clothes dryer, and eating meat from supermarkets. It goes on to say that the root of the problem, as well as the solution lies mostly on human behavior; however, according to Michael Specter, a writer of a New Yorker piece on carbon footprints, changing human behavior is not enough to put the planet back on the right track. It will also take laws and money to solve the problem. Pollan then explains how “theoretically” a viral social change could sweep the nation into going green; granted that there were those to set an example, and how breaking away from technology and bothering to create a community garden could help not only with the environment, but also with keeping people healthy and in shape.
Why bother? That is such a good question that people need to consider. I for one did bother to read this article, and found hundreds of connections to my life. I am guilty of using cars, using computers in which I was able to write this blog, and even eating ever-so-delicious meat. This doesn’t make me a bad person, but it certainly made me think about the way I run my life, as well as the way everyone else runs their lives. It was these subtle connections to the article that I found both interesting and some-what disturbing. The format that the article was written in was very simple and easy to read. The article was written in a way that related to just about every person in one way or another. It read like it was written by a person who actually cared and knew about what he was writing. I enjoyed how Pollan was able to clearly state the main causes of the problem, and suggest some reasonable solutions to the problem from a stand point that any person could accomplish if they were to set their mind to it. I thought that the suggestion of creating a community garden was a good idea; it would be free, and the exercise from gardening would help prevent obesity and promote healthy living. Overall, this was a very well written article and I encourage those who have not read it to do so.