Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html en-gb 30 Tue 22 Jul 2014 08:40:43 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html funniinnit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=98#comment86 An ill wind bloweth something evil this way and not a soul is talking about it, nobody is popping their head up and saying "look at this, this is really serious".Look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPwGX3EnDWc this is really serious... Sun 20 Dec 2009 13:43:21 GMT+1 aquarizonagal http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=97#comment85 To#73 KScurmudgeonI thought this particular post was most excellent. I enjoy your posts and I appreciate the pride you take in your adopted State. I thought it was interesting that you wrote some there were building earth-berm houses now.I have been told that early homesteaders to Kansas built 'soddies' or homes dug into the earth and roofed over with earth or sod. It would seem to me that in places where high winds and tornadoes are a problem such homes would be ideal. Fri 18 Dec 2009 21:51:53 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=96#comment84 55 philly mom"We have a lot of row homes in Philly. Wouldn't it be nice to see them all topped with solar panels?"It makes perfect sense.As solar capture technology improves, the hardware will become cheaper (look at the cost reduction of flat-screen tv in the past 5 years) the more people use it.Subsidising solar technolgy would be a good start - by bringing the price down and creating the money for the R & D to develope ever better panels will benefit us all in the long run.At today's prices it may not be cost-effective to cover your roof in panels, but in 5 years who knows?I live in Rome, and in Italy we have among the highest power costs in the EU .... yet we have all that sunshine. Makes no sense does it .... until you see how powerful those power companies are. Fri 18 Dec 2009 21:46:28 GMT+1 aquarizonagal http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=95#comment83 To#58 watermanaquariusEarth quakes are more frightening to me than other acts of nature. I am happy to read that you have survived this and are able to post. I agree with you about the loss of some of our most frequent, eloquent yet sometimes vituperative posters. They provided a certain spice to this blog and a slice of 'true speaking' on more than one occasion. Fri 18 Dec 2009 21:43:58 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=94#comment82 64 truepatriot"This blog is diminished by the banning of Ed Iglehart and Happy jacksforge."I too miss the wit, commonsense and occasional rant from these old bloggers .... but they could rise again.If you truely believe, you may hear their words Fri 18 Dec 2009 21:39:39 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=93#comment81 Magnos Iacobos (#80), I don't know what you think is "pedantic." The difference between 100 and 300 is substantial. Mr. Mardell did use the figure 125, but he didn't explain where he got it. In one article to which I linked in a previous post, it was explained that the school was built for 300 students, which is the proper size for the district. The current enrollment in the district is low because many people moved away after the disaster, which destroyed most of the town. When the recovery is complete, the school enrollment should get back to normal.I compared the cost with a recently built school in Hayward, California with which I am familiar. The Greensburg school is about the same total cost, which is twice the cost per student (using the 300 figure). There are several reasons why it should cost more:1. A smaller school will cost more per student because of economies of scale.2. The Hayward school is K-6; the Greensburg school is K-12. High schools are more expensive, because they have a science laboratory, a full-size gymnasium with seating for an audience, and so on. Greensburg probably saved money by building a K-12 instead of two or three schools.3. The geothermal heating/cooling and other energy-efficient features added to the cost. Much of this cost will be recovered in the several decades the school will be used.There may be a subsidy in providing federal funding for a school built to the highest energy-efficiency standards. This serves a larger public purpose as a demonstration project, and is money well spent, in my opinion. Fri 18 Dec 2009 18:34:09 GMT+1 funniinnit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=91#comment80 This post has been Removed Fri 18 Dec 2009 18:08:15 GMT+1 Magnos Iacobos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=90#comment79 "It's three hundred students."It is sad that people do not recognize hyperbole anymore. I do believe the article said one hundred twenty five if you really insist on being so pedantic. Fri 18 Dec 2009 17:24:34 GMT+1 Magnos Iacobos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=89#comment78 Whatever the retorts to my earlier comments, my point remains: you can justify your actions any way you like. Say that starving a paltry million here and there will save the planet and thus humanity. This simply tells those in need they are not worth the dirt they stand on. Perhaps that is not the point that is trying to be made but the implication is there and it is as clear as crystal. Fri 18 Dec 2009 16:39:27 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=88#comment77 " ... luxuries like FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR schools for a bare hundred students."It's three hundred students. Fri 18 Dec 2009 16:29:34 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=87#comment76 75. At 3:51pm on 18 Dec 2009, Magnos Iacobos wrote:"How is it logical, then, to say that we should spend our last pound on champagne? Many of us here in America, particularly those from my home of Detroit, are bleeding economically."How is it 'logical' to place the environment lower on the scale of priorities? You seem to be one of those who reckons we can only save the environment if "the Economy" can afford it. Without an environment, there will be no economy - that's the logic of it."Though I can see no way to defend the economy, I recognize the need to be concerned for the suffering that would be produced by its failure. But I ask if it is necessary for it to fail in order to change: I am assuming that if it does not change it must sooner or later fail, and that a great deal that is more valuable will fail with it. As a deity the economy is a sort of egotistical French monarch, for it apparently can see no alternative to itself except chaos, and perhaps that is its chief weakness. For, of course, chaos is not the only alternative to it. A better alternative is a better economy. But we will not conceive the possibility of a better economy, and therefore will not begin to change, until we quit deifying the present one."BerryChoose your "Gods" with care.A man said to the universe;"Sir, I exist!""However," replied the universe,"The fact has not created in mea sense of obligation."-- Stephen Crane, 1899 Fri 18 Dec 2009 16:23:23 GMT+1 Magnos Iacobos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=86#comment75 For the record: Detroit and Michigan top the United States for unemployment for a city and unemployment for a state (respectively) currently. approximately fifty and approximately twenty percent as of my last check. Those rely on broader definitions of unemployment. Fri 18 Dec 2009 15:58:20 GMT+1 Magnos Iacobos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=85#comment74 It would seem that you, Mark Mardell of the BBC, have failed to understand why many people oppose climate legislation right now. It is this wonderful concept called logic. Take, for instance, our (that would be American and British) current economies: my state, the US, is floundering with unemployment at perhaps 11% and the UK is suffering from low productivity. We are two men standing at a fish-and-chips shop with no money to buy, and all the while the banks are taking our homes. How is it logical, then, to say that we should spend our last pound on champagne? Many of us here in America, particularly those from my home of Detroit, are bleeding economically. We are starving. We are freezing without shelter from the cold winters. We have no jobs. Some cannot even pay the taxes levied upon us. Yet you lecture? You who speak from upon high should be ashamed. You tell us we are evil for using fossil fuels, but they provide our heat and you refuse to aid us. You tell us we are narrow-minded simpletons who cannot see the 'truth' of climate change or health care, but you do not see the truth of our situation. We have no money. We cannot be taxed anymore. We cannot give anymore. We tire of you. Of your high handed remarks and your silky rhetoric, your idealistic crusades and the persecution you visit upon others. Yes. The climate is changing. It has always changed. In Roman times North Africa was the breadbasket of the Empire, now it is a wasteland. California once shivered under glaciers, the boulders of that time still evident east of Bakersfield. Schleswig-Holstein was so flooded that the Saxons left for the British Isles. But all of this is moot when taking the fact that we cannot put bread onto the table, much less pay for a new car or house or city and so on. We do not have the money to pay for these luxuries like FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR schools for a bare hundred students. We turn our