Yesterday, I read a letter from the head of the green building trade organization -- the U.S. Green Building Council. He makes the case that we should not be deterred from our green mission. Is this letter disingenuous? If members back out of attending this function the organization likely will experience some financial stress. 20,000 attendees will pump at least $20 million into the Boston economy and the organization's coffers -- less expenses of course. Is a group like this part of the problem or part of the solution? I believe it is the former. Indeed, this is a group that is solidly part of the elite that Chris Hedges and John Ralston Saul refer to in this article.
What this type of conference does is effectively shift resources from the local economy to the regional/national economy. It is interesting that the same names appear on many of these conference schedules. Paul Hawken and Janice Benyrus to name two.
The organizational skills are certainly impressive and it is noteworthy that the trade show resembles in some respects a little village. With all the resources expended at the conference and getting to the conference, we could build a real village.