Roger L. Simon

Lifestyles of the Rich and Environmental (continued)

The recent report of a model environmental home in Los Angeles sponsored by Wired Magazine and LivingHome contains this kicker:

But while the home is green, the price tag is hardly lean – the Wired LivingHome comes in at a bank-busting $4.3 million, a not-so-subtle reminder that conservation wrapped in luxury is not without its price.

Indeed it is… but your average new five-bedroom, four bath, architect-designed home in that part of LA is no cheap commodity green or not. But it raises the question again of whether the whole environmental craze is hypocritical, a ruse to get rich people to feel good about themselves. [Is that the John Edwards house?-ed. No, not nearly as large. It’s his California vacation home then? There’s a thought.]

What’s interesting is that Wired and LivingHome are focusing on the mega-rich first. For the “new age progressive,” class consciousness has flipped on its head, fancy environmental homes turned into status symbol.