Put green building in a larger frame of reference, please

There is a lot of discussion lately about second homes and how can they be "green" given their very nature as inherently excessive. I thought I'd add some rambling and incoherent thoughts to the issue. I am often struck by the futility of the notion that we can actually do something significant to slow and reverse global climate change. I sometimes feel that perhaps my efforts should be much better spent in an area where I could make a larger difference that green building. I heard an interview (no reference or url here because I don't remember) with someone saying we should be putting our money and effort into dealing with climate change rather than combating it directly because we are way behind in a war that we cannot hope to win. Anything our government mandates or our people, specifically the American and Chinese people, would be willing to do or sacrifice is going to be way too little and way too late. We should be gearing up the ability of the world to quickly mobilize massive humanitarian efforts when large scale famine sets in - as would seem to be happening now. We should be looking at the ramifications of losing our oceans as a food source. What does it mean to return to a local economy - where would my underwear come from? Water allocation is a huge issue that will cost billions of people their lives not just their livelihoods in the coming decades. The spread of a disease that could wipe out half the world's population is a looming threat that scientists involved with such things refer to as a "when" not an "if". If you think the war in Iraq is costing a lot, just wait... We are soon going to be forced to make much larger changes than building green houses and getting rid of the SUV. So I look at the debate about second homes as being rather piddly and myopic. Phew, got that of my chest but now I don't feel better.