GROUP PUSHES FOR STANDARDS IN BAY AREA
Faced with one of the
worst housing markets in decades, the Bay Area home-building industry -
long opposed to mandatory environmental standards - has decided to give
up and go green.
Faced with one of the worst housing markets in decades, the Bay Area home-building industry - long opposed to mandatory environmental standards - has decided to give up and go green.
Despite all the public attention focusing on the harmful emissions that come from the automotive sector, the dirty little secret is that buildings are actually the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that two-thirds of all carbon dioxide emissions come from stationary sources. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings account for 65 percent of electricity consumption, 36 percent of energy use and 30 percent of raw materials use.
Angela Greene has a tough job: she and her workcrew scale the rooftops of Richmond, California to run wires, lay racks, and bend metal piping. Yet in the end, when she unfurls a gleaming solar panel over her community, it feels easy to save the planet.
After being laid off from her former job at a printing business, Greene went through a vocational training program and then joined Solar Richmond, an organization that is bringing sustainable energy along with new jobs to the heavily black and Latino port city.
In an emotionally charged talk, Majora Carter explains her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx. This MacArthur-winning activist shows how minority neighborhoods have suffered most from flawed urban policy, and energetically shares her grassroots efforts to "green the ghetto." Her talk from the heart drew a spontaneous standing ovation at TED, and has proved equally moving online. As blogger Mike Maupuia records: "So I'm sitting at my desk at