Davis Takes Aim at “Low-Hanging Fruit”

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According to last night’s Davis Enterprise:

“The city of Davis is working on a comprehensive plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, operating under the theory that changes at every level of government will make a difference.”

Claire St. John, who covers the city council for Enterprise writes:

“In the meantime, the City Council is approving small, easy steps to show its commitment to the cause.”

What new measures is the city taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

“On Tuesday, the council will consider programs to lend commuter bikes to city employees, replace aging city fleet vehicles with hybrid models and fund staff training, keeping the city up to date on emerging trends and technology about climate change and sustainability.

If the council approves, staff members also will begin exploring ways to encourage contractors to use alternative fuels.

Easy measures — such as providing recycling bins for employees, conducting an energy audit offered by PG&E and purchasing recycled paper — also are on the agenda.”

The staff report admits that these “are not likely to result in major GHG [that’s greenhouse gas for the layman] emission reductions,” however more importantly, “they do show the city’s commitment to addressing climate change.”

St. John continues:

“City staff calls the measures being implemented “low-hanging fruit.” But they will set the stage for a larger effort, staff members say.”

What are these larger efforts:

“A greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which will identify major emissions sources in Davis, is under way. Expected to be completed in January, it will be used to target and address the city’s emissions.

In mid-October, the council approved the formation of a Climate Action Team [CAT] and a Technical Advisory Committee [TAC] and recruitment is under way. The council also approved an ordinance that restricts city sales or purchases of disposable bottles of water, with the intention of relying on tap water and reusable water containers.

Earlier, the city approved a construction and demolition recycling ordinance that requires a 50 percent diversion rate for all projects.

City representatives say they hope that once the Climate Action Team and Technical Advisory Committee are formed early next year, more extensive reduction measures will be studied and implemented.”

After the CAT discovers that combustion engines are the largest source of GHG emissions and that disposable bottles sold at city events are not, we will be all set to make major changes on the climate front.

On the other hand, did I recently mention what Berkeley is doing?

Berkeley’s city council voted for the city to finance the cost of solar panels for property owners who agree to repayment over a 20 year period.

Berkeley is taking tough and innovative new steps at climate change while Davis is aiming for symbolic low hanging fruit.

Why has it taken until 2007 for the city of Davis to use recycled paper, have recycling bins, and look at trends on climate change and sustainability? Rather than leading the way, Davis is simply following trends set by more innovative and climate conscious municipalities.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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44 thoughts on “Davis Takes Aim at “Low-Hanging Fruit””

  1. Mike

    I think that the city needs to seriously consider distributing 50,000 vinyl “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers for all the cars being used to commute to Sacramento and the Bay area!

    I agree that Berkeley has the high ground here and Davis is wallowing…

  2. Mike

    I think that the city needs to seriously consider distributing 50,000 vinyl “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers for all the cars being used to commute to Sacramento and the Bay area!

    I agree that Berkeley has the high ground here and Davis is wallowing…

  3. Mike

    I think that the city needs to seriously consider distributing 50,000 vinyl “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers for all the cars being used to commute to Sacramento and the Bay area!

    I agree that Berkeley has the high ground here and Davis is wallowing…

  4. Mike

    I think that the city needs to seriously consider distributing 50,000 vinyl “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers for all the cars being used to commute to Sacramento and the Bay area!

    I agree that Berkeley has the high ground here and Davis is wallowing…

  5. Anonymous

    Instead of using short-term thinking in “papering over” the problem symbolically, the City of Davis should be organizing a massive tree-planting program organized along the lines established by
    The Woodland Tree Foundation
    http://groups.dcn.org/wtf

    Among the many benefits of the vital urban forest listed at the WTF website is the fact that the saplings planted today will when they become mature trees pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    The vast swaths of greenbelts and Community Park would be excellent places in which to begin seeding Davis’s Urban Forest.
    I know its a stretch to imagine selfish bureaucrats “lengthening” their thinking to include our descendants, but the land is there, as well as many willing volunteers. I mean if Woodland can get this kind of project up and running…

  6. Anonymous

    Instead of using short-term thinking in “papering over” the problem symbolically, the City of Davis should be organizing a massive tree-planting program organized along the lines established by
    The Woodland Tree Foundation
    http://groups.dcn.org/wtf

    Among the many benefits of the vital urban forest listed at the WTF website is the fact that the saplings planted today will when they become mature trees pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    The vast swaths of greenbelts and Community Park would be excellent places in which to begin seeding Davis’s Urban Forest.
    I know its a stretch to imagine selfish bureaucrats “lengthening” their thinking to include our descendants, but the land is there, as well as many willing volunteers. I mean if Woodland can get this kind of project up and running…

