HGTV and Me

Posted by on May 31, 2017

The Home & Garden Television network show, “Flip or Flop,” is set in suburban Southern California, where the hosts buy and renovate gloomy midcentury homes.

I’ve got to tell you, these old SoCal homes look so familiar. One Whittier home in particular had this stone fireplace in the middle of the living room. Sure enough, my childhood home had the same fireplace. We also had the same sliding glass doors that opened to the backyard. And cottage cheese ceilings and deep shag carpeting.

The typical “Flip or Flop” renovation keeps the original foundation, then everything else is gutted. Walls come down. The kitchen space opens up. Bathrooms are made new. Asbestos is removed. Electrical and plumbing are upgraded to code.

While I’m watching the show, I hold back on criticizing these Orange County flippers for their questionable aesthetics or for failing to install photovoltaics or low-flow toilets. They don’t landscape with native vegetation. And they’re gentrifying neighborhoods. Of these environmental crimes, the hosts are 100% guilty.

But while watching, I am not their judge. Being a midcentury relic myself, I become absorbed in the transformation, seeing the old made new. On HGTV, the world is improved one home at a time.

Now to our global home and what’s happening at the White House . . . the New York Times reports that President Trump will remove the United States from the Paris climate accord.

It’s nuts.

Other global leaders, including China and India and Germany, are re-committing to the Paris agreement. In the U.S., Governor Brown and Mayors Garcetti and Garcia remain committed to its goals.

Returning to coal is like renovating a home by putting asbestos in the ceiling. It’s like re-plumbing with lead pipes.

I prefer the open concept — learning from the past, not trying to relive it.

Hey, HGTV watchers of the America — are you with me?

p.s. Please take this moment to sign-up for Climate Day LA! Attend the free conference featuring Tom Steyer, Mayors Garcetti and Garcia and many others. It will inspire you. I promise. Then stick around for the gala and benefit concert!

p.p.s. Another reason to attend — to personally thank local leaders for prioritizing climate action in Southern California!

p.p.p.s. As a sign of solidarity, may I ask you to financially support Climate Resolve at this time? You will be helping to fund our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare California for climate impacts!