Jargon Watch: Greenbashing


From an Andy Singer cartoon; see it all here at NPR

Everyone is familiar with the term greenwashing (the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly) now, and TreeHugger has been using the term greenwrapping (the practice of sticking solar panels and wind turbines on noxious uses) for a while; Now Shari Shapiro of Green Building Law introduces a new term to the green lexicon: Greenbashing. She offers some hilarious examples:

1. Green roofs may spontaneously combust. This was used in Toronto to fight green roof legislation, where roofing contractors tried to convince people that a poorly maintained green roof might catch fire.

2. A national energy efficiency code will catastrophically increase housing prices.
This is in reaction to the proposed rules in the Waxman-Markey legislation. The National Association of Homebuilders trotted out the expected response, that the "working class" will not be able to afford to drive out to the new suburban houses and wil be relegated to older, less efficient housing stock and face ever higher utility bills.

3. A National Energy Efficiency building code will require huge new federal bureaucracy.The International Council of Shopping Centers, like the NAHB, has time on their hands these days, and both organizations are going to fight to be able to build as cheap and as fast as they can when they get to play again.

Greenbashing is a useful term; one sees it in the fight over automotive efficiency, urban planning, transit vs cars, even incandescent vs CFLs. A great contribution to the language from Shari at Green Building Law

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