  7. Anonymous

    Instead of using short-term thinking in “papering over” the problem symbolically, the City of Davis should be organizing a massive tree-planting program organized along the lines established by
    The Woodland Tree Foundation
    http://groups.dcn.org/wtf

    Among the many benefits of the vital urban forest listed at the WTF website is the fact that the saplings planted today will when they become mature trees pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    The vast swaths of greenbelts and Community Park would be excellent places in which to begin seeding Davis’s Urban Forest.
    I know its a stretch to imagine selfish bureaucrats “lengthening” their thinking to include our descendants, but the land is there, as well as many willing volunteers. I mean if Woodland can get this kind of project up and running…

  8. Anonymous

    Instead of using short-term thinking in “papering over” the problem symbolically, the City of Davis should be organizing a massive tree-planting program organized along the lines established by
    The Woodland Tree Foundation
    http://groups.dcn.org/wtf

    Among the many benefits of the vital urban forest listed at the WTF website is the fact that the saplings planted today will when they become mature trees pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    The vast swaths of greenbelts and Community Park would be excellent places in which to begin seeding Davis’s Urban Forest.
    I know its a stretch to imagine selfish bureaucrats “lengthening” their thinking to include our descendants, but the land is there, as well as many willing volunteers. I mean if Woodland can get this kind of project up and running…

  9. Ben

    Yeah, and let’s take a look at a more comprehensive CITY-WIDE GREENWASTE PROGRAM.

    SF carts their green-waste all the way up to Dixon. How much easier would it be for Davis to cart organic waste a couple of miles down the 80?

    Incidentally, container-izing (a greenwaste would also get it out of piles obstructing bike-lanes…

  10. Ben

    Yeah, and let’s take a look at a more comprehensive CITY-WIDE GREENWASTE PROGRAM.

    SF carts their green-waste all the way up to Dixon. How much easier would it be for Davis to cart organic waste a couple of miles down the 80?

    Incidentally, container-izing (a greenwaste would also get it out of piles obstructing bike-lanes…

  11. Ben

    Yeah, and let’s take a look at a more comprehensive CITY-WIDE GREENWASTE PROGRAM.

    SF carts their green-waste all the way up to Dixon. How much easier would it be for Davis to cart organic waste a couple of miles down the 80?

    Incidentally, container-izing (a greenwaste would also get it out of piles obstructing bike-lanes…

  12. Ben

    Yeah, and let’s take a look at a more comprehensive CITY-WIDE GREENWASTE PROGRAM.

    SF carts their green-waste all the way up to Dixon. How much easier would it be for Davis to cart organic waste a couple of miles down the 80?

    Incidentally, container-izing (a greenwaste would also get it out of piles obstructing bike-lanes…

  13. Frustrated at the Stupidity of Govt

    I’m all for lowering pollution whenever possible from a practical standpoint. I like the suggestion of planting more trees. Great idea, and boy are they needed in our parking lots in the summer heat!

    However, “global warming” didn’t seem so important until Al Gore suddenly decided it was to his political advantage (or a benefit to his buddies who are running for office). Yet old Al refuses to answer criticisms about his use of gas guzzling cars/private jets, and fuel-hogging mansions. Apparently there is one set of rules for the wealthy, and another set of rules for the rest of us.

    Too much politicization of this issue is occurring instead of bringing common sense to the subject. I can remember gas lines as far back as 1976. Yet where are our state and federal gov’ts in coming up with a COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY – that forces the issue on a uniform basis that is fiscally responsible?

    Remember the days when Los Angeles was supposed to have 10% of its cars electric – but the feds backed off when their arms got twisted by lobbyists and special interest groups?

    Frankly, I don’t want to see the Davis City Council try and grapple with what should be a federal and state mandate, the city using huge amounts of local funding and time to “appear green” because it is PC at the moment.

    I watched disgusted as five council members waded into territory they knew nothing about, telling developers how to build an eco-friendly house. It was embarassing to see the whole silly thing unfold. Five political nitwits trying to act like they knew what the heck they were doing, as if they were construction engineers, when clearly they did not have a clue. As one developer not so politely pointed out, you can only put so much insulation between wallboard and the outside frame of the house. Solar panels must be aligned properly towards the sun.

    It should be fun to see a development created with all its roofs pointed in the same direction – won’t that look asthetically pleasing!!! Not to mention there are going to be so many potential buyers who want to purchase homes whose roofs look yucky, and are $20,000 more expensive than other homes in the area – to cover the substantial extra cost of the solar panels.

