Greenwash of the Week: Green Skyscrapers Aren’t

Written by Luke

Topics: Learn

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9 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Anne Butterfield says:

    Hey guys — you’re good at getting at corporate boards etc, so how about you let me help you go after Conoco Philllips which has just contracted to buy the local “Storage tek” campus in Louisville, CO, near Boulder, to start a renewable energy research and training park. Yes, I know, they will try to make oil clean, but the point of my note is that they intend to RAZE the many buildings and put up new. Can we put our heads together to make them remodel the existing buildings?? please let me know…

  2. Luke says:

    Conoco Phillips has been a RAN target in the past, but for their activities in the rainforest rather than their buildings in the US. They’ll continue to be on our radar, I’m sure.

  3. Japhet says:

    Erecting a “green building” is like “buying a Prius, filling it with toxic waste and driving to the nearest playground and dumping it all over the playground, then going to tell the world how green your car is…” Hahahahaha! Brilliant!

    Nicely done folks.

  4. Joe says:

    Sorry, guys, but when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. At the end of February, offices in Class A buildings (the posh ones banks and other financial institutions like) in Midtown Manhattan rented for $84.65 per square foot. A modest, 300-square foot office would cost $25,395 per month – well beyond the reach of most businesses outside finance.

    Expenses like that are horrible for job creation and retention. They also wreak havoc on the character of neighborhoods by giving landlords strong financial incentives to displace and gentrify. New York desperately needs new space – primarily residential, of course, but also enough commercial to maintain a vibrant, diverse economy.

  5. Luke says:

    I once heard that anyone who believes that exponential growth is sustainable in a finite space is either insane or an economist. I suppose we can add “real estate developer” to that list.

  6. Joe says:

    Luke, that’s a cheaper shot, much less than I expect from you. I’m a tenant organizer, and I dare say I’ve fought more real estate developers than you have lately. And I believe you know me and my work.

    Here are three quick points for you to consider:

    1. In a capitalist society, people like employment more than unemployment, since it allows us to have nice things like food and shelter.

    2. If your politics don’t compensate for this reality, 99% of the population, including me, will dismiss you as an idealistic quack.

    3. Dense urban areas, among which Midtown certainly ranks among the densest, are the most ecologically sound contexts for development.

    Ideological disputes aside (let’s go Nets!), I’m shutting down a Citi tomorrow. What will you do to save California’s rent controls?

  7. Luke says:

    You’re right, that was a bit flippant. Employment is good and density is good. Maybe there’s still a net benefit to new office space in NYC. But I’m not convinced that we need more jobs in coal finance in that space, and the reality we’re all going to have to compensate for is that economic growth based on resource extraction will not – regardless of any of our politics or ideologies – continue unbounded.

  8. Joe says:

    Very true. Coincidentally, I met Robin for the first time tonight.

  9. Ian says:

    I read allot about BOA and Citi and their funding initiatives of these new 150 coal power plants thanks to RAN’s website. How can the government allow this to happen after our declaration at Copenhagen. Will the governement and our green lobbyist be able to stop this, or is this a done deal?

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