Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Certifications and Participatory democracy

One of the issues in both conventional democracy and participatory democracy is the role of certifications. Do certifications really mean what we would like and expect them to mean?

One of these is the LEED certification for buildings (Leadership in Energy and enverinmental design). Yet many are not energy efficient in fact--noone checks. That is changing--with audits of bills after the building opens for operation. Half of the buildings do not quality for an energy star level and fifteen percent are in the bottom thirty percent of buildings in the United States for energy efficency per square unit.

Should sortition juries evaluating a business for a badness-based tax look beyond a certification and how do we encourage them to do so?

Note that energy efficiency per square unit is not the best measure. Does a well insulated/etc. McMansion apply that only has two people in it? Should businesses be obligated not only to efficiencly cool and heat the square feet they have but to use the square feet wisely. This includes not having excessive conference rooms, atriums, etc. and moving that which is not immediately needed to unheated storage locations.

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