    Wait until the water and sewer rate increases hit – and folks on fixed incomes or families on low incomes have to sell out and move from Davis because they cannot afford to live here anymore. Have you noticed your city services bill lately? It is all fine and dandy to want clean water, but there are times when it becomes an issue of diminishing returns.

    For instance, when the discussion of water conservation came up in the distant past, it was learned 95% of the water usage is for irrigation purposes. In a purely practical sense, how much difference can residents make to put a dent in water conservation if residential consumption is only 5% of the total used. Have you seen the uncovered irrigation ditches when it is high noon and over a hundred degrees outside? Yet not one council member or county supervisor said one word to farmers about their responisibility to conserve. Now how much sense does that make!?!

    The City of Davis can certainly plant trees; the use of solar panels is a more questionable proposition for a lot of practical reasons; and the city uses electric cars for its fleet of city cars and vans. But think. Davis tried solar panels in central park not that long ago, and it was an unmitigated $100,000 fiasco! They never worked, and it appears as if the city never bothered to get its money back for the defective product it had ordered.

    To me, the whole business of water bottles not being sold by the city is just plain silly. Forcing staff to think up ways to address global warming issues is just a collosal waste of time and resources. Whereas simple things such as planting trees, encouraging businesses who are eco – friendly to come to town (like Target) makes perfect sense.

    Having staff spend inordinate amounts of time and money to come up with “low hanging fruit” ideas is just beyond stupid. It wastes taxpayer dollars to no good purpose. Think about it. Can you believe I was told by a City Council member the reason for the roundabouts around town was to reduce the “carbon imprint” in Davis. Did this nincompoop ever stop to think that it takes a good deal of energy to create the roundabout in the first place? Was it really worth it – does it truly pencil out overall? I very much doubt it.

    Use common sense. For instance, all those new plastic bins ordered for the city – how much energy was wasted in making those big containers? Was it truly energy efficient to make the change so the trashman does not have to get out of his truck to empty the contents of each trash bin? And how much more energy is it taking to operate the arm lift on the truck that lifts the trash can instead of good old fashioned elbow grease?

    YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. Planting trees makes sense. Solar panels are highly questionable, look like crud, and require homeowners to get up on their roofs to clean them at considerable risk to themselves. Solar panels take quite a bit of energy to make, install, and maintain. Does it pencil out as saving energy in the long run?

    The better approach is to push for a comprehensive energy policy at the federal and state level – that makes it fiscally cheaper if the local gov’ts “go green”. Small cities and towns can only do so much – but the whole mess has become much too politicized, and is not being analyzed in an honest way. I will bet you my bottom dollar the roundabouts were a collosal waste of money and energy when all is said and done.

  14. Frustrated at the Stupidity of

    I’m all for lowering pollution whenever possible from a practical standpoint. I like the suggestion of planting more trees. Great idea, and boy are they needed in our parking lots in the summer heat!

    However, “global warming” didn’t seem so important until Al Gore suddenly decided it was to his political advantage (or a benefit to his buddies who are running for office). Yet old Al refuses to answer criticisms about his use of gas guzzling cars/private jets, and fuel-hogging mansions. Apparently there is one set of rules for the wealthy, and another set of rules for the rest of us.

    Too much politicization of this issue is occurring instead of bringing common sense to the subject. I can remember gas lines as far back as 1976. Yet where are our state and federal gov’ts in coming up with a COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY – that forces the issue on a uniform basis that is fiscally responsible?

    Remember the days when Los Angeles was supposed to have 10% of its cars electric – but the feds backed off when their arms got twisted by lobbyists and special interest groups?

    Frankly, I don’t want to see the Davis City Council try and grapple with what should be a federal and state mandate, the city using huge amounts of local funding and time to “appear green” because it is PC at the moment.

    I watched disgusted as five council members waded into territory they knew nothing about, telling developers how to build an eco-friendly house. It was embarassing to see the whole silly thing unfold. Five political nitwits trying to act like they knew what the heck they were doing, as if they were construction engineers, when clearly they did not have a clue. As one developer not so politely pointed out, you can only put so much insulation between wallboard and the outside frame of the house. Solar panels must be aligned properly towards the sun.

    It should be fun to see a development created with all its roofs pointed in the same direction – won’t that look asthetically pleasing!!! Not to mention there are going to be so many potential buyers who want to purchase homes whose roofs look yucky, and are $20,000 more expensive than other homes in the area – to cover the substantial extra cost of the solar panels.

    Wait until the water and sewer rate increases hit – and folks on fixed incomes or families on low incomes have to sell out and move from Davis because they cannot afford to live here anymore. Have you noticed your city services bill lately? It is all fine and dandy to want clean water, but there are times when it becomes an issue of diminishing returns.