backs upon you, just as you do us. We want jobs, bread, and shelter, not a safe climate but you do not listen. You stopped long ago. Pursue this lofty goal if you must, but do not ask us to pay for it. All we have left to pay for it is our blood, and even that is running thin. If we are to bring God into the equation, Marvin George, is it really true that He would rather his children starve and freeze but 'be good stewards' rather than live healthy and warm? I am not saying we should not take care of the environment, far from it. However, we should be worrying first about our brothers who are without, rather than spending exorbitant amounts of gold on luxuries while they suffer. Lastly, if I remember my schooling correctly, Kansas is part of what is colloquially known as Tornado Alley. It is a region prone to tornadoes and has been since time immemorial. The destruction of Greensburg's predecessor is merely a case of the foolish man building his house upon the sand. A tragedy to be sure, but perhaps one that could have been prevented with a safer choice in real estate.Magnos IacobosResident of the State of CaliforniaLoyal son of the State of Michigan and the Townships of Sawyer & Detroit Fri 18 Dec 2009 15:51:12 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=83#comment73 David, "With regard to greed among politicians, most people agree that a large percentage take the opportunity to line their own pockets one way or another."A notable exception being Vice President Joe Biden.May God(s) bless his excellent example. Fri 18 Dec 2009 15:39:42 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=82#comment72 From the beginning, America has been a hotbed of civic experimentation - in fact that is why it was founded in the seventeenth century. Like Levittstown, Philadelphia, Amana, etc., people here have come together over little more than an idea.The importance of Greensburg is that it is a demonstration of the best technologies and ideas current today, in which real people are living real lives. Everyone is watching, and the people of Greensburg will show us what works, what does not, how much it saves and how much it costs, and if it is actually sustainable and liveable.We see a lot of earth-berm houses here in Kansas, built into a natural or artificial hillside on the north so they are protected from the winter wind, and open to collect the heat of the sun on the south. Some folks can live comfortably in them, and some cannot. I see we are still building them, so they have proven to be successful. Only time and practice can tell.The initial costs in Greensburg have not been realistic, but if there are good ideas that prove out over time, costs will come down and demand will build so the technology will spread naturally in the marketplace, rather than artificially through regulation.KScurmudgeon Fri 18 Dec 2009 10:32:13 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=81#comment71 I see someone has refered my comment on the greed of the autocrats and bigots Chavez and Morales."Frankly, I'm surprised that so many of your posts are permitted to stand.With regard to greed among politicians, most people agree that a large percentage take the opportunity to line their own pockets one way or another. When President Eisenhower left the Presidency, I am told he was a wealthy man, far beyond what his pay as a high ranking soldier and president would have totalled; similarly President Reagan, ________________Please give us examples of either President stealing property from soneone else or sending dignity battalions to beat up opponents which both these cowardly bigots did.At some point the citizens these two have disenfranchised will rise up and we should not shed tears when a terrorist supporter like Chavez or a bigot like Morales are deposed. Fri 18 Dec 2009 09:44:01 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=80#comment70 #62. MagicKirin:"I see someone has refered my comment on the greed of the autocrats and bigots Chavez and Morales."Frankly, I'm surprised that so many of your posts are permitted to stand.With regard to greed among politicians, most people agree that a large percentage take the opportunity to line their own pockets one way or another. When President Eisenhower left the Presidency, I am told he was a wealthy man, far beyond what his pay as a high ranking soldier and president would have totalled; similarly President Reagan, whose supporters purchased the house he and Mrs Reagan occupied in retirement. They are not alone of course, one only has to look at the former British prime minister who amassed a fortune while in power and continues to do so. Not for him the quiet and bookish years of Churchill, Attlee, Wilson et al but rich beyond his wildest dreams as a lawyer. Should he ever be obliged to visit The Hague, all this could be taken away. I don't know how the BBC would feel about that, but a number of newspapers certainly would rejoice, not to mention many - or most - of the general public. Fri 18 Dec 2009 04:42:29 GMT+1 Edgeofurbania http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=79#comment69 You are on to something Mark, (as well as Matt Frei), Americans do care about the environment, contrary to what you hear sometimes. We are usually inundated with propaganda and not much useful advice. The Idaho Capital Builing for example is geothermal heated, but you don't hear much praise about that, or initiatives to expand it. Out West we have Hydro produced power, but that is not politically expediant, fish trump the clean power. Politics seem to push wind and solar energy. How can we locally, and realistically produce the energy we need? How can we have a clear conscience Sunday morning and breath easy every day? We are willing, we just need positive answers without the rhetoric that will maintain or improve the situation... Fri 18 Dec 2009 04:22:50 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=78#comment68 I'm glad for the people of Greensburg and fully support their rebuilding efforts all these years later..ya never know when it might be you who's in need of help from the Feds. 58 & 67:Just the thought of an earthquake terrifies me enough that I'd never want to live in a place that gets them; I know it's silly, but I can't help it... I'd rather live with floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes...which of course I already do. And for all those interested, December rainfall totals in New Orleans have broken the records for the wettest December (1967) and the wettest month (May 1995). Below is a Times-Picayune article for reference:http://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2009/12/post_6.html Fri 18 Dec 2009 02:48:01 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=77#comment67 I'm all for sustainable design, but folks should be realistic on the costs of such projects. While the operational cost savings realized over the life time of the building might offset the initial cost of construction, in many cases the cost of construction is what makes such projects prohibitive. For example, if we look at the school costing $50m dollars and sized at 125,000SF (see link below), that means the school was built at $400/SF. The national average is around $200/SF. Simply put, it's all about financing. Which begs the question, where did their financing come from? IMO, the significance of the Greensburg approach is their requirement that all new building construction must be LEED certified. For those interested, the link below has more information on Greensburg.http://www.builderonline.com/storm-and-wind-resistance/greensburg-update-sustainable-homes-businesses-rise-from-rubble.aspx Fri 18 Dec 2009 01:50:17 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=75#comment66 Ref. 58, watermanaquarius:"Small shock experienced myself here today- Just 6.3 on the Richter scale..."I never got used to temblors even though I lived in L.A. for three years. They certainly never failed to get my attention. I still don't feel completely comfortable waiting at a light under a highway overpass.A 6.3 can be a pretty good shock. Was it a slow roller or an upthrust? Fri 18 Dec 2009 01:36:44 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=74#comment65 May I take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Mark on posting a comment on Kansas. Perhaps Kansas, being just about in the centre of the continental USA while just about as far away from the centres of power (and salt water) as it is possible to get, may stand as a token of Mark's intent to explore beyond the beltway a bit more as he settles into his new situation.Many here will await such pleasant forays into the 'real' America (including the non-US parts thereof)Season's greetings to all Fri 18 Dec 2009 01:19:12 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=73#comment64 David (60), Waterman (58)""Hence it is, that we every Day find Men in Conversation contending warmly on some Point in Politicks, which, altho' it may nearly concern them both, neither of them understand any more than they do each other."