28 August 2008

"First, find an ugly building..."

That would be the opening line if I were to write a book on “Going Green for God: A Guide To Saving Your Energy For Really Important Things.” The news just came out that the Vatican will be installing solar energy panels, making it the first State to meet European energy goals. I think that’s great. Of course, it’ll probably take about a hundred and fifty years to recoup the costs. Ok, I’m being sarcastic. I have no idea how long it will take to have enough energy savings to pay for them.

But the interesting thing is where they’re installing them. Not on St. Peter’s Basilica. Not on the Sistine Chapel. No, the only building found suitable is the Paul VI Hall. As the story says, it was chosen “because the structure of the building lends itself to panels and the construction will minimally change its look.” That’s a nice way of saying that the building already looks like a big solar panel, and it’s well nigh impossible to make it any less attractive. But come to think of it, the Holy See might be onto something. There have been a lot of really ugly churches built over this past generation. Maybe a few solar panels could spruce them up, and save some money at the same time.