    For instance, when the discussion of water conservation came up in the distant past, it was learned 95% of the water usage is for irrigation purposes. In a purely practical sense, how much difference can residents make to put a dent in water conservation if residential consumption is only 5% of the total used. Have you seen the uncovered irrigation ditches when it is high noon and over a hundred degrees outside? Yet not one council member or county supervisor said one word to farmers about their responisibility to conserve. Now how much sense does that make!?!

    The City of Davis can certainly plant trees; the use of solar panels is a more questionable proposition for a lot of practical reasons; and the city uses electric cars for its fleet of city cars and vans. But think. Davis tried solar panels in central park not that long ago, and it was an unmitigated $100,000 fiasco! They never worked, and it appears as if the city never bothered to get its money back for the defective product it had ordered.

    To me, the whole business of water bottles not being sold by the city is just plain silly. Forcing staff to think up ways to address global warming issues is just a collosal waste of time and resources. Whereas simple things such as planting trees, encouraging businesses who are eco – friendly to come to town (like Target) makes perfect sense.

    Having staff spend inordinate amounts of time and money to come up with “low hanging fruit” ideas is just beyond stupid. It wastes taxpayer dollars to no good purpose. Think about it. Can you believe I was told by a City Council member the reason for the roundabouts around town was to reduce the “carbon imprint” in Davis. Did this nincompoop ever stop to think that it takes a good deal of energy to create the roundabout in the first place? Was it really worth it – does it truly pencil out overall? I very much doubt it.

    Use common sense. For instance, all those new plastic bins ordered for the city – how much energy was wasted in making those big containers? Was it truly energy efficient to make the change so the trashman does not have to get out of his truck to empty the contents of each trash bin? And how much more energy is it taking to operate the arm lift on the truck that lifts the trash can instead of good old fashioned elbow grease?

    YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. Planting trees makes sense. Solar panels are highly questionable, look like crud, and require homeowners to get up on their roofs to clean them at considerable risk to themselves. Solar panels take quite a bit of energy to make, install, and maintain. Does it pencil out as saving energy in the long run?

    The better approach is to push for a comprehensive energy policy at the federal and state level – that makes it fiscally cheaper if the local gov’ts “go green”. Small cities and towns can only do so much – but the whole mess has become much too politicized, and is not being analyzed in an honest way. I will bet you my bottom dollar the roundabouts were a collosal waste of money and energy when all is said and done.

  15. Frustrated at the Stupidity of

    I’m all for lowering pollution whenever possible from a practical standpoint. I like the suggestion of planting more trees. Great idea, and boy are they needed in our parking lots in the summer heat!

    However, “global warming” didn’t seem so important until Al Gore suddenly decided it was to his political advantage (or a benefit to his buddies who are running for office). Yet old Al refuses to answer criticisms about his use of gas guzzling cars/private jets, and fuel-hogging mansions. Apparently there is one set of rules for the wealthy, and another set of rules for the rest of us.

    Too much politicization of this issue is occurring instead of bringing common sense to the subject. I can remember gas lines as far back as 1976. Yet where are our state and federal gov’ts in coming up with a COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY – that forces the issue on a uniform basis that is fiscally responsible?

    Remember the days when Los Angeles was supposed to have 10% of its cars electric – but the feds backed off when their arms got twisted by lobbyists and special interest groups?

    Frankly, I don’t want to see the Davis City Council try and grapple with what should be a federal and state mandate, the city using huge amounts of local funding and time to “appear green” because it is PC at the moment.

    I watched disgusted as five council members waded into territory they knew nothing about, telling developers how to build an eco-friendly house. It was embarassing to see the whole silly thing unfold. Five political nitwits trying to act like they knew what the heck they were doing, as if they were construction engineers, when clearly they did not have a clue. As one developer not so politely pointed out, you can only put so much insulation between wallboard and the outside frame of the house. Solar panels must be aligned properly towards the sun.

    It should be fun to see a development created with all its roofs pointed in the same direction – won’t that look asthetically pleasing!!! Not to mention there are going to be so many potential buyers who want to purchase homes whose roofs look yucky, and are $20,000 more expensive than other homes in the area – to cover the substantial extra cost of the solar panels.

    Wait until the water and sewer rate increases hit – and folks on fixed incomes or families on low incomes have to sell out and move from Davis because they cannot afford to live here anymore. Have you noticed your city services bill lately? It is all fine and dandy to want clean water, but there are times when it becomes an issue of diminishing returns.

    For instance, when the discussion of water conservation came up in the distant past, it was learned 95% of the water usage is for irrigation purposes. In a purely practical sense, how much difference can residents make to put a dent in water conservation if residential consumption is only 5% of the total used. Have you seen the uncovered irrigation ditches when it is high noon and over a hundred degrees outside? Yet not one council member or county supervisor said one word to farmers about their responisibility to conserve. Now how much sense does that make!?!

