A Declaration of Independence from Foam Plastic Insulation
There is a revolution going on in green building, being fought in the States and in Congress, as the green building industry tries to minimize the use of plastics made from toxic materials, fossil fuels and flame retardants, and the giant chemical industry and its plastic empire loyalists fight to defend their plastic turf. In honor of the day, Ken Levenson rewrites the Declaration of Independence with 14 oppressions, reprinted here with permission:
When in the course of constructing and renovating buildings, it becomes necessary for architects, consultants and builders to stop using materials and methods which have defined high-performance building in our time, and determine to set a new course separate and free from foam plastic insulation and the chemical companies that push it, the consideration of others requires that they declare the causes for this separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that building and renovating should be done with certain unalienable duties: that among these are to promote the health and well being of building occupants, while protecting our natural resources and biosphere, providing happiness today and for the generations to come. That to secure these duties, choices are made by practitioners, deriving their powers from the best current science available. That when any form of corporate domination becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of practitioners to alter their choices and institute new methods, laying a new foundation on such principles and organizing its means, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence dictates that means and methods long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that we are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right them. But when a long train of abuses, pursuing invariably the same Objective evinces a design to hold building industry practitioners captive to their absolute deceptions, it is the practitioners right, it is their duty, to throw off such materials, means and methods, and provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of practitioners, building occupants and our biosphere. The history of the present foam plastic insulation industry, is a history of repeated injuries and deceptions, all having in direct object the establishment of tyranny over the building industry. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Read the oppressions and conclusion here.