One sign that the world is coming to the end is that I actually enjoyed a presentation at a local government meeting. The culprit was Buncombe County General Services Director Greg Israel. The key to his success was a sense of humor, and a subtle acceptance that most things in life are boring and most small-scale statistics may be absorbed within a reasonable margin of error. Highlights from the presentation included a sensible and apolitical definition of sustainability as “the capacity or ability to endure.” He removed the phrase “carbon footprint” from the title of his report, giving it the definition, “an imaginary number that everyone chases and nobody catches.” Continuing the silliness, one of his PowerPoint slides was captioned, “How Do we Compare per Square.” It listed BTU’s consumed per square foot by the average government building at the national and state level, and he added the consumption rate for the Empire State Building “as trivia.”