    The City of Davis can certainly plant trees; the use of solar panels is a more questionable proposition for a lot of practical reasons; and the city uses electric cars for its fleet of city cars and vans. But think. Davis tried solar panels in central park not that long ago, and it was an unmitigated $100,000 fiasco! They never worked, and it appears as if the city never bothered to get its money back for the defective product it had ordered.

    To me, the whole business of water bottles not being sold by the city is just plain silly. Forcing staff to think up ways to address global warming issues is just a collosal waste of time and resources. Whereas simple things such as planting trees, encouraging businesses who are eco – friendly to come to town (like Target) makes perfect sense.

    Having staff spend inordinate amounts of time and money to come up with “low hanging fruit” ideas is just beyond stupid. It wastes taxpayer dollars to no good purpose. Think about it. Can you believe I was told by a City Council member the reason for the roundabouts around town was to reduce the “carbon imprint” in Davis. Did this nincompoop ever stop to think that it takes a good deal of energy to create the roundabout in the first place? Was it really worth it – does it truly pencil out overall? I very much doubt it.

    Use common sense. For instance, all those new plastic bins ordered for the city – how much energy was wasted in making those big containers? Was it truly energy efficient to make the change so the trashman does not have to get out of his truck to empty the contents of each trash bin? And how much more energy is it taking to operate the arm lift on the truck that lifts the trash can instead of good old fashioned elbow grease?

    YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. Planting trees makes sense. Solar panels are highly questionable, look like crud, and require homeowners to get up on their roofs to clean them at considerable risk to themselves. Solar panels take quite a bit of energy to make, install, and maintain. Does it pencil out as saving energy in the long run?

    The better approach is to push for a comprehensive energy policy at the federal and state level – that makes it fiscally cheaper if the local gov’ts “go green”. Small cities and towns can only do so much – but the whole mess has become much too politicized, and is not being analyzed in an honest way. I will bet you my bottom dollar the roundabouts were a collosal waste of money and energy when all is said and done.

  16. Frustrated at the Stupidity of

    I’m all for lowering pollution whenever possible from a practical standpoint. I like the suggestion of planting more trees. Great idea, and boy are they needed in our parking lots in the summer heat!

    However, “global warming” didn’t seem so important until Al Gore suddenly decided it was to his political advantage (or a benefit to his buddies who are running for office). Yet old Al refuses to answer criticisms about his use of gas guzzling cars/private jets, and fuel-hogging mansions. Apparently there is one set of rules for the wealthy, and another set of rules for the rest of us.

    Too much politicization of this issue is occurring instead of bringing common sense to the subject. I can remember gas lines as far back as 1976. Yet where are our state and federal gov’ts in coming up with a COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY – that forces the issue on a uniform basis that is fiscally responsible?

    Remember the days when Los Angeles was supposed to have 10% of its cars electric – but the feds backed off when their arms got twisted by lobbyists and special interest groups?

    Frankly, I don’t want to see the Davis City Council try and grapple with what should be a federal and state mandate, the city using huge amounts of local funding and time to “appear green” because it is PC at the moment.

    I watched disgusted as five council members waded into territory they knew nothing about, telling developers how to build an eco-friendly house. It was embarassing to see the whole silly thing unfold. Five political nitwits trying to act like they knew what the heck they were doing, as if they were construction engineers, when clearly they did not have a clue. As one developer not so politely pointed out, you can only put so much insulation between wallboard and the outside frame of the house. Solar panels must be aligned properly towards the sun.

    It should be fun to see a development created with all its roofs pointed in the same direction – won’t that look asthetically pleasing!!! Not to mention there are going to be so many potential buyers who want to purchase homes whose roofs look yucky, and are $20,000 more expensive than other homes in the area – to cover the substantial extra cost of the solar panels.

    Wait until the water and sewer rate increases hit – and folks on fixed incomes or families on low incomes have to sell out and move from Davis because they cannot afford to live here anymore. Have you noticed your city services bill lately? It is all fine and dandy to want clean water, but there are times when it becomes an issue of diminishing returns.

    For instance, when the discussion of water conservation came up in the distant past, it was learned 95% of the water usage is for irrigation purposes. In a purely practical sense, how much difference can residents make to put a dent in water conservation if residential consumption is only 5% of the total used. Have you seen the uncovered irrigation ditches when it is high noon and over a hundred degrees outside? Yet not one council member or county supervisor said one word to farmers about their responisibility to conserve. Now how much sense does that make!?!