-- Ben Franklin 1729"Yet hope remains while there are true patriots and sturdy thorns...;-) Fri 18 Dec 2009 00:43:54 GMT+1 tigerlily http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=72#comment63 Mr. Mardell - I concur with watermanaquarius and David Cunard. The silencing of voices does smack of censorship. This blog is diminished by the banning of Ed Iglehart and Happy jacksforge. Fri 18 Dec 2009 00:40:12 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=71#comment62 # 58 watermanaquarius wrote:"Disappointing Mr Mardell to see Ed Iglehart and Happy jacksforge still not being allowed to post on these pages"Are they really? There is at least one poster who has posted under more than one name - I don't wish to say much more in case it causes him more problems with the Beeb. # 60 David Cunard wrote:"Equally disappointing to see that a frequent and one-tracked poster is still permitted to post his diatribes"I can think of at least 2 people fitting that description. One thinks he's the Emperor of Rome, the other lives in a strange world of his own where prejudice takes the place of facts and evidence, and words mean only what he wants them to. If his repeated mendacious defamation and proneness to hurl around vile slurs of Nazi, anti-Semite, [hatemonger, phoney, appeaser etc etc etc] haven't got him banned, it's hard to imagine how anyone else could have justified such a fate. Knot too menshun hiz speling... Fri 18 Dec 2009 00:28:17 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=70#comment61 ref #61I see someone has refered my comment on the greed of the autocrats and bigots Chavez and Morales.I guess that poster has the same mindset as those in Oslo who don't want to debate climate change. Fri 18 Dec 2009 00:23:38 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=68#comment60 Another reason not to take thie conference seriously.The greed of the two of the most miserable leaders of the hemisphere demanding reperations from the U.S and other nations.Not content with the thievery of their own people Chavez and Morales not want money from us.The arrogance of these petty racists is incredible.I hope thier victims retaliate more forcefully than the nut who attacked Berlosconi. Fri 18 Dec 2009 00:05:42 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=67#comment59 #58. watermanaquarius: "Disappointing Mr Mardell to see Ed Iglehart and Happy jacksforge still not being allowed to post on these pages especially when it concerns green issues."Equally disappointing to see that a frequent and one-tracked poster is still permitted to post his diatribes. Ed has the benefit of being an American living in Scotland and similarly Jack, who has spent many years in the UK but now lives in Oregon/ Although we may not always have agreed with them, the apparent banning of them does smack of censorship rather than editorial censureship. Little wonder that the Beeb is know as auntie because the current moderation appears to be overly sensitive, yet it permits words which in themselves are liable to cause offence. Thu 17 Dec 2009 23:22:44 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=66#comment58 Here's a link to an article about the new Greenburg school which reports that it is a K-12 which replaces three former schools which were destroyed, so is efficient in that respect. It also reports that it is designed for 300 students. The low current enrollment in the district is due to families having left the area after the disaster.http://blogs.wsj.com/american-journey/2009/03/02/yet-another-greensburg-tale/It doesn't seem that extravagant to me, based on the design capacity. Enrollment should approach that as the town recovers. Thu 17 Dec 2009 21:47:22 GMT+1 watermanaquarius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=65#comment57 Follow the yellow brick road. Go to Kansas Dorothy, where everything is greener!Okay it's a good start but even the Wizard of Oz did not make a killing at the box office where it counts, and this half horse town must be building with gold bars for the amount of money per capita that is being thrown at it. I do understand going green is not cheap attempting it myself, but even so. Makes me wonder though with 900 citizens in this "city", will the rebuilding of their 8 churches be enough. No mention of a Cathedral, Synagogue, Mosque, or Munchkin retreat so these must be good God fearing folks making do with a minimum of possibilities to thank the Lord where they can. How can they afford it? They must have a saint or similar in their pockets.Seasmoke. # 24 Did appreciate the Ben Franklin quote "we had better hang together or we assuredly will hang separately". Did not expect a few lines based around the Declaration of Independence deliberations, but it does fit in with the hopes of many here for the planet, relating to the Copenhagen discussions presently progressing. Independence indeed from our lust for oil etc with a view to reducing carbon emissions. Thank you.Small shock experienced myself here today- Just 6.3 on the Richter scale measurement that was announced and nothing at all to do with the environment. Those tectonic plates are just shifting about for a bit of fun. Just like the weather which should be between 10 -16C and is 0 - 23C the last few days. If it was all just one of God's jokes it would not be too bad, but it does make one wonder if he still has his fingers on the buttons. Hope the rest of you are enjoying the sunny weather as well.Disappointing Mr Mardell to see Ed Iglehart and Happy jacksforge still not being allowed to post on these pages especially when it concerns green issues. Similarly t1m0thy remains a U boat. All are advocates / protagonists with a hope for the planet. Did they overstep the mark to such a degree that they expressed comment that was considered contrary to the elite that vist here? Are you trying to reduce the amount of ecologist voices and counter-comment that should be heard? Would you be so kind as to send them an email, reinstating them so we can all give them a small piece of our minds and let them know the error of their ways. Bad tempers eh? Temper oh temper. When will they see the light! Thu 17 Dec 2009 20:54:40 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=64#comment56 One may remember, or at least have heard about the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) of the Great Depression years. A government funded project that not only brought new jobs, and electricity, to rural communities; but also provided a long lasting return on investment. It should also be noted that the "Solarize Portland" project (links provided at #49 and #51) started as a grass-roots idea. Yes; it is receiving some government assistance and tax-credits, but it is the individuals in the community that started up the program and contributed financially to the project.The news article makes note that the contractor providing the solar panels has increased his business significantly through this single project, thus reducing costs. It is certain that he also had to increase his workforce, thus adding to the local economy. Thu 17 Dec 2009 20:45:08 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=63#comment55 Here's where I give a gratuitous nod to Will Allen and urban farming. Because it's nice to green the already "green" spaces, but greening the inner cities by creating farms inside warehouses, or on empty tracts of city owned land taken for taxes, while utilizing sustainable growing methods that cut down on agriculture's carbon footprint is just as important. Thu 17 Dec 2009 20:34:56 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=62#comment54 Oh - and I can 'one-up' the pastor:Not only does my church have pastors with tattoos - we've got quite a few tattoo artists attending our church. Ha! Beat That! BTW: We have a lot of row homes in Philly. Wouldn't it be nice to see them all topped with solar panels? Well, we just recently got a solar panel contractor to build a plant in the city! Sweet! Jobs AND Green Energy! -- Gosh, it's so... stimulating. Isn't it? Thu 17 Dec 2009 19:06:09 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=60#comment53 Great Story!Hadn't heard about these folks. I'd heard about the small town in Utah whose High School science class ran some wind tests. The town installed miles of windmills, and they're selling the energy to Southern California.(Maybe Pasadena Power will stop burning coal for electricity...)Philadelphia is also taking significant efforts to Go Green. Our city is a mess and we really need industry and jobs so that people/business will move back into town... and the city council has committed to building green.For Philly - Green is the new Black.(Which is lots better than always running in the red...)[Green] Power to the People, Baby! Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:56:09 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=59#comment52 ref #46 GH1618 wrote:The cost of a school per pupil is bound to be higher for small schools, because of economies of scale. A new school was built in Hayward, California for about $45m, serving about 750 students. I expect that the geothermal heating/cooling was also a big factor increasing the cost of the Kansas school, but schools are used for several decades. Over the lifetime of the school, there should be significant savings in heating costs._________________-Green Design or power does not need to cost more. That is one of the great myths that is potrayed. It jus take the right Architects and Engineers. Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:19:03 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=58#comment51 Mark:'He adds his church's bills for heating and air conditioning have been cut by a third:"The money can go to mission now, its right we spend it on the Kingdom, rather than utilities."' Therein lies our salvation: Green is cheaper. It really doesn't matter if everyone believes global climate change is happening or not. The free market will flock to it. There's money to be made! That's all the motivation we need. Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:17:19 GMT+1 tigerlily http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=57#comment50 The greening of Oregon - A fluffy tale found on the net: "Solarize Portland catches fire" Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:15:22 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=56#comment49 At 4:45pm on 17 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:The term "hard graft" as a virtue can be confusing to Americans, for whom "graft" is a vice. Here is a link to an explanation: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-har3.htmI'd never heard that term before so thanks for the link explaining it. Actually, since government is helping pay to turn Greensburg into a showplace the term hard graft makes perfect sense in the Amercian sense of the word too. The town is being rebuilt to cutting edge environmental standards using other people's money; it's a sweet deal for the folks there and I can't fault them for taking advantage of it.The question is can we afford to do the same for all our cities and towns? Given that we're already in debt up to our eyeballs for the bailout and stimulus programs I doubt that we can even if every movie star in Hollywood builds a new city hall somewhere. The government plan to green America seems to be to jack up the price of everything with its carbon policy then tell us we now have an incentive to be more green and dole out a few grants and loans to areas where it will presumably do the most good to politician's re-election chances. Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:14:38 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=55#comment48 Kansas is not the only community looking towards energy efficiency. Here is a project in Oregon called, Solarize Portland that has discovered a way of defraying solar construction costs. Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:12:26 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=54#comment47 ref #45 D R Murrell wrote:Magic – No I got the point, the problem is that no one is still talking about global cooling and why? Because the theory was questioned and the data was checked and was shown to be incorrect, so the very opposite of what you are saying, not the same at all.Your big problem is that school kids with no idea about what global warming is can prove it. All it requires is checking the thermometer, once again there almost no scientists (including your Dr Lomborg) that say climate change is not happening, because the evidence is pretty cut and dried, most scientists including the sceptics accept that human activity is affecting climate change. To say that there is a problem with the idea that the planet is getting warmer and that at least some of the warming caused by humanity, is to ignore the scientific debate that you claim you want. Scientists are already having this debate and have been for twenty years.Just because scientists don’t have this debate on Fox does not mean it does not happen._________________-Where have they had the debates? Were the people who oppose the so called facts at Oslo allowed to participate?I do watch and listen to other media including the BBC Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:12:04 GMT+1 U13817236 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=52#comment46 "Greensburg is a small place"...so it can hardly lay claim "to earn the title of the greenest city in the world", since it's not a "city" at all, it's barely big enough to be a village. But when you can afford to spend almost half-a-million bucks per pupil to build a new school it's not going to be much of a model for indigent communities around the world. Ironically, the poorest communities are also the 'greenest'. A village the same size as Greensburg in Africa with no air conditioners or oversized refrigerators and gas-guzzling trucks is a lot greener than Greensburg. These underdeveloped countries are making a much greater virtue of necessity than high-tech showplaces in the rich, overconsuming countries like Amerika. If Greensburg is so "green", how come you're being chaueffered around in a polluting truck? Why don't they walk in such a small place or build bike paths? Whether or not it's given them "a sense of purpose" it's given them something a little more tangible that is more likely the real reason why they're so "enthusiastic about all the new techniques that are being used"; if "that will mean new jobs and more money coming into the local economy." This fits nicely with the conceit that their god gave them "responsibility (for the earth)." There's even less evidence to have unfounded faith that "the Obama administration's hope that the USA can come to see itself as a giant Greensburg, where American ingenuity and science, economic self-interest and Christian concepts of stewardship can lead to a Green America." Green as in greenbacks? That's the only Green Amerika corporate Uncle Tom Obama has any real interest in. Everything else takes a back seat to the economic self-interest. So it's ridiculous for big bucks Barack to "argue the United States is, belatedly, doing its part to reduce carbon." Belatedly, yes - doing its part, hardly! The world's poor are doing Amerika's part in reducing global emissions. Which is why "many are not persuaded." "And the political opposition" around the world "is huge, and perhaps growing." When Amerika puts as much greenbacks into green foreign aid to developing countries as it does into its obscene military budget, then maybe we'll be persuaded. Thu 17 Dec 2009 18:07:36 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=51#comment45 The cost of a school per pupil is bound to be higher for small schools, because of economies of scale. A new school was built in Hayward, California for about $45m, serving about 750 students. I expect that the geothermal heating/cooling was also a big factor increasing the cost of the Kansas school, but schools are used for several decades. Over the lifetime of the school, there should be significant savings in heating costs. Thu 17 Dec 2009 17:33:18 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=50#comment44 Magic – No I got the point, the problem is that no one is still talking about global cooling and why? Because the theory was questioned and the data was checked and was shown to be incorrect, so the very opposite of what you are saying, not the same at all.Your big problem is that school kids with no idea about what global warming is can prove it. All it requires is checking the thermometer, once again there almost no scientists (including your Dr Lomborg) that say climate change is not happening, because the evidence is pretty cut and dried, most scientists including the sceptics accept that human activity is affecting climate change. To say that there is a problem with the idea that the planet is getting warmer and that at least some of the warming caused by humanity, is to ignore the scientific debate that you claim you want. Scientists are already having this debate and have been for twenty years.Just because scientists don’t have this debate on Fox does not mean it does not happen. Thu 17 Dec 2009 17:30:55 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=49#comment43 Your report rightly points out that there are many, many Americans of all political views who have been embracing the need to adopt sounder policies towards energy & resources management, on their own initiative.Thank you for drawing attention to this matter, Mr Mardell -- to the efforts of Greensburg, and others.Of course, the other side also exists. But it is also doomed to die out, as most of its representatives tend to belong to an older demographic. There is no getting away from what is right there in front of us, staring in the face.Here, in Southern California, where the typical car on the road is huge, inefficient, and carrying just one passenger -- all too often an immigrant who has been seduced by the American Way of Waste -- the clock is ticking down on those who prefer inaction.The same intelligence that first envisioned the Horseless Carriage as an alternative (!) to the high-maintenance, "dirty" transport system that relied on horses, mules & donkeys, with the muck-laden thoroughfares that led to, can find a way to improve upon a century of unimaginative design & engineering. Electric cars are not the answer when the electricity they are charged with originates in coal-burning power plants. We can find better ways of leading our lives, and even make a handsome profit from the innovations. Thu 17 Dec 2009 17:28:30 GMT+1 OpenRoads http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=48#comment42 Mark, I'm so glad you've made it to Kansas! It's one of my favorite states, though perhaps more so in the late summer when the sunflower fields are blooming. Your story illustrates what can be accomplished when communities work together as family/neighborhood/municipal units rather than as partisans of one brand of politics or another. I was struck by a similar attitude of cooperation when I lived in Vermont--the tourist industry there really depends on the state's image of pristine, idyllic ruralism, and people from both sides of the political divide work together to keep the state "green"; it's so obviously in everyone's best interests to do so.This isn't as much of a non-sequitur as it sounds, but many years ago I went to a small, liberal arts college. The Dean there used to say that the whole point of going to a small liberal arts college is that you have to learn to get along with people who are different than you, because there is no one else. At a large university, you can always find a group of people who are just like you.Greensburg seems to be one of those places where people have learned to work with others, whether they agree with them or not, because there is no one else. It's nice to see a reminder that disagreement and disrespect do not have to be inevitable partners. Thu 17 Dec 2009 17:20:42 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=47#comment41 Johm_From_Dublin (#20), yes, I do also. This site seems to have acquired a few more fruit loops lately, unfortunately. