How the Western White House came to be so "green" may have more to do with the pragmatism of Laura Bush and her architect than any devotion to energy conservation. The First Lady worked with David Heymann--an architect who specializes in cultural and environmental relationships between buildings and landscapes--to design a ranch home that would blend into the landscape. The Crawford home uses efficient passive solar and geothermal energy and captures rainwater in a 25,000-gallon cistern for use in irrigation.
In a 2001 USA Today story about the ranch, Laura Bush downplayed the environmental benefits of the house’s design and attributes. "The features are environment-friendly, but the reason for them was practical--to save money and to save water, which is scarce in this dry, hot part of Texas," she said.
And, um, how does that differ from what environmentalists smart enough to do math have been saying for years? Intelligent design and alternative energy saves resources and money. Environmentalism IS pragmatic.
I guess the "environment-freindly" aspects of the Crawford Ranch design are a flaw, not a feature. I'm sure that if Lady Bush had her druthers, she'd rather have a way to save money while still polluting and contaminating that nasty old nature out there.
Take Home Message: when the Grand Old Corporate Lackey Party says that environmentally-sound design and alternative energy "costs too much", they don't mean that it will cost the consumer more -- they mean that it'll cost them too much in lost income. And that's what matters, right? If Big Money makes more Big Money, then we all prosper -- right?