Sunday, May 06, 2007

Replacing the Bible with "An Inconvenient Truth"

By Ray Perdue

"The Green Revolution" seems to be in full swing around the United States. Many hotels and other businesses are jumping onboard the environmentalist bandwagon in an attempt to gain green certification from the US Green Building Council, and to gain some extra customers in the process.

The US Green Building Council has currently certified 800 buildings across the United States as being environmentally friendly. There are 6,000 others in the process of getting certification as well. The US Green Building Council developed a rating system some seven years ago, entitled the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. Buildings that receive the LEED rating are certified based upon their use of environmentally friendly features. Using recycled construction materials, solar lighting, and energy and water efficient systems help guarantee that coveted certification.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has decreed that any new buildings constructed by the state of California must be designed for LEED approval. Many in the California state government are striving to have "green" construction guidelines made standard for all buildings in the state.

The Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in Napa Valley, and the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco are attempting to become the first hotels in California to achieve the status of being certifiably "green". Both hotels have replaced their old "modern" amenities with waterless toilets, and solar lighting, and use only recycled paper.

Perhaps the most interesting thing that the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa has done is to replace the Bible with former Vice-President Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth. Most Americans have become used to the Gideon Bibles placed in bureau drawers in hotels and motels over the years. However, many will be surprised to find Gore’s book about global warming instead.

The National Ledger expressed their surprise at the removal of the Bible by saying, "If you want to read a bit before going to bed and get a little inspiration, instead of scripture you get to read some alarmist propaganda from a man that worships the earth while traveling around it in a private jet."

Stefan Muehle, general manager of the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco, said that the "green" measures have reduced his energy expenses by 25%. "We’re trying to dispel the myth that being green and being luxurious are mutually exclusive."


"California Hotels Go Green with Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights", by Ari Levy and Carole Zimmer, April 27, 2007, Bloomberg News.

"Al Gore as Jesus Christ: Hotel Bibles Removed for ‘Inconvenient Truth’, by Jackson Simpson, May 2, 2007, The National Ledger.



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