1962 was a pivotal year in the history of environmental
politics. That year, biologist Rachel Carson's landmark work
Silent Spring—which highlighted the alleged evils of
chemical pesticides—was published to widespread acclaim. The
narrative proved so influential that Carson is frequently credited
with spawning the modern environmental movement and spurring the
U.S. government to sign dozens of environmental policies into law
during the 1970s.
With the benefit of the passage of time, 2007 also may be
perceived as a watershed year. Notably, former Vice President Al
Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the
Nobel Peace Prize, and Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" was
named Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The film,
based on the book of the same name penned by Gore, continues along
a well-trodden path of environmental narrative.
With a bit of luck, 2007 also will be noted for developments
that occurred below the public radar and the year a tipping point
was reached. During 2007, a critical momentum of concerted action
had been reached by representatives from government, industry and
academia. And it punctuated the palpable transformation that has
occurred in the construction industry during the past few years.
The vocabulary has changed; the market has evolved; and materials
have diversified and grown in technological sophistication.
The transformation's rapidity is staggering and demands a
coherent response. Consumers expect sustainability to be fully
integrated into their environments. Two questions arise. First, is
the green building movement irreversible? And second, if so, the
question for the roofing industry and all construction sectors is:
How do we manage the transformation successfully and prosper
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