April Fools

Green Globes’ Yudelson to Continue Labors at Mt. Olympus

Having failed at his recent task of making Green Globes a credible standard, Yudelson still has twelve to complete.

April 1, 2015

The cow-eyed goddess Hera (l) and Jerry Yudelson (r)

The goddess Hera announced today that green building writer and consultant Jerry Yudelson will be returning to Mount Olympus to “have another go” at completing the first of twelve tasks she has set for him in penance for alleged slights against the Greek pantheon.

Yudelson first drew the gods’ wrath with his book Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis, in which he failed to adulate Poseidon, Master of the Seas. He was later heard comparing LEED and its rules unfavorably to “fatwas” and “holy writ” in interviews with the media (see LEED Fellow Yudelson to Lead Rival Green Globes).

“I felt left out,” the cow-eyed goddess admitted. “No one creates absurd hurdles better than the Greeks.”

In an exclusive interview with BuildingGreen, Hera’s brother and husband, Zeus, said the gods were aiming to prove exactly that by assigning twelve labors to Yudelson. Zeus was chagrined, he said, when the very first task backfired. “Clearly we need to start smaller and work our way up. Trying to make Green Globes actually green is no job for mere mortals” (see Yudelson Steps Down from Green Globes).

Yudelson denies divine claims that he failed at his first labor, but he said he’s still looking forward to “making task number two the best it can be.”

Hera’s plans for Yudelson are not yet “carved in stone,” she says. But “I have a few juicy ones in my back pocket.” Presumably alluding to the wretched state of U.S. infrastructure (see Failing Water Infrastructure Drains Economy, Report Warns), Hera said she “may or may not be working on a plan for Jerry to rebuild a whooooooole bunch of bridges.”

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April 8, 2015 - 9:02 pm

 Yep, certainly humorous.  However, Yudelson's additional criticisms comparing LEED to the Jewish Talmud, (As you know, the Talmud is a separate set of commentary on the Torah, and exceeds the Torah's bulk by several times) as there is so much extra commentary, LEED interpretations, and other minutia that modifies the actual standards.  USGBC's application of their own rules is inconsistent, arbitrary and one would have to be a learned "Jewish Scholar" with a long beard to understand the entire "LEED Talmud".  My own beard is grey and a good inch long, I've been studying the "LEED Talmud" for a good ten years, but I am surprised by it constantly.   So don't be too hard on Yudelson.  He serves an important function, an insider who can step outside and show us the emporer's clothes every once in a while.   

April 9, 2015 - 9:07 am

Lawrence, thanks for your feedback! We are definitely taking it to heart.

We spent a considerable amount of time discussing and rewriting this so it would come off appropriately as lampooning Green Globes itself more than Jerry Yudelson—the overall joke being that trying to green Green Globes is a herculean effort, and this article was taking that idea literally for humorous purposes.

We've all torn our hair out at how ridiculously legalistic LEED can be! Maybe next year we can turn our satirical attention to that as well. :-)

September 11, 2015 - 9:15 am

I was lsearching for something else on the Building Green website and stumbled across this piece.   The piece above by Ms. Ump is truly disappointing and indicates a lack of filtering on the part of the Buiding Green organization.  I am disappointed, yet again, that Building Green cannot stick to facts and refrain from making global, general statements that are either flat wrong or speculative.  Jerry Yudelson did give the Green Building Initiative (GBI) a shot in the arm and, in part, as a result of his efforts, the Green Globes rating system is gaining credibility and strength. Jerry's misson was not to make Green Globes a credible standard as the misleading headline states.  He is a great leader and I admire him for his intelligence, leadership, and vision.  And even the newest Green Associate can tell you that neither LEED nor Green Globes are standards. They are rating systems. Period. Voluntary. So this piece was far off base on both of these points.

Humor is two-edged sword and this particular weak attempt fails because it attempts to vilify, yet again, both the GBI and Green Globes.  As I noted in an earlier post on this website, the USGBC and the GBI are both trying to do the right thing in their efforts and I once again suggest that a constructive and cooperative approach be the standard instead of the repeated efforts at winning.  Articles such as this are counter-productive, misleading, and unfair.  I suggest you review your procedures and return to the once high standard of independent journalism that made you the leader in green building journalism when you initiated this journal back in the early 1990s.  I liked very much relying on news and information from a source I could count on, one with impeachable credibility.  Including LEED as part of your business plan, as an example, with LEED User, damages your credibility and calls into question your abilities as independent observers, analysts, and reporters.  Perhaps a disclaimer with each piece you generate would be helpful.

As for my disclaimer, I am a member of the Board of GBI.  I have also been vice-chair of the USGBC Curriculum and Education Committee.  I have a long history with both organizations. Most recently I am vice-chair of the ANSI/GB01 Consensus Body that is rewriting the 2010 version of the standard and chair of the Materials Committee of this group.


Charles Kibert, Professor, University of Florida and Board Member of the Green Building Initiative

September 11, 2015 - 9:53 am

Thanks, Charles! I always appreciate your candid feedback.

If you were looking for the article about the new GBI-01 draft, you'll find it soon—hopefully this afternoon.