THE BLOG

Watch Out Katie Couric, It's Becoming A Weatherize or Beware World

02/17/2009 02:25 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The stimulus bill recently passed includes $5 billion for weatherization of "modest-income" homes; this is the same weatherization that Katie Couric described as embarrassing when questioning President Obama about it on national television last week.

For Couric, the topic was likely little more than a talking point - she lumped weatherization in with other pork that the bill became laden with. However, if weatherization really is considered embarrassing, the world has a giant public relations campaign ahead of it.

In Europe weatherization and energy efficiency measures are expected to play a role in each country's efforts to meet EU Directives and decrease carbon dioxide emissions. In Sweden, in fact, the head of the country's Society for Nature Conservation suggests a system similar to the quota certificates that have prodded the nation's utilities to buy green electricity would be useful in getting them to embrace energy effectiveness.

In Britain, environmentalists such as Gwyneth Paltrow, London mayor Boris Johnson, and other climate change pundits are all being outed for allowing excessive heat loss in their properties - a direct result of not weatherizing enough. Do we need weatherization police?

As Steve Howard of the Climate Group said in the Sunday Times article on the outing, "Even a poorly paid MP can afford cavity wall insulation - it will pay for itself in three years. It's a no-brainer."

It's a no-brainer, perhaps, but it's also deadly boring. Thus far, at least, there's been no pizazz in caulking, insulating, and investing in low CO2 heating.

It doesn't have to be like that, however. Weatherization "barn raising" has become a monthly feature in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and different community teams are also competing to see which can make the biggest energy win.

Weatherization barn-raising is a great way to fortify community and save residents cash. Perhaps Obama should have one at the White House along with the WH Victory Garden? In any case, bring on the weatherization police...as long as they bring covered dishes to share.