    The City of Davis can certainly plant trees; the use of solar panels is a more questionable proposition for a lot of practical reasons; and the city uses electric cars for its fleet of city cars and vans. But think. Davis tried solar panels in central park not that long ago, and it was an unmitigated $100,000 fiasco! They never worked, and it appears as if the city never bothered to get its money back for the defective product it had ordered.

    To me, the whole business of water bottles not being sold by the city is just plain silly. Forcing staff to think up ways to address global warming issues is just a collosal waste of time and resources. Whereas simple things such as planting trees, encouraging businesses who are eco – friendly to come to town (like Target) makes perfect sense.

    Having staff spend inordinate amounts of time and money to come up with “low hanging fruit” ideas is just beyond stupid. It wastes taxpayer dollars to no good purpose. Think about it. Can you believe I was told by a City Council member the reason for the roundabouts around town was to reduce the “carbon imprint” in Davis. Did this nincompoop ever stop to think that it takes a good deal of energy to create the roundabout in the first place? Was it really worth it – does it truly pencil out overall? I very much doubt it.

    Use common sense. For instance, all those new plastic bins ordered for the city – how much energy was wasted in making those big containers? Was it truly energy efficient to make the change so the trashman does not have to get out of his truck to empty the contents of each trash bin? And how much more energy is it taking to operate the arm lift on the truck that lifts the trash can instead of good old fashioned elbow grease?

    YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. Planting trees makes sense. Solar panels are highly questionable, look like crud, and require homeowners to get up on their roofs to clean them at considerable risk to themselves. Solar panels take quite a bit of energy to make, install, and maintain. Does it pencil out as saving energy in the long run?

    The better approach is to push for a comprehensive energy policy at the federal and state level – that makes it fiscally cheaper if the local gov’ts “go green”. Small cities and towns can only do so much – but the whole mess has become much too politicized, and is not being analyzed in an honest way. I will bet you my bottom dollar the roundabouts were a collosal waste of money and energy when all is said and done.

  17. Richard

    . . . but the whole mess has been much too politicalized . . .

    right, and who is responsible for that? hint: it’s not Al Gore

    try looking in the direction of oil companies and other producers of hydrocarbons that have spent the last 20 years trying to debunk the notion of global warming

    –Richard Estes

    P.S. out of the necessity of providing full disclosure, I’m no Al Gore groupie, after all Gore was known as a voice within the Clinton White House in opposition to the Kyoto treaty

  18. Richard

    . . . but the whole mess has been much too politicalized . . .

    right, and who is responsible for that? hint: it’s not Al Gore

    try looking in the direction of oil companies and other producers of hydrocarbons that have spent the last 20 years trying to debunk the notion of global warming

    –Richard Estes

    P.S. out of the necessity of providing full disclosure, I’m no Al Gore groupie, after all Gore was known as a voice within the Clinton White House in opposition to the Kyoto treaty

  19. Richard

    . . . but the whole mess has been much too politicalized . . .

    right, and who is responsible for that? hint: it’s not Al Gore

    try looking in the direction of oil companies and other producers of hydrocarbons that have spent the last 20 years trying to debunk the notion of global warming

    –Richard Estes

    P.S. out of the necessity of providing full disclosure, I’m no Al Gore groupie, after all Gore was known as a voice within the Clinton White House in opposition to the Kyoto treaty

  20. Richard

    . . . but the whole mess has been much too politicalized . . .

    right, and who is responsible for that? hint: it’s not Al Gore

    try looking in the direction of oil companies and other producers of hydrocarbons that have spent the last 20 years trying to debunk the notion of global warming

    –Richard Estes

    P.S. out of the necessity of providing full disclosure, I’m no Al Gore groupie, after all Gore was known as a voice within the Clinton White House in opposition to the Kyoto treaty

  21. Anonymous

    Al Gore was against the Kyoto Protocol? What the hell are you talking about? That could be the dumbest thing I’ve read in years. Al Gore and Stuart Eizenstat practically wrote the Kyoto Protocol. Besides that, the Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol. So if Gore was fighting against it, then why did Clinton sign the treaty? Brother, I’d like to see one serious source which backs up your strange story that Al Gore was opposed to Kyoto. Maybe the Looney Tune Times published that. Or maybe The Onion. But to suggest that Al Gore was secretly fighting against Kyoto is just flat out wrong.

  22. Anonymous

    Al Gore was against the Kyoto Protocol? What the hell are you talking about? That could be the dumbest thing I’ve read in years. Al Gore and Stuart Eizenstat practically wrote the Kyoto Protocol. Besides that, the Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol. So if Gore was fighting against it, then why did Clinton sign the treaty? Brother, I’d like to see one serious source which backs up your strange story that Al Gore was opposed to Kyoto. Maybe the Looney Tune Times published that. Or maybe The Onion. But to suggest that Al Gore was secretly fighting against Kyoto is just flat out wrong.

