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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why Building Green is Important

The Guardian Newspaper has posted a list of 100 places to see before they disappear.

The Guardian’s list spans from major cities to outlands all over the world.  Chicago can be beautiful in the right setting.  The Cedars of Lebanon are just beautiful.  The dunes of Namibia are a bit spooky.  You name it; this world is really pretty cool.

But, all this beauty hinges on our relationship with the planet.

A great example presented on the Guardian’s collection of 16 sites is Timbuktu, Mali.  We all know of Timbuktu, but most of us couldn’t find Mali on a map.  Timbuktu was once a great trading center on the edge of the Sahara until the desert closed in on it.  The city is, very unfortunately, in the international news lately.

Al-Qaeda linked insurgents have destroyed several centuries old burial sites and libraries on the UNESCO world heritage list.  Perhaps worst of all, they destroyed what the people of Timbuktu call the “end of the world gate. . . . In legend, it is said that the main gate of Sidi Yahya mosque will not be openeduntil the last day (of the world).”  The insurgents claim that the sites are idolatrous and un-islamic.  It’s hard to really care what the insurgents think when they destroy whole cultures.

Whatever the cause of the destruction of beauty we can stop it.  Must the Maldives Islands sink below the rising sea?  No.  Must the Temples of Angkor Wat succumb to pollution? No.  But, it’s up to us to come together and prevent our own destruction.

The Green Building movement is crucial to protecting the world’s heritage.  Just remember that any time we build green we’re protecting the whole of society.