Green is Ghastly
The WSJ describes the wars between the environmentalists and the aesthetes. One example from the debate: "The worst things you can do to a historic building, besides arson, is take out historic windows." Al Gore's solar panels get mentioned too.
In Arizona, a man was recently ordered by his homeowners' association to take down a solar water-heating device from his roof or face a daily fine. In upstate New York, neighbors fought the installation of a wind turbine tower on a resident's 11-acre property, delaying the project by nearly a year. Even former vice president and outspoken environmental advocate Al Gore had trouble getting solar panels and a geothermal unit approved for his Nashville home. A local zoning board initially wouldn't consider the application for the solar panels. It then took an appeal, several redesigns and a property inspection before they were approved eight months later. (The community recently revised its ordinance to allow the devices.)
One objection to the environmentalist's idea that we can go back to living in a simpler age is that such Green essentials as solar panels, wind-turbines and recumbent bicycles did not exist in the simpler age they want to return to. Environmentalism is really all about the future. Except that it is someone's particular idea of the future. And it is attained by applying modern notions like carbon profiling to people who have never heard of such a thing before, together with whatever new technology it takes to make them live according to this Green vision. No one really wants to return to the past, especially those who claim to long for it. In real, as opposed to imagined history, people kept pigs under their homes, ate meat, burned coal and hunted whales for lighting fuel with sharp metal harpoons. They road horses, scraped up manure, threw effluent out of windows and gave their nation's enemies the "what-for". An environmentalist really wouldn't want to meet a man from the past. He might vote Republican.
Today, after taking into account aesthetic restrictions to preserve property values, safety and environmental codes, the modern homeowner is often unable to get a permit to build an outhouse, should he be so foolish as to actually want to live in a more primitive way. Update: Tigerhawk knows about those kinds of restrictions.