  23. Anonymous

    Al Gore was against the Kyoto Protocol? What the hell are you talking about? That could be the dumbest thing I’ve read in years. Al Gore and Stuart Eizenstat practically wrote the Kyoto Protocol. Besides that, the Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol. So if Gore was fighting against it, then why did Clinton sign the treaty? Brother, I’d like to see one serious source which backs up your strange story that Al Gore was opposed to Kyoto. Maybe the Looney Tune Times published that. Or maybe The Onion. But to suggest that Al Gore was secretly fighting against Kyoto is just flat out wrong.

  24. Anonymous

    Al Gore was against the Kyoto Protocol? What the hell are you talking about? That could be the dumbest thing I’ve read in years. Al Gore and Stuart Eizenstat practically wrote the Kyoto Protocol. Besides that, the Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol. So if Gore was fighting against it, then why did Clinton sign the treaty? Brother, I’d like to see one serious source which backs up your strange story that Al Gore was opposed to Kyoto. Maybe the Looney Tune Times published that. Or maybe The Onion. But to suggest that Al Gore was secretly fighting against Kyoto is just flat out wrong.

  25. Richard

    No, Gore wasn’t secretly doing anything. He was clear from the beginning that he was just signing the protocol for public relations purposes, with no intention of getting it approved by the Senate so that the US could actually begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    From wikipedia:

    On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[65] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.

    Clearly, as we have seen, such public relations have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.

    Gore was sufficiently concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment in 2000 that he supported the efforts of Occidental Petroleum to explore within the confines of indigenous lands within Colombia, against the adamant opposition of the people who lived there.

    –Richard Estes

  26. Richard

    No, Gore wasn’t secretly doing anything. He was clear from the beginning that he was just signing the protocol for public relations purposes, with no intention of getting it approved by the Senate so that the US could actually begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    From wikipedia:

    On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[65] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.

    Clearly, as we have seen, such public relations have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.

    Gore was sufficiently concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment in 2000 that he supported the efforts of Occidental Petroleum to explore within the confines of indigenous lands within Colombia, against the adamant opposition of the people who lived there.

    –Richard Estes

  27. Richard

    No, Gore wasn’t secretly doing anything. He was clear from the beginning that he was just signing the protocol for public relations purposes, with no intention of getting it approved by the Senate so that the US could actually begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    From wikipedia:

    On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[65] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.

    Clearly, as we have seen, such public relations have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.

    Gore was sufficiently concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment in 2000 that he supported the efforts of Occidental Petroleum to explore within the confines of indigenous lands within Colombia, against the adamant opposition of the people who lived there.

    –Richard Estes

  28. Richard

    No, Gore wasn’t secretly doing anything. He was clear from the beginning that he was just signing the protocol for public relations purposes, with no intention of getting it approved by the Senate so that the US could actually begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    From wikipedia:

    On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[65] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

    So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.

    Clearly, as we have seen, such public relations have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.

    Gore was sufficiently concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment in 2000 that he supported the efforts of Occidental Petroleum to explore within the confines of indigenous lands within Colombia, against the adamant opposition of the people who lived there.

    –Richard Estes

  29. Anonymous

    “So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.”

    This is balderdash, sir. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Gore strongly favored the adoption of the protocols. The problem was that the US Senate had no interest in ratifying the treaty, which President Clinton signed. A few months before the final negotiations on Kyoto, Senator Byrd of West Virginia engineered a 95-0 vote against what Mr. Gore had pushed for in Kyoto, on the grounds that Kyoto did not apply to China or India.

    So when Gore said that the treaty would not be sent to the US Senate until bilateral agreements had been made on carbon emissions with those countries, he said that in light of the political reality that the treaty could not be ratified. To suggest that it was VP Gore who didn’t want the Senate to ratify Kyoto until this happened is some kind of screwed up Orwellian logic.

    “The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.”

    Again, this is a complete misstatement of the facts. When Al Gore (and Stu Eizenstat) negotiated the treaty, they tried to make it apply to all countries, not just the developed ones. But those negotiations failed. Despite that, Vice President Gore was the strongest advocate for Kyoto. But he could not do anything about our intransigent Senate, which was in the grips of big coal and big oil.

    It was the argument of the opponents of Kyoto, not Gore, who said that the treaty would harm our economy and do the world no good if it did not apply equally to China and India. Gore was simply trying to promote the treaty and improve upon it, rather than send it to the Senate where it would have been rejected.

