Some big players turned out for the Bank of America tower ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010. Al Gore was there. His investment management company is a tenant of the 55-story building advertised as the most sustainable building in the country. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was there too. Along with developer Douglas Durst, whose company got almost $950,000 in incentives from a state agency for the structure’s innovative, energy saving design. The B.O.A. tower received a platinum LEED rating – the highest score for building energy and efficiency.
New York-based journalist Sam Roudman found data published last fall by the city showing that the B.O.A. tower uses more energy and produces more greenhouse gases than some of the city’s historic buildings. The discrepancy between green ideals and reality raises new questions for more than fifty-thousand LEED certified buildings in the U.S.. Sam’s article “Bank of America’s Toxic Tower” is in the New Republic.
Methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon – and scientists have discovered there is a potentially disastrous amount of methane trapped under relatively thin ice in the east Siberian arctic shelf. New research measures the global impact the gas could have on global warming… and it’s not very optimistic. Fred Pearce is environmental consultant for New Scientist.
Republican are working at finding common language on a bill that would weaken or repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. They will have to agree on a version that will get enough votes to overcome a governor’s veto.