A reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent me this comment to my article Taking the LEED in energy efficiency . I'm reprinting it with that person's permission.
I have worked in a LEED-designed building since 2009 which, at least according to the plaques on the wall, has a "Gold" LEED certification from the "Green Building Council".
Let me tell you a few things about this building. The following are considered normal for this facility:
— wildly varying temperatures from 60deg some mornings to almost 80deg on sunny afternoons
— very low oxygen (documented). Headaches and fatigue are common in the afternoons. We were informed to "go outside for a while" if you're not feeling well.
— very poor ventilation leading to "hot spots" and "cold wells" throughout the building. It's not uncommon for there to be a 10deg difference in the temperature just walking down the hall.
— very poor lighting including dark hallways with near blinding halogen micro-spotlights sprinkled though the common areas.
— motion-activated restroom sinks which cannot seem to produce hot water.
Illnesses sweep through this building like a plague. All it takes is one person to become ill and the viruses seem to spread like wildfire. One would think that this would not be the case with such poor ventilation, but it seems that the building is virtually sealed and there is almost no air exchange. I have learned to wash hands constantly, use plenty of hand sanitizer, push doors open with my shoulder or use the handicapped door activators (always activated with a bump of the knee), and never, ever shake hands with someone in the building or touch any surface in a common area. In short, I have never worked in a worse office environment. The really regrettable point is that almost everything I have pointed out is entirely fixable with minimal energy use impact. However, there is real reluctance to change anything lest the building lose it's "Gold" LEED rating.
In my opinion, these are the results of yet another capitulation to the "Green" Nazis. Are far as I can tell, the entire LEED Standard push is just another money-making fraud.
Being "green" has gone from a technical effort to economically reduce energy use and avoid waste where such avoidance makes sense to actively reducing our effectiveness to show how committed we are to the Green Religion. And there is so much of this going on. In my opinion, we would be much better off worshiping trees. Or cows.
Like most religion and politics, this all runs on irrational fears. The fear that we will run out of exploitable energy resources before we can develop new ones. If other States take California's lead  with fracking bans and moratoriums, the Green fears may come to pass. By law. But that is the nature of fear. It often drives the fearful to do the very things that will realize their fears.
I tell the First Mate all the time that the only recycling that makes economic sense is recycling metals. She still insists on separating out her plastics and paper. Our city is kind enough to send out two trucks to support her religion. The good garbage truck and the bad garbage truck.
Thank you very much, anonymous. You have given me the opportunity to say a few more words on the subject.
M. Simon's e-mail can be found on the sidebar at Space-Time Productions .
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
Being "green" has gone from a technical effort to economically reduce energy use and avoid waste where such avoidance makes sense to actively reducing our effectiveness to show how committed we are to the Green Religion. And there is so much of this going on. In my opinion we would be much better off worshiping trees. Or cows.