The General Services Administration building in Portland is getting itself a — well, a — one of these. You know, one of those 200 foot-tall green shag carpet things that you put on one side of your building and grow plants on. Those things.
It's part of the stimulus bill; it, along with other renovations to the building, will cost $133 million. The idea is that the plants shade the building in summer but die back (dropping the world's largest pile of leaves on that nice plaza, or somehow simply defoliating through evaporation?) during winter, letting light in.
Just don't ask me to deadhead it, that's all I say.
John McCain isn't so happy about it. The New York Times reported that he and Senator Coburn included it in a list of the worst stimulus projects in the bill. So I had to go find the report. You can read it here (this project is #2); I love the way this–uh, whatever it is–is described in McCain's report: "For now, agency officials expect to construct a type of vegetative skin—made of plants—on the exterior of the building, to help with heating and cooling costs."
Vegetative skin. Well, yes, it does sound kind of repulsive when you put it that way. Like pond scum, only on purpose.
Green wall! That's the term I was looking for. It's a green wall. Of course it is.
So what do we think of Portland's green wall? Anyone?
Oh, and by the way–in other news of interest to GardenRant readers: McCain is also not fond of a study researching the malt liquor and marijuana consumption of Buffalo residents (#17— help us out here, Elizabeth), a study on how honeybees learn (#29); a study on the impact of climate change on wildflowers in Colorado (#35); a study of ant colonies in Arizona (#50); a "talking water garden" at a wastewater treatment plant in Oregon (#64), and a grant to protect Michigan State University's insect collection from the ravages of carpet beetles (#82).
Here's one item in the stimulus bill that McCain and I can agree on. We are apparently spending $221,355 of taxpayer dollars on a study that will tell us why young men don't like to wear condoms.
Oh, honey. I'll give you the answer to that one for half the price. Just call me up and I'll whisper it in your ear.