ICPC Opinion March 18, 2004, p. 7A

"'Rain Forest' Still Just a Building"
Brad Mowrey
Iowa City

I appreciate most of S. Richard Fedrizzi's sentiments expressed in his March 13 column ("Rain Forest Can Improve World"), but I don't understand how building a "rain forest" in an area that is already so beautiful in its natural, non-rain forest state, to the tune of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, furthers any goal of sustainability.

I also must respectfully disagree with the statement that sustainability does not occur naturally. That whopper leads me to question Fedrizzi's creditility on other matters.

That this boondoggle has been so ridiculed, and rightfully so in my opinion, means Fedrizzi and other supporters had better come up with some real concrete reasons why this huge building (and it is after all a building, not a "rain forest") furthers the quite laudable goals that are presented in the column.

Green building practices should receive government assistance, in forms of research and subsidies for purchasers. Phony rain forests that receive $50 million in 2004 alone are not the way to further the cause and are a ripoff of the taxpayers.