Pop the top

Gonna need this.

Gonna need this.

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

Uncle Jerry is back. Dearest Auntie Ruth remains ensconced deep in some far-off Baja California hideaway for yet another week, sans electricity, running water—and I bet she’s burned through her goji berry stash. This makes her grouchy. I can tell, via a cryptic text message last week: “Bro read th column … u can do bttr?

And while a lesser man might resent his tequila-sipping, beachcombing sis for such tart encouragement, I do not.

Because who has time for petty family drama when, as reported by Melinda Tuhus in In These Times, it turns out that LEED-certified green buildings aren’t as eco-friendly as thought. Tuhus cites a recent Environmental and Human Health, Inc. report: “LEED certification offers a total of 110 points in seven categories, and that it’s possible [for a building] to get the top rating—Platinum—while scoring zero points (out of 15) in ‘indoor environmental quality.’”

In other words, it’s feasible that you right now could be working in one of the world’s most energy-efficient and green workplaces—yet the air inside might be killing you.

Stay calm. Take a deep breath (or maybe not). Let’s impart frustrations toward a familiar scapegoat, BP, who by the time you’re reading this will hopefully have topped off the well that caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history for good.

It’ll be nice to finish that BP book, yet the battle over offshore drilling continues. And now, politicians have a new mantra: “Let the voters decide”—a familiar song this past decade.

You know the drill: Legislate by ballot, where invariably Big Oil will hurl millions upon millions at statewide measures to allow unchecked offshore drilling once again.

Not that Congress is doing anything to prevent new wells. Sure, the House of Representatives passed a bill last week to improve offshore-drilling safety. But an amendment in said bill, by Louisiana Democrat Charlie Melancon, no less, lifted the moratorium on offshore drilling. So now, the Department of the Interior can again greenlight permits on a rig-by-rig basis.

Cap one well just to pop the top on another? Hey, Ruthie, glad to have you back next week. This is all too much for me—and my ulcer.