Las Vegas Mall Touts “Imported Water” in Pond

by Ozzie Zehner

Ozzie Zehner Blog Water Imported Las Vegas Shopping Mall Green Illusions

This photograph by Gwen Sharp, a professor of sociology at Nevada State College, shows how much this shopping center in Las Vegas cares about the water shortage at Lake Mead. It also renders how far our illusions have brought us. If we are capable of being fooled by this sign, then we can truly be hoodwinked by any green illusion.

Here’s what Dr. Sharp had to say:

It has several elements of classic greenwashing. The organization “cares about the environment and the community” — a vague, general claim that commits them to nothing specific. And their supposedly eco-friendly behavior is dubious and hard to evaluate…

The imported water comes from somewhere — an aquifer? another water shed? thousands of bottles of Perrier? — and it seems it would require energy to get it from there to here. The focus on not using a local water source sidesteps the larger question of whether it is environmentally responsible to build ponds and fountains (and grass-based lawns, for that matter) in the desert, regardless of where the water originates.

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