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:54:33 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=45#comment40 The term "hard graft" as a virtue can be confusing to Americans, for whom "graft" is a vice. Here is a link to an explanation: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-har3.htm Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:45:56 GMT+1 Tennesseebadger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=44#comment39 At last, someone from the BBC discovers there is more to the US than Washington and New York. Moreover, maybe they find that not everyone is "flyover country" is a toothless wonder. This story illustrates very well that climate friendly policies can be sold in this country,,, but not with the use of fear, force, and dishonesty that have been typical of the left in recent years. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:42:16 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=43#comment38 Ann – So does you PhD friend say human influenced climate change is happening or not? Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:37:51 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=42#comment37 ref #33DM as usual you miss the point. 30 years ago the scientists were all claiming global cooling now because of some models they are claiming the opposite.My point is that some of these advocates don't want to hear conflicting data Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:28:50 GMT+1 ann arbor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=41#comment36 The taxes on 300 million made Greensburg possible. I expect the costs exceeded the earning capacity of their economy (or at least the structures built). As a technical success and financial disaster, I am curious if what was learned can be replicated more economically elsewhere.When I queried the only atmospheric scientist I know (PhD), he told me to disregard most of the "published" research because it is unreliable. Observations were discarded arbitrarily, embellished, and critical, balancing factors eliminated from consideration. "Al Gore's 'studies' are not worth scientific discussion."Kansas has been getting tornadoes long before the global warming hoopla. It has to do with geographically induced dry-lines and unstable air masses (adiabatic lapse rate, lift, and winds aloft).So whether you have a million dollar MacMansion, or a million dollar environmental shanty, if you can not repay a million dollar mortgage, ..., the outcome is the same. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:19:22 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=40#comment35 Energy effiency is fine for now but it is not the future. The future requires alternative non-fossil fuels. The current game plan is to have coal and oil to continue to pollute and be reasonably priced for the foreign markets and not let the price reflect the true costs. The governments are vested in fossil fuels mainly through the process of political corruption. Alternatives are being slowly integrated not to upset the status quo. No real efforts are being supported to create an alternative that will compete with the big businesses. If all this was so important wouldn't one think that the nations would combine in a effort to create viable alternative that would meet current and future needs rather than come up with some taxing scheme that provides the "right to pollute." These efforts appear to have been learned from bankers that with no oversight or questioning money can be made with citizens having to pay for the scam later. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:18:04 GMT+1 BrendaLLand http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=39#comment34 The new school cost $50 Million for a school for 125 students? $400,000 per student wasn't paid for by the community. We can't afford to go green at that price. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:09:31 GMT+1 cantonmentfl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=37#comment33 This post has been Removed Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:05:25 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=36#comment32 Magic – Liked the Freudian slip: weather global warming is a reality eh?Goodness you do realise that even the sceptical scientists don’t hark on about global cooling anymore don’t you? Because everyone read the figures wrong, what they assumed was cooling is actually part of the basis for the theory of warming, even sceptical scientists don’t disagree with that one. The planet has warmed, not disputed anyone who wants to check the temperature figures can see that, no science degree needed. That climate change is human influenced, again almost universally accepted, even by the sceptics. Well the scientists at least and those will to use up to date information rather than data which is out of date.What the sceptics currently argue is that the amount of human effect is in doubt and whether the Earth can ‘naturally’ counter this affect. There is some debate on how much the end temperature will increase by and the effect it will have on humanity.In the end as others have said it doesn’t really matter if global warming is going to be as bad as some say and how much of that warming going end up being humanity’s fault. Making humanity energy efficient is a good thing, non-renewable energy sources will unsurprisingly run out. Surely finding viable alternatives now, before they noticeably begin to become scarce is a good idea. Not destroying large chunks of the little wild also makes sense, cutting down the rainforest means that peace of the Earth will not come back, we lose a bit of what makes this planet wonderful. I don’t know many people who want to live on a sterile grey barren planet. Most people like to visit the ‘great outdoors’ there is no reason to assume our children and grandchildren won’t want to do the same.The great crime of the modern age is that everyone expects to get what they want, when they want. Its all about rights and not about responsibilities, consequences are something other people will have to face. Gecko was wrong, greed is not good, it is wasteful and ultimately self destructive. If having the latest gadget, the biggest car is the thing that makes you happy, then really you have something wrong with you. Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:04:12 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=35#comment31 Ref 23, oneAmerican"I think many Americans are willing to be more frugal now, to save, cut back and do without, so we are ripe for change as a result."Recent reports support your claim. Our savings rate is, indeed, increasing and people seem to be more realistic in their expectations as well as awareness of environmental issues. Unfortunately, the latter is in the hands of demagogues from both sides who seem to be more interested in advancing their agenda or interests than focusing on the need to improve our standard of living and the welfare of the American people - let alone, the welfare of humanity.Global warming, regardless of whether it is influenced primarily by a natural phenomena or not, is a reality and there is little doubt that carbon emissions, pollution and the subsequent damage to the ozone layer have aggravated and accelerated the problem.We don't really need movies or reports to learn about the effects of pollution, simply walk outdoors in cities like Los Angeles, take a look at the ocean waters near our coastal areas, try to eat fish caught in our lakes and rivers and you will get first hand exposure to what human irresponsibility and greed have done to our country and our planet. Hopefully what happened in Greensburg will inspire our politicians and the general public to pursue more energy efficient ways to satisfy our needs. I wouldn't hold my breadth on that though... Thu 17 Dec 2009 16:03:15 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=34#comment30 ref #23oneamerican wrote:I think many Americans are willing to be more frugal now, to save, cut back and do without, so we are ripe for change as a result.____________I hope you are right but I still see too many Americans (including myself) who buy more than we should. And there is no fiscal responsibility in the U.S congress who gave themselves another pay raise.Hey President Obama why don't you urge them to take a pay cut and pay for their own health insurance.And Pelosi why don't you pay for the cost of your private jet to Oslo a place where your input is not needed. Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:28:17 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=33#comment29 ref #27The issue is not whether a person flies a private or commercial plane, but whether or not global warming is a reality and, if it is, what should we do to mitigate its effects because at this late stage reversing the trend is close to impossible. ______________You are right about the issue is weather Global Warming is a reality. but those who say it is considered it set science and there is a lot of evidence that it is not don't want to have a rational discussion. And Al Gore has been a leader in saying that line.Less than 30 years ago the theory was global cooling. Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:24:58 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=32#comment28 Many communties on the Coast are becoming more environmentally aware, using recycling, buying local and cutting down on carbon footprints by using less water, less waste, no shopping bags, ect.But for our communities in the Midwest to really go green, that is what it will take: the entire community.There are many different ways to go green and the question for us is which will we start first?We can start with renewable energy from water, sun or wind (sun is my favorite). We could start with recycling and getting rid of waste. We could start with banning deforestation unless there is more planting of trees (like how Germany does). We could ban certain companies excessive pollution and replace these jobs with green jobs.But this is the biggest question. Where to start? If you think of all the things to do, it is quite overwhelming. President Obama should start with one goal, then continue down a list until he reaches all goals. We cannot pay for the green changes all at once, plus it will be too difficult to focus on. But if President Obama starts on one goal and works his way down, we can do it.However, this will take time. That is to be expected. If President Obama starts with one green step and continues to take other green steps, that progress all adds up. We just can't do it all at once.The key is to make it as compatible as possible with people's daily lives and not too expensive, nor losing jobs from it (have to replace, not lose.) Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:24:48 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=31#comment27 Ref 22, Magic"Of course Gore claims to be an expert, he discounts any opposing viewpoints saying they are not credible."You routinely discount the opinion of people with first hand experience on specific topics, does that make you a pseudo expert on those topics? Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:19:47 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=29#comment26 Ref 22, Magic"He has become a billionaire by promoting global warming while flying a private jet everywhere."Are you sure Al Gore is a billionaire? Owning a plane (s) or flying on the private planes of friends is commonplace in the USA and it is done by politicians, businessmen, and every citizen with enough money or friends to enjoy that privilege. If you want to demonize someone for doing that you may want to add every person that does it, which includes a large number of "conservatives".The issue is not whether a person flies a private or commercial plane, but whether or not global warming is a reality and, if it is, what should we do to mitigate its effects because at this late stage reversing the trend is close to impossible. Most of us will not see or endure the effects of this calamity, but our children and grandchildren are likely to pay the consequences for our neglect, misguided priorities, and ignorance. Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:15:20 GMT+1 Gerard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=28#comment25 Interesting story, I also remember seeing on BBC News America a while ago, a story about a utility company that was running a competition with the local town to see who had the lowest energy consumption. Results were posted on their website and was generating real behaviour change. I can't remember the town, does anyone remember seeing the story and have more details? Thu 17 Dec 2009 15:11:59 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=27#comment24 AllenT2 – Europe as a continent covers an area of 3,930,000 square miles and has a population of 731,000,000. The USA has an area of 3,794,101 square miles with a population of 308,177,000. Europe has had an urban civilisation spanning well over 2,000 years, it’s a bit more difficult to age an urban civilisation in the USA, but it never until last couple of centuries covered as large a percentage of land.So Europe has 135,899 more square miles than the USA in which to house 422,823,000 more people with countries and cities that can trace their history back before the birth of Christ and you are surprised that we have fewer untouched areas. Yet still with over double your population we produce less CO2 both as a total and per person, since no one has yet created a working time machine (but hey CERN might just achieve it) and we cannot go back to the middle ages, or even bronze age to stop the felling of the great European forests, yes I think we are doing quite well. Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:53:45 GMT+1 seasmoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=26#comment23 I think that Greensburgs attempt to use the new technologies is a laudable effort. Many on this board question whether climate change is real. I myself am convinced. I spent 10 years in the Arctic in the 1970's and the ice line was far further south than it is now. That alone shows how climate has changed in a remarkably short time. It may be that this is a natural cycle but if there is even a 10% chance it is not, the cost of inaction far outweighs the investment in alternatives. The upside of doing something is finding new ways to generate power which will we need anyway as fossil fuel runs out. The downside of doing nothing is a planet that no longer sustains us. I would remind the skeptics that we live in a tiny slice of breathable air that is about 12,000 feet thick. It is a finite resource that if we continue to fill with noxious outpourings will kill us! As Mr. Franklin said "we had better hang together or we assuredly will hang separately". So I say well done Greensburg for at least having a go and they should represent a model for all new developments moving forward. There is nothing we cannot do if we put our minds to it. It is a matter of will. Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:52:41 GMT+1 oneamerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=25#comment22 I think many Americans are willing to be more frugal now, to save, cut back and do without, so we are ripe for change as a result. If you think about the past, American ingenuity has been based on need frequently but capitalism and open markets have enabled those with the ideas to come forward. So this massive tax manufacturing projects: national healthcare and bailouts will limit other things, investment into new technologies and development of new tecnologies. It is the old limited resources argument that we learned in Econ 101. Realize that it is difficult for us to afford to built the mass transit necessary, among other things, that would be needed to stop driving so much with such a large expanse of land in the US while paying for other nations efforts at the same time. The dollar is weak currently and in Copenhagen the US just committed to a funds for the rain forests with other nations but paying the largest share again. We are seen as the money bags and quite honestly it is not true. We need to focus to put our own house in order before we are in a position to help the world. Regarding skeptics, many people see this as a big scam on a massive scale because of the medias effort to push it down their throats, the politicians efforts to capitalize on it while not walking the talk (Al Gore et al including the hordes in Copenhagen now with their private jets, limos, etc.)and now the scientists disingenuous posturing about the emails. Willingness on the part of the media to entertain the skeptics, walking the talk by proponents, and scientists acting like scientists and allowing debate and sharing data and publishing all sides of the issue would lend credence to your cause. Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:18:13 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=24#comment21 ref #19SaintDominick wrote:Ref 15, Magic"but if you question his, how can you take Gore's seriously he has no training and his movie and bok had many errors"Al Gore never pretended to be a scientist of an expert. He is a concerned citizen who has devoted considerable time and energy to elevate the level of awareness of global warming, its effects, and the consequences of neglecting this issue in favor of a misguided focus on short term profits.___________________--Of course Gore claims to be an expert, he discounts any opposing viewpoints saying they are not credible. He has become a billionaire by promoting global warming while flying a private jet everywhere. Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:17:37 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=22#comment20 Mark Mardell wrote: "There's is a quiet evangelism, not preaching possible disaster,"You mean like the way your BBC does?"I sense it has given them a sense of purpose, a tight focus, after a senseless natural calamity that broke their lives."Why would you expect sense from a from a random act of nature? It is nature doing what it has always done."In a country where many regard worries about climate change as a fad, which has certainly been doing a lot less than Europe to cut carbon gas emissions"And rightly so. Things like the leaked e-mails from so many unethical and unprofessional climate scientists only help to support the doubters.And don't pat Europe's back so much as there are other forms of pollution and damage to the environment that Europe far surpasses America in. Things like fresh water pollution and acidification, not to mention few areas of untouched and protected wilderness outside of Scandinavian countries. Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:15:42 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=21#comment19 # 10 shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:"Stop playing about Mark and get SERIOUS! OPEN YOUR EYES, MAN! This is a nation going to RUIN led by a radical messiah and doing a dance of DEATH!"Does ANYONE else FIND that POSTINGS that are LITTERED with WORDS in CAPITALS are HARD to take SERIOUSLY?[My posting at #17 was rejected by the MODS, who are as GODS, because of an analogy to the NUMBER of SANDWICHES in a PICNIC - hopefully they'll like this one BETTER.] Thu 17 Dec 2009 14:02:59 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=20#comment18 Ref 15, Magic"but if you question his, how can you take Gore's seriously he has no training and his movie and bok had many errors"Al Gore never pretended to be a scientist of an expert. He is a concerned citizen who has devoted considerable time and energy to elevate the level of awareness of global warming, its effects, and the consequences of neglecting this issue in favor of a misguided focus on short term profits. Thu 17 Dec 2009 13:56:37 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=19#comment17 Magic – Who said I took Al Gore seriously? As a personal view I give his stance as much respect as anyone else’s, but I don’t regard him as a creditable source on climate change. I have not watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ nor do ever intend to. Nor have read Lomborg’s book, if he wrote a book on social science I may do, I don’t base my opinions in this type of matter on the views of laymen, no matter how educated. In the same line I don’t consider the opinions of some televangelist about biology or the science of evolution, nor a geneticist on the nature of God. If I want to be build an informed opinion on complex subjects like science and religion I rely on the views from people trained in those subjects and only then the relevant area of either science or religion.Lomborg expertise is not natural science, so why should his opinion be as valid as someone who is? Thu 17 Dec 2009 13:48:13 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=18#comment16 This post has been Removed Thu 17 Dec 2009 13:07:14 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=17#comment15 Since Kopenhagen results will be similar to those of Kyoto here's hoping that a next summit conference is scheduluded soon.Lisbon sounds like a perfect place, and an agreement worked out theremay be called Lisbon Treaty II. And in the meantime temperatures in Anchorage, Edmonton and Moscow... Thu 17 Dec 2009 12:45:18 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=16#comment14 ref #12First have you read the Skeptical Environmentalist, Lombeg came in as a global warming advocate. when he looked at the data he had his doubts.but if you question his, how can you take Gore's seriously he has no training and his movie and bok had many errors. Thu 17 Dec 2009 12:44:40 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=14#comment13 What politicians, and a lot of people, are missing is that in addition to mitigating the effects of global warming initiatives such as those undertaken to re-build Greensburg could help solve our economic woes. The development of alternative fuels and energy-efficient dwellings and vehicles require the development of new technology and the production of new materials and products that could easily offset the loss of our heavy industry and our dependence on imports.Instead of ignoring melting glaciers, reductions in the ozone layer, rising sea levels and other indicators of global warming we should focus on the need to prepare for its effects by investing in research and development and planning for the future. Thu 17 Dec 2009 12:30:13 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=13#comment12 This post has been Removed Thu 17 Dec 2009 12:03:29 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=12#comment11 Magic - I have some issues with Bjorn Lomberg being cited as an expert, firstly his expertise is social/political science not natural science or environmental science. While he is probably a very good statistician, science is no longer a single discipline and I am not convinced that an expert in one field is really able to critique another field. It would be like a professor of Theology expecting to be taken seriously critiquing 1700’s French literature, sure he might have an interest, both subjects are humanities, but to compare the professors work to an expect of French literature, especially one whose expertise is the 1700’s would not really work.Second, Lomborg doesn’t believe that population growth, water shortages and species loss are serious concerns or things that will adversely affect humanities future. To me this is illogical, agriculture is adversely affected by both population growth and water shortages, history proves this. No matter how effective your means of growing crops (animal husbandry is even worse), you can only grow so much at some point your population, if unchecked, will exceed what you can grow. For one thing people need somewhere to live, meaning you have less land to actually grow crops. As for water shortages, try telling that to the people that used to live where the Sahara has now expanded to. I am reluctant to reliably accept the opinion of an expert that appears to ignore something that appears manifestly logical.Third, actually this more a problem for the sceptics, Lormborg does not deny human climate change, he just does not think that it is a problem. He thinks human technology will overcome the issues presented by that climate change and how much the climate will change. I actually believe that he has a valid point and one that should be discussed, as it happens many scientists who support the theory of climate change (which is most of them) also believe that human ingenuity can overcome some of the issues faced. The main problem is the amount of time we have available, especially considering those in authority that still deny what is becoming pretty undeniable.Regarding the overblown figures and threats of what is to come, again I agree with you. What scientists will agree are the worst case scenarios are often given in the media as the only scenarios. This polarises the population, which is the current problem we face. I came from the stance, similar to yours that I thought the climate change case was over played, so I looked into the matter. Some of the books available supporting climate change are absolutely dross, comparable to the stuff released by the oil industries own pet scientists. Others, written by the properly recognised experts paints a different picture, it gives the possible scenarios from best to worst, the best ones wont be pleasant but we can survive them, the worst ones really do mean the end of humanity.I firmly believe that something must be done, to sit around simply debating if the temperature is going to rise by 0.5 or 4 is pointless. We should start making changes in the way we do things that mean that we can reduce the chance that a 4 degree change can happen. Making these changes have other benefits, it will make new forms of energy and technology available, it will improve peoples lives in parts of the world that are suffering now. If people really do think huge numbers of car fumes don’t hurt humans, I suggest that they find a nice cross roads in Mumbai and sit there for a week, then come back and tell me that humans actions cannot affect the local environment. Do something and have the debate, don’t stop the dialogue refine the predictions by all means. But prevaricating until it might be too late is stupid.I’ll have to come back to you about Acu Weather chappy. Thu 17 Dec 2009 12:02:15 GMT+1 U4466131 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=11#comment10 Leaving out the predictable vituperation from all the usual suspects, this blog does at least show the US in a positive light. Perhaps it is as claimed by "shiveringofforgottenenemies" but it is at least a demonstration that the friendly, co-operative, hard working US still exists. The arrogant 'we are the Masters of the universe' rubbish never was very convincing anyway because we all knew it wasn't true.Let's have some more positive Mark. To get out of the mess that we, that's the developed economies, have got into is going to take a lot of that spirit and a lot less of the mealy mouthed failure to get with the plot. Thu 17 Dec 2009 11:43:00 GMT+1 shiveringofforgottenenemies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=10#comment9 Greensburg is a disgusting political GAME! Rebuilding to LEEDS PLATINUM standards can only be done with MASSIVE federal money...and that means robbing the taxpayers to pay for this demonstration that you can indeed build a $50 million dollar schoolhouse