France mandates new commercial buildings have green roofs, solar panels

Click to enlarge

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, according to a law just approved…

Green roofs help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favoring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle…

The law was also made less onerous for businesses by requiring only part of the roof to be covered with plants, and giving them the choice of installing solar panels to generate electricity instead.

Green roofs are popular in Germany and Australia, and Canada’s city of Toronto adopted a by-law in 2009 mandating them in industrial and residential buildings.

I’m not confident our current Congress would mandate a roof that was up to standard building codes.

As it is, they can’t wait for a chance to eliminate tax breaks for installing energy-saving or carbon-reducing systems like solar panels.

Dumb crook of the day

Police photo in the State Patrol parking lot — click for video

A man faces auto theft charges after he drove a stolen car right to the Washington State Patrol district office parking lot in Bellevue…

An alert driver recognized the stolen vehicle from a post on a european motorist club Facebook post and spotted it in the Issaquah area, troopers said. The witness captured video of Micah Hatcher, 36, behind the wheel of the car and used his cell phone to report it, troopers said. The witness followed the car along Interstate 90 between Issaquah and Bellevue. Hatcher got off the freeway and drove the stolen car into the WSP district office parking lot, where he was arrested by troopers….

Detectives said it was the easiest auto theft arrest they’d ever had.

Hatcher had been arrested several days prior on outstanding warrants and drug charges, troopers said. He was contacting troopers to try to retrieve some belongings that were taken during his initial arrest, they added. Hatcher was arrested – again – and booked into the King County Jail.

I’ve added the video taken by the witness who spotted Hatcher and the stolen car.

Army investigating ‘racial Thursday’

The U.S. Army is investigating claims Fort Wainwright soldiers have free reign to use racial slurs every Thursday as a way to encourage camaraderie.

Dubbed “racial Thursday,” soldiers in the 2nd Platoon, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment say they are allowed to use racial slurs and make racist comments with impunity, the Army Times reported. Two anonymous soldiers told the Army Times the event is a tradition and, although officially forbidden, it is ongoing.

U.S. Army Alaska spokesman Lt. Col. Alan Brown confirmed an investigation was launched into the allegation.

The unit under investigation is part of a company embroiled in the controversial 2011 suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen, who was subjected to racially motivated hazing before he died.

Eight soldiers were court-martialed in that case.

I can hear the discussion in the bar where losers get together on payday and swap war stories. “This is supposed to be a free country. Whatever happened to Free Speech? That’s what we fought for.”

It ain’t good enough to fight for Free Speech if you don’t fight for standards, as well. The Free Speech part protects the rights of bigots and fools as well as everyone else. Standards demonstrates to everyone around you what kind of a person you are.

Hopefully, not a bigot or a fool.

There’s a detailed report over at the Army TIMES.