When I read Steve Frisch’s ‘Sustainable jobs, sustainable communities’ piece in this morning’s 28nov14) Union, I almost sprayed my coffee all over the breakfast table. Pre-rainstorm chores kept me from leaping on the keyboard until now. RR already drew some commenting from a couple of readers one of whom, Russ Steele, posted an excellent short critique on his Sierra Foothills Commentary here.
Mr Frisch is CEO of the cynically named Sierra Business Council, an NGO that is an active promoter of all things sustainably socialist in these foothills. SBC is not shy in declaring its commission, plans, and programs that to the best of my knowledge makes it the functional equivalent of the ICLEI – local NGOs charged with implementing the objectives of UN’s Agenda21. (download pdf here and see more RR's posts on Agenda21 here)
(Originally ICLEI stood for ‘International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’, but that was a bit too revealing. Since Agenda21’s heavy emphasis on ‘smart growth’ and ‘sustainability’ – an attribute never defined – the name was changed to “ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability”. Read about it here, and then compare its look- and work-alike SBC here.)
In his column Mr Frisch promotes wage controls to put a floor on what “sustainable jobs” should pay. He also promotes LEED certification of plans and buildings across the land to allow them to qualify for current and anticipated government favors. “LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, awards buildings points for features that aim to minimize emissions, water use, waste and indoor pollutants. A new commercial building needs 40 out of a possible 100 points for certification.” (more here)
LEED certification is another socialist bamboozle that has not demonstrated any benefit to communities wherein such buildings have been constructed other than increasing their cost, and fostering a mind numbing acceptance of yet another aspect of central planning. The clear aim of our socialist neighbors is to make LEED certification an added requirement in local building codes and operating regulations. A study by USA Today reports -
Across the United States, the Green Building Council has helped thousands of developers win tax breaks and grants, charge higher rents, exceed local building restrictions and get expedited permitting by certifying them as "green" under a system that often rewards minor, low-cost steps that have little or no proven environmental benefit.
And this strain of the socialist disease is already on its way to spreading across the country.
More than 200 states, cities and federal agencies now require LEED certification for new public buildings, even though they have done little independent and meaningful research into LEED's effectiveness. LEED can add millions to construction costs while promising to cut utility bills and other expenses. (more here)
The problem is that, like so many other collectivist bamboozles from which we are suffering, the benefits from LEED certification are unproven and its punishments manifest. Like the arguments of the climateers, the building code central planners ask you, ‘Just trust us.’ No LEED verification is available for very obvious reasons.
Arguing that there is anything ‘sustainable’ about wage controls and increased costs of doing business is a now established tactic by the Left that in recent years has been brought to prominence by Team Obama elites like Cass Sunstein and Jonathan Gruber. The good professor Gruber was so proud of how his pernicious plan to sell Obamacare was implemented that he had the temerity to tell the truth about it over the last three years. Proselytizing that achievement may have earned him a measure of immortality (or at least notoriety) in that he has accurately identified a particularly dim cohort of voters who are now labeled as being gruberized Americans.
It is to these gruberized Americans that people like Mr Frisch direct their commentaries. Everyone else knows the added benefits of Leviathan’s central planning.