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美国红色保守阵营的绿色环保领袖

Shelley Dubois 2011年08月03日

本文介绍的几位环保主义者或许并未四处宣扬他们的环保理念,但是,在传统的保守派各州,他们却为环保事业的务实发展铺平了道路。

向南方传达绿色福音

位置:阿拉巴马弗尔霍普

    总部位于阿拉巴马的Watershed公司致力于“为美国的南方腹地提供环保咨询和教育服务”。丽贝卡•邓恩•布莱恩特原来是一位建筑师,现任该公司顾问。她说,如果我们摒弃那些令人费解的专业术语,改用通俗的方式来表达的话,绿色政治和美国南部核心价值观的契合就不会显得那么奇怪了。

    布莱恩特是土生土长的伯明翰人。她原本以为,要从事绿色建筑行业,只有离开家乡。她的首个LEED认证建筑项目是一神教堂(Unitarian church),位于休斯顿。该建筑带有一个复杂的标语,“作为自然的一部分,我们倡导尊重天地万物相互依存的关系。”

    先不说那些专业术语,这一相互依存的观点已经深深触动了她在美国南部的老家。布莱恩特说:“我父母经常与邻居分享美食,并用便条表达对彼此的谢意——他们之间的感情深厚,也深深眷恋着这片土地,只是他们从来没有这样说过。”

    布莱恩特说,她把绿色建筑实践称为土地守护神的一部分——在很大程度上,这是南方人的价值观。

    “在如今的美国,出现了大量的现代化生态建筑。但是在阿拉巴马,这些建筑与许多人的生活脱节。但是,如果是在门廊上进行革新,或者是采用智能的方式为房屋遮阳,一定能吸引偏好传统建筑的人,从而实现新技术并将其与传统建筑的融合。”

    此外,布莱恩特强调阿拉巴马的建筑企业可以使用本地的原材料,如南方的黄木。

    她认为,从根本上来说,可持续性问题与政治无关。她说:“实现可持续性的方法多种多样,你可以是个猎人,或者是个喜欢林中漫步、阅读诗歌的人。”或两者都是。

Bringing Green gospel to the South

Location: Fairhope, Ala.

    When you strip away the jargon, green politics and core Southern values do not make as strange a marriage as you'd think, says Rebecca Dunn Bryant, an architect-turned-consultant at Alabama-based Watershed, a company that specializes in "Green Consulting & Education for the Deep South."

    Bryant, who is a Birmingham native, says she originally thought she would have to leave home to find work in the sustainable building industry. Her first mainstream LEED-certified building project was in Houston, a Unitarian church, which carried the clunky tagline, "We promote respect for the interdependent web of existence for which we are all a part."

    The jargon aside, the interconnected idea hits home in the South. "My parents have this web of covered dishes and thank you notes -- all of these social ties and ties to the land run really deep, but they would never have called them that." Bryant says.

    Bryant says she sells green building practices as being part of being a steward to the land, which is, in many ways, a Southern value.

    "You see a lot of really great modern eco-buildings being showcased, but in Alabama, many people can't relate to it. But if it's about porches and a smart way to shade a house, that takes traditional architecture and merges it with new technology."

    Bryant also emphasizes that builders in Alabama can use local materials, such as southern yellow pine.

    Sustainability, at its core, is an apolitical issue, she says. "There are lots of different ways to get there, whether you're a hunter or somebody who likes to take a stroll through the woods and read poetry." Or both.

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