03/28/2014

Editor's Letter

Can We Please Call a Spade a Spade?

By

 

Chris Olson
Chief Content Director

In his 1910 book entitled How to Speak and Write Correctly, author Joseph Devlin took to task communicators who put on airs, feign learning, and avoid plain words: “. . . you may not want to call a spade a spade. You may prefer to call it a spatulous device for abrading the surface of the soil. Better, however, to stick to the old familiar name that your grandfather called it.”

It certainly is not Devlin’s grandfather’s world anymore.

We all know how power, politics and lobbyists work, but at moments when the curtain lifts and we see the spin wizards in plain view, it is unsettling, particularly when it involves important issues that need serious thought and debate from all sides. So I was uneasy when I encountered in our industry’s space the website of a group calling itself the Environmental Policy Alliance or EPA. Sounds like the Environmental Protection Agency, doesn’t it? Just a coincidence?

It certainly is not.

At the website you can read the mission statement: “The Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA) is devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups and exploring the intersection between activists and government agencies.” Fair enough. But what is the funding and agenda behind the Environmental Policy Alliance? The top of the website’s home page explains that the Alliance is “a project of the Center for Organizational Research & Education.” But what is this formidable-sounding Center? I find no links or description at the Alliance website. However, the street address and office suite number at the top of the home page are those of an infamous Washington, D.C., gun-for-hire PR firm, Berman and Company.

Rick Berman, founder of the firm, was profiled in a segment of the TV program 60 Minutes (which is posted at YouTube under “Rick Berman on 60 Minutes”) where he describes his tactics for what I call misinformation campaigns. “Shooting the messenger means getting people to understand that this messenger is not as credible as their name would suggest,” Berman boasts.

So what messages appear under the credible-sounding name of the Center for Organizational Research & Education? Among them: an “EPA Facts” tab that seems designed to create confusion about the federal agency’s name and the gun-for-hire’s name; a “LEED Exposed” tab that makes much of poorly performing LEED buildings but ignores the difference between certification for new construction and O&M; and a “Big Green Radicals” tab that denounces environmental groups as “a multimillion-dollar lobbying machine,” a statement that reminds me of a certain conversation between a kettle and a pot.

Let’s agree to call a spade a spade, and a sham a sham.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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