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Looking for Riversong?

user-757117 | Posted in General Questions on

I am posting this on behalf of Robert Riversong at his request for anyone who is interested: has invited Robert Riversong to contribute a 10-part series for their “blog” pages which explores his radical (as in: to the root of the issue) perspective on appropriate shelter. Look for these topics to appear on a weekly basis, starting this last week of April 2011.

Riversong’s Radical Reflections

Context – land, community & ecology
Design – elegant simplicity, the Golden Mean
Materials – the Macrobiotics of building: natural, healthy and durable
Methods – criteria for appropriate technology
Foundations – it all starts here: how do we begin?
Envelope – shelter from the storm, our third skin
HVAC – maintaining comfort, health and homeostasis
Energy & Exergy – sources and sinks
Hygro-Thermal – the alchemy of mass & energy flow
Capping it All Off – hat & boots and a good sturdy coat

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  1. davidmeiland | | #1

    Thanks, Lucas. I will no doubt read them all.

  2. jbmoyer | | #2

    This forum has gone down hill (way down hill) since Riversong left.


  3. homedesign | | #3

    I agree with Brett...way,way,way downhill

    Robert is a Building Science/Nature Genius
    I think that Robert was the most "Helpful" person to ever post at GBA.

    Robert's only "crime" was being honest and blurting out exactly what he was thinking.
    (an occasional Asperger moment)

    I think GBA should "forgive" Robert and Reinstate his membership.

    Robert, I think you still have a lot to contribute....
    You have been blessed/cursed with an "Ingenious Mind"
    It is not too late
    You "came back" once before
    Please be "Helpful" again and SHARE your knowledge

  4. user-884554 | | #4

    I am by no means a contributor of any significance. However, I am a long time and thorough reader of this site. I must concur with the above individuals that the value of this site is diminished significantly without Riversong's contributions. Yes, he could be maddening, condescending, argumentative, egotistical and confrontational. However, those personal traits were more than offset by his experience, knowledge, education and interest in "doing the right things the right way". I frequently disagreed with his hard stances on certain issues, products, applications, etc., but continued to read the site, BECAUSE I LEARNED SOMETHING!
    Personally, I take no offense to postings on sites like these. I come to learn, not judge! I have had a lot of "professors" over the years that displayed many of the same traits. But, I learned something from each and every one of them. Often it was related to the subject matter at hand. However, just as often it was about understanding different opinions and why people believe and behave as they do.
    So he's an opinionated man...who among us isn't at times? The good news for me was that his opinions often had high value and were mostly based on good information, practical experience, and realistic applications. Although he could dance along the edges of the extreme, it was an improvement over the content we see today!
    No offense to any other posters, but there is only one Riversong!

  5. homedesign | | #5

    the first installment has been posted
    Context – land, community & ecology

    here is the Link

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    Thanks for the link.

  7. user-757117 | | #7

    Yeah, the GBA was a lot more interesting when Robert was posting...
    Less so these days for sure.
    Funny that even though Robert was given "the boot" after much complaining by a few, I no longer see many posts from his loudest detractors on any subject...

    But John, you have always given me plenty of food for thought too...

    And Martin, your blogs continue to be very informative... A reason to "stay tuned"...

  8. bbSGYnAJUU | | #8

    Riversong was the Terrell Owens of Green Building, a tremendous talent who could give you flashes of his brilliance, but whose lack of respect for alternative points of view and his arrogance made him a 'cancer in the clubhouse.' I'm glad to hear he has a voice elsewhere. I read the article in the above link. It's a well written and thought provoking introduction, but more poetry than practicality. I'm a homeowner, not a philosopher, so I'm not sure his intro motivates me to read his 10 part series. But God help the person who tries to give him such constructive remarks, because he'll go "T.O." all over you.

  9. homedesign | | #9

    Mark Inman,
    I am glad that you are allowed to voice your opinion on this forum.
    You and Steve El and AJ are allowed to denigrate Robert Riversong and Compare him to a "Cancer", a poison,a Rush Limbaugh(ouch),a Mel Gibson, yada, yada.

    I don't agree with you...I don't like what you are saying.....but
    I don't think you should be CENSORED or banned from posting here.

    It has been well over 2 months now since Robert was sent to "time out"
    Will GBA allow him to return now if he chooses to do so?

  10. bbSGYnAJUU | | #10

    Thanks John. I won't itemize all the Limbaugh-like behaviors of Riversong. But the beauty of free speech is that both Robert and Rush can peddle their wares in many other forums, both literal and figurative, and find a wide and profitable audience as well. I just personally have no problem with the owner of this forum exercising his/her discretion as owner.

