Some wag dubbed the Prius the "Pious," for the smug self-righteousness of its greener-than-thou owners. CNBC ran a segment this morning highlighting an even pricier form of conspicuous green consumption: the installation of geothermal wells in Manhattan as an alternative form of HVAC.
Narrating a segment that would have had Veblen nodding in approval, CNBC's Bertha Coombs observed "for many, it represents bragging rights in the pursuit of green luxury." That segued to a clip of New York magazine's Jesse Oxfeld explicitly making the conspicuous consumption point.
View video here.
JESSE OXFELD: It's really making a statement of "it's important to me to be green, and look how much money I can afford to spend to show off how green I am."
Manhattan apparently has more than three-dozen geo-thermal wells, at such locations as the trendy Diane von Furstenberg studios. Coombs reported that one such installation cost $150,000 more than a conventional HVAC system. But hey, well worth it to flaunt one's commitment to save the earth. Maybe Al Gore will drop by to . . . chill out.