When Starbucks built a drive-through out of shipping containers covered with cute green graphics I complained " This building is just another cog in sprawl-automobile-energy industrial complex that we have to change if we are going to survive and prosper." Every commenter but one called me an idiot and the consensus was that everything we write "seems more and more like whining. If absolute perfection is your goal, absolutely nothing will ever be good enough."
OK, fine. You're right, I'm a whiner and nothing is ever good enough. It's not good enough to cover a prefab modular unit with local recycled snow-fencing and as Mark Wilson says on Fast Company, have it "exude craftsmanship" and get LEED Certification and call it green, because it's really just a greenwrapped trailer.
It's not good enough to give LEED certification to laughably inappropriate and ungreen uses, like parking garages and drive throughs, because everybody including every designer at Starbucks and every customer using this place knows that the amount of energy saved by recycling that snow fencing is equivalent to about one tankful of gas in the next Escalade that stops there.
Then I almost spit up my real international fair trade coffee when I read Mark Wilson's conclusion:
Consider the small, modular locations. Consider the LEED certification. Consider the power savings of a drive-up business that doesn’t need to feed electricity to laptops all day.
Really? This is a vision of a green future, save power by getting rid those space-sucking people with their power-sucking laptops and just have everyone drive everywhere? And they call me crazy?
Starbucks is going to build drive-throughs as long as people drive cars, that is a given. But just cover it in vinyl siding and let's stop the pretence that it can actually be green.
UPDATE: Sarah Laskow says much the same thing in Grist, writing Look at this f*cking hipster Starbucks All the commenters complain about her too. Let's have coffee some time, Sarah.