    Augusta National doesn't allow women members. I think that's a pretty uninclusive policy, one that many have defined as sexist, but I respect that they reserve the right as a privately funded organization to dictate the makeup of it's members.

    And John, I'd like Riversong back in this forum as well, if he will abide by the T's and C's that the owner has every right to require.

  11. jbmoyer | | #11

    Great, another poster we learn NOTHING from.


    You, AJ, Steve El should form your own "Augusta National" and please, take your complaining with you.

  12. PLnQUWAkNS | | #12

    I'm active on a forum for professional auto technicians and there are a few people who push the same buttons Riversong does. They can be a bit blunt and people find them confrontational. They end up in lots of arguments and lots of people complain about them. A couple have been kicked out for a few years before being allowed back in.

    The sad thing is they're the ones who really know what's going on and are really trying to help everyone else. They aren't trying to be confrontational or make people mad, it's just how they come across in this medium. I've met the "trouble makers" from that other forum in person and each one has been the opposite of how they come across online. You couldn't ask for nicer, more helpful, or intelligent (this is the big one) people. They're the heart of the network and when they aren't around it suffers greatly.

    I've never met Riversong in person and have never conversed with him online so I don't know what kind of person he really is. I greatly miss his contributions though. I've never been offended by anything he's said but have learned a lot. It's too bad people can't just ignore someone online that they don't like.


  13. dankolbert | | #13

    "These will challenge the reader"?

  14. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #14

    I know I often felt challenged reading what Riversong wrote. Not always in a bad way.

  15. bbSGYnAJUU | | #15

    Thanks Brett. I also won't itemize my contributions to this forum. You can do the research. I'm a consumer, a homeowner, and a energy efficiency enthusiast, in that order. The success of this site I would think would be judged not by how many think tanks discuss bleeding edge trends, but how many attitudes of builders, consumers, and homeowners are changed to give more thought to how to build green and renovate green. I know I've been a beneficiary, not by Riversong theory, but by the practical applications and Q & A's between homeowners and green building experts, including a when-respectful Riversong.

    But since my contribution has been called into question, I'll offer this nugget that most people know but maybe a reader or two here doesn't. has a place where you can look at historical weather data, including Cooling Degree Days. We got our electric bill the other day and it was 30% higher than last year in terms of kWh's consumed. But I went to wunderground and found that for the same March 24 - April 24 period last year, there were 105 cooling degree days. For the same period this year, there were 252 cooling degree days. So an increase of only 30% in cooling utilities for a more than doubling of cooling degree days shows that my ongoing improvements (the latest being conditioning the attic space where my air handler and 40% of ductwork resides) produce results. In 2009 for the same period after I had done some improvements but still not as many as by the same period in 2010, I had only a 10% increase in utilities for going from 61 to 105 CDD's. That's practical, rubber-meets-the-road results that I love to see, and I pass along to others as encouragement to continue working to improve the efficiency of your own homes. Even in dealing with CDD's, this process of tracking results is far from a perfect process. Which is why courteous forum exchanges are a terrific resource to learn from.

  16. Jesse Thompson | | #16

    If anyone really wants to talk to Robert, he hasn't vanished off the face of the earth just because he's not here at GBA. He's over posting on Transition Vermont at the moment:

    Robert has moved on and off of many forums over the years, at times storming out, at times being asked to leave, but always providing plenty of drama. It's quite a long list: Vermont Homesteaders, JLC Live, Orion Magazine, Building Biology Blog, 100k house, and probably many more to come.

  17. jbmoyer | | #17


    Thank you so much for the groundbreaking website link.

    I'll alert the media.

  18. bbSGYnAJUU | | #18

    Thanks Brett. That's a generous offer of help. Let me know if your advocacy for the end consumer takes too much time away from you making love to yourself.

  19. jbmoyer | | #19



    I wasn't trying to provide "a generous offer of help."

    I was just trying to point out that loud, obnoxious posters like yourself, who provide little if no contribution to the advancement of green building and building science, always seemed to get into arguments with Riversong. THEN would complain about it, which ultimately lead to his banning. So no thanks to you, AJ, Steve El, and others.

    Furthermore, you don't even know me! "... making love to myself?" As if you could even make a statement like that-- which, by the way, was FAR from clever or funny.

  20. homedesign | | #20

    It seems that Robert is not the only one who suffers from "Asperger Moments"

    Free Speech &
    Free Riversong

  21. bennywinks | | #21

    just catching up on my GBA....thanks for posting all the links guys!!...

    you just can't have enough of Riversong.... IMO

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