Just for fun, I’ve rounded up ten oft-repeated statements that are either half-truths or outright falsehoods. I’m sure some readers will disagree with my conclusions; if you’re one of them, don’t hesitate to post a comment.
Green building myth #1. New York City is an environmental nightmare
This myth has been debunked many times, most recently by author David Owen, in his New Yorker article titled “Green Manhattan.” In fact, the average resident of Manhattan uses much less energy, and has a much smaller carbon footprint, than the average American. Compared to a resident of New York City, the average suburban American is wearing carbon clown shoes.
Owen wrote, “Most Americans, including most New Yorkers, think of New York City as an ecological nightmare, a wasteland of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams, but in comparison with the rest of America it’s a model of environmental responsibility. By the most significant measures, New York is the greenest community in the United States, and one of the greenest cities in the world. … The average Manhattanite consumes gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn’t matched since the mid-nineteen-twenties, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot. That’s ten times the rate for Americans in general, and eight times the rate for residents of Los Angeles County.”
In a separate article, Owen explains why the residents of Manhattan are so much greener than Vermonters.
Green building myth #2. Walls have to breathe
Bored readers may move on to the next item; I know that this is a tired old argument. But the “walls have to breathe” statement…