that can be heated and cooled in the most uneconomical but environmentally friendly ways.Greensburg city council grasped a unique opportunity. For all it is a pity that the tornado leveled the town, there is really no reason to rebuild Greensburg AT ALL! Little market towns like this are failing all across America because they are a part of a vanished economy. OK, Greensburg "got lucky" when they were wiped out and will become "an address"...businesses will locate there (possibly) and who knows there may even be enough property tax to pay for running that ludicrously expensive school and the ludicrously expensive city hall and the ludicrously expensive but oh so green services.Greensburg is a sign of the sickness that is gripping the US...and there you are, Mark..acting as if this is something good, something hopeful...it is a CHARADE. It is theater! It is far worse, it is propaganda supported by the ever more authoritarian federal government who want to remake the American economy. Who want to PUSH this green energy economy which will involve government in every phase of a citizen's life.Sure, move to Greensburg, Kansas and have EVERY ASPECT of your life controlled by the government! That is HARDLY the what the American people want or deserve. Stop playing about Mark and get SERIOUS! OPEN YOUR EYES, MAN! This is a nation going to RUIN led by a radical messiah and doing a dance of DEATH! Thu 17 Dec 2009 10:52:07 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=9#comment8 ref #8DR lets talk about the refusal of climate advocates(like Al Gore who profits it on) to discuss the issues with skepetics like Bjorn Lomberg and the chief meterologist of Acu Weather.My problem remains the same exagerated data, destroyed counter information and the refusal for open discussion.Not to mention that the eco hypocricy from many of the delegates including Gore, the Kennedys several celebrities etc. Thu 17 Dec 2009 10:36:57 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=8#comment7 Magic – Okay when did the University of Anglia move to North America? The emails came from sources within the UK and there are plenty of boards to discuss ‘green’ issues and the UK.On the climate issue, I watched an interesting programme that included a sceptics conference, all the well known sceptic scientists were there and in the conference’s keynote speech, they said that human influenced climate change was a fact. While humbling for these scientists who have spent decades trying to give alternatives to the idea that humanity is changing the climate and weather of this planet, even they admit that the model given that human activity affects the weather and climate of this planet is the best model available. Their last best hope, sunspot activity failed when it suggested that the temperature in the 90’s would drop, when it didn’t. Actually they never released to the public that data since information only became fully available after the event, that event being the hottest decade on record (at that point).The worrying fact of course being that sunspot activity is actually a pretty good model for calculating the temperature of the planet, up to the latter part of the 20th C, when it suddenly fails. That would suggest that the climate is being affected by something stronger than what was till then probably the dominate control of climate during most (if not all) of human history! Thu 17 Dec 2009 10:11:27 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=6#comment6 Anyone want to talk about the carbon footprint for this conference. Or how many people other than world leaders to private planes(hello Al Gore)Marc I noticed you and the HYS have not mentioned climategate.Or how many on the environmental side refuse to look at nuclear or wind power says of Cape Cod Mass. Thu 17 Dec 2009 09:09:34 GMT+1 nickf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=5#comment5 I'm sorry if I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the "Green" rebirth of Greensburg, but it's generally better to replace the political-emotional term "green" with the rather more rational concept of "sustainable". It's hard to see how the construction of a new school for 125 pupils costing $50M is a model of sustainability. We can do better than that. Thu 17 Dec 2009 09:05:19 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=4#comment4 Welcome to Kansas, Mark! I am thrilled that you came here for your first foray into the greater US of A.You have already discovered that here the real show is in the sky - the rest is just the bleachers you watch from.And that here there is a natural selection toward hardiness, grit, and a positive outlook manifest in respectful friendliness - essential survival skills in an environment that is much less congenial than the people who live here.The point of Greensburg's green rebirth is not so much in proving the green technology as in demonstrating that the political obstacles need not be paralyzing, if a community is determined. Ninety-five percent of the place was totally devastated. In Greensburg you are seeing the sort of character that is the basic requirement to be a citizen of the high plains. KScurmudgeonKansan by choice, not birth Thu 17 Dec 2009 08:14:11 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=3#comment3 With all due respect to the planners of the aptly named Greensburg, it has ten wind turbines; according this report, Palm Springs has 3,100, which powers the entire city and surrounding area; another source suggests 4,000. It did not take a disaster to set the ball rolling. California produces 80% of all wind-produced electricity used worldwide.Whether 100% greening is possible in metropolitan areas is is highly doubtful - cities like Los Angeles, which owns its own Water and Power Department, do make double glazing and energy efficient appliances worth one's while - double glazing having only been introduced to Sunny California in the recent past. Solar panels seem to be the most favoured way of electricity production in urban situations since there is insufficient, regular wind to make turbines practical. Thu 17 Dec 2009 08:08:16 GMT+1 smileytm303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=2#comment2 Thanks for this--very informative, more so than your predecessor, if I may make so bold. Thu 17 Dec 2009 06:48:16 GMT+1 washuotaku http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=1#comment1 PursuitOfLove (#1): "I hate to burst your bubble, but as Steven Hill so eloquently said in your post on Senate reform, the Democrats, instead of using their clearly mandated majority to move this country forward and help better the lives of the masses, continue to bend right on over for the Republicans, in the hopes that if they bend over just a little bit more, they might get a compromise or the Republicans might see their point on an issue."Wow... it amazes me you wrote that, probably with a straight face too. So my understanding is that even though the Republicans are a minority in both the House and Senate and even if they vote unanimously against something the Democrats are pushing for (knowing they don't have to votes to scuttle it)... they are ultimately responsible if a Democratic controlled congress cannot convince there own colleagues to pass it. This logic makes no sense.Greensburg sounds like a very interesting place and possibly stuff we can learn from, but I don't see a nationwide Greensburg... As PursuitOfLove pointed out, there will be some compromises with people that think differently on the subject (and those will be from within' the Democratic party themselves). Thu 17 Dec 2009 06:02:17 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/an_ill_wind_the_greening_of_ka.html?page=0#comment0 "It is the Obama administration's hope that the USA can come to see itself as a giant Greensburg, where American ingenuity and science, economic self-interest and Christian concepts of stewardship can lead to a Green America. But many are not persuaded. And the political opposition is huge, and perhaps growing."There is no "perhaps" about it. The political opposition is most definitlygrowing. And even if it wasn't, it will do everything within its power to stop any meaningful legislation getting through Congress intended to help better the lives of the citizens of this country. Whether it be on health care reform (the Senate recently killed the public option in its virsion of the bill in order to please one drunk with power Republican and a hand full of conservitive Democrats who were never going to support it in the first place) or climate change. I hate to burst your bubble, but as Steven Hill so eloquently said in your post on Senate reform, the Democrats, instead of using their clearly mandated majority to move this country forward and help better the lives of the masses, continue to bend right on over for the Republicans, in the hopes that if they bend over just a little bit more, they might get a compromise or the Republicans might see their point on an issue.Don't get me wrong I'm happy for Greensburg and the way in which they have triumfed from tragidy in an almost Churchillian style. Not to mention their massive blow to the widely believed stereotype of mid westerners being the most rigid, back water dwelling, bible thumping/bashing, believeing global warming is a myth, creationist believeing, red necks of them all. But I think it will be a long time coming, if any, for America to become a Greensburg. Thu 17 Dec 2009 05:43:51 GMT+1