As the election winds down for those of us who write about it (or not), attention will inevitably turn to something else. Buried beneath several election-related stories, the Sun gets the ball rolling with a question for readers:
The new, 56,000-square-foot Glenwood Community Center uses some of the latest in "green" building technology and design, including geothermal energy for heating and cooling and large windows to provide natural light. It is the first county-owned building to meet national standards for energy savings - and it cost $13.8 million. How much of a priority should the county be putting on environmentally friendly design and technology in its buildings and infrastructure - and how much of a premium should it be willing to pay?The question is fine, but the framing is just horrible. It is very misleading to include the seemingly-high cost of the green building ($13.8 million) without even mentioning how much the actual premium was or that green features help reduce the long-term operating costs. Indeed, the future savings often outweigh the upfront premium (even accounting for the time value of money), meaning we would have actually paid a premium to be not-green.