A 21st-century oxymoron?
July 30, 2007
(Christopher Hume, The Star)
In another first for our great neighbours to the south, America's first "sustainable solar-powered parking structure" opened recently in Santa Monica.
The $29 million (U.S.) building, which stands six storeys tall, is as unlikely a piece of construction as you're ever going to see in that country or this. As the delightfully acerbic critic and author James Howard Kunstler points out on his website, where the garage is featured as July's Eyesore of the Month, it is "a contradiction in terms."
As he also points out, "Apparently, nobody informed these idiots that happy motoring is not a sustainable activity."
He's right, of course. Not to say that a sustainable parking garage isn't good. Obviously, it is. But there's a larger issue here, namely whether the advent of the solar-panelled structure doesn't miss the point.
Perhaps it's a case of wanting to have our cars and drive them, too. Despite the indisputable truth of global warming, we are reluctant to alter our lifestyle. That means we still love large houses in sprawled-out suburbs and two or three cars in every garage. (Read on in the comments)