This is part one of two, summarizing the Final Day of Greenbuild 2012.
California Governor Jerry Brown kicked off the Greenbuild 2012 closing plenary. His speech was emphatic and impassioned. He stated that ecology is about deep principles, the structure of reality itself. Economics exist within ecology, not the other way around, and that people are missing the point if they think economics will trump ecology. Ecology cannot be mocked; we cannot thumb our nose at the climate, chemistry, or the natural systems that we are a part of. We cannot do what pleases us to make money in the short term. We need to react or we will have irreversible consequences in terms of climate change. The Governor talked at length about the role California has played in pioneering clean technology, and green building and energy standards, and despite having earned the nickname “Governor Moonbeam” he assured the audience that common sense cannot be mocked, and that the people who doubted him are no longer around.
As Governor Brown looked toward the future, he urged that we need to end up with net-zero energy buildings, energy surplus buildings. We need investors, business people, and legislatures who get it. Time is not on our side, the quality of our life will degrade, and we need to invest in our infrastructure. We need a system that is balanced, and the response has to be worldwide. His goal is to position California, and the US, as world leaders in green technology.
USGBC’s VP of Research, Chris Pyke, was on stage next to introduce the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) <http://www.gbig.org/> , a new initiative that aggregates a massive amount of green building data. Pyke explained that we are on the cusp of a new era, “where evidence and information become the rocket fuel for our green movement.” Presumably this new website will provide some of that fuel. The platform functions as a search engine, allowing users to search by activities, buildings, locations, strategies, and “collections” of portfolios by groups and projects.