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Green Doesn’t Stop in a Recession

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In the midst of US preparation for the upcoming Copenhagen Treaty on climate change you’d think that we were all laser-focused on trying to combat global warming for once and for all. Uhh, no.

Despite the fact that the lower fossil fuel demand is a boon for reducing emissions it seems that at lower levels of government, reducing our carbon footprint is thrown out with the bathwater when it comes to paying our lowly state and city bills.

I live in Los Angeles. As I drove to drop off my son at school, I heard two news stories. First, the national story – a stirring presentation at the Senate by Al Gore urging Senate support for the Copenhagen treaty. The second was a local story about how money was so tight that the City of LA would no longer offer free meter parking downtown for Hybrids. The amount of money they’ll save will be negligible, but the message is clear. The City of LA doesn’t care if you buy hybrids anymore.

Now, I’m not a big fan of Hybrids for various reasons which I won’t bore you with here, but in a small way they are still at least a symbolic net benefit to the environment – a statement that industry and citizens are at least trying to do “something”. LA’s decision, for so little gain, says essentially that short-term gain trumps long term environmental concerns.

It won’t be the first time in American history that utterly myopic short-termism has dictated policymaking and sadly it won’t be the last, but there’s one thing governments at every level know; global warming doesn’t stop just because the economy does.

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Written by coolrebel

January 29, 2009 at 12:24 am

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