  30. Anonymous

    “So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.”

    This is balderdash, sir. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Gore strongly favored the adoption of the protocols. The problem was that the US Senate had no interest in ratifying the treaty, which President Clinton signed. A few months before the final negotiations on Kyoto, Senator Byrd of West Virginia engineered a 95-0 vote against what Mr. Gore had pushed for in Kyoto, on the grounds that Kyoto did not apply to China or India.

    So when Gore said that the treaty would not be sent to the US Senate until bilateral agreements had been made on carbon emissions with those countries, he said that in light of the political reality that the treaty could not be ratified. To suggest that it was VP Gore who didn’t want the Senate to ratify Kyoto until this happened is some kind of screwed up Orwellian logic.

    “The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.”

    Again, this is a complete misstatement of the facts. When Al Gore (and Stu Eizenstat) negotiated the treaty, they tried to make it apply to all countries, not just the developed ones. But those negotiations failed. Despite that, Vice President Gore was the strongest advocate for Kyoto. But he could not do anything about our intransigent Senate, which was in the grips of big coal and big oil.

    It was the argument of the opponents of Kyoto, not Gore, who said that the treaty would harm our economy and do the world no good if it did not apply equally to China and India. Gore was simply trying to promote the treaty and improve upon it, rather than send it to the Senate where it would have been rejected.

  31. Anonymous

    “So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.”

    This is balderdash, sir. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Gore strongly favored the adoption of the protocols. The problem was that the US Senate had no interest in ratifying the treaty, which President Clinton signed. A few months before the final negotiations on Kyoto, Senator Byrd of West Virginia engineered a 95-0 vote against what Mr. Gore had pushed for in Kyoto, on the grounds that Kyoto did not apply to China or India.

    So when Gore said that the treaty would not be sent to the US Senate until bilateral agreements had been made on carbon emissions with those countries, he said that in light of the political reality that the treaty could not be ratified. To suggest that it was VP Gore who didn’t want the Senate to ratify Kyoto until this happened is some kind of screwed up Orwellian logic.

    “The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.”

    Again, this is a complete misstatement of the facts. When Al Gore (and Stu Eizenstat) negotiated the treaty, they tried to make it apply to all countries, not just the developed ones. But those negotiations failed. Despite that, Vice President Gore was the strongest advocate for Kyoto. But he could not do anything about our intransigent Senate, which was in the grips of big coal and big oil.

    It was the argument of the opponents of Kyoto, not Gore, who said that the treaty would harm our economy and do the world no good if it did not apply equally to China and India. Gore was simply trying to promote the treaty and improve upon it, rather than send it to the Senate where it would have been rejected.

  32. Anonymous

    “So, it would be more accurate to say that Gore opposed the immediate adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, but supported the idea of symbolically signing it in public.”

    This is balderdash, sir. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    Gore strongly favored the adoption of the protocols. The problem was that the US Senate had no interest in ratifying the treaty, which President Clinton signed. A few months before the final negotiations on Kyoto, Senator Byrd of West Virginia engineered a 95-0 vote against what Mr. Gore had pushed for in Kyoto, on the grounds that Kyoto did not apply to China or India.

    So when Gore said that the treaty would not be sent to the US Senate until bilateral agreements had been made on carbon emissions with those countries, he said that in light of the political reality that the treaty could not be ratified. To suggest that it was VP Gore who didn’t want the Senate to ratify Kyoto until this happened is some kind of screwed up Orwellian logic.

    “The assertion that the US shouldn’t do anything to address global warming until developing nations do so (usually, by reference to China and India), relied upon Gore and Lieberman, has been relied upon to justify US non-action since global warming became an issue, giving comfort to those industries that extract and use hydrocarbons sufficient comfort that they can continue to contribute to Democratic as well as Republican campaigns.”

    Again, this is a complete misstatement of the facts. When Al Gore (and Stu Eizenstat) negotiated the treaty, they tried to make it apply to all countries, not just the developed ones. But those negotiations failed. Despite that, Vice President Gore was the strongest advocate for Kyoto. But he could not do anything about our intransigent Senate, which was in the grips of big coal and big oil.

    It was the argument of the opponents of Kyoto, not Gore, who said that the treaty would harm our economy and do the world no good if it did not apply equally to China and India. Gore was simply trying to promote the treaty and improve upon it, rather than send it to the Senate where it would have been rejected.

  33. Richard

    Gore and Clinton fought for NAFTA, fought for GATT, against strong, entrenched opposition as will, but didn’t fight for Kyoto

    wonder why that was? maybe, because, the corporations that finance the Democratic Leadership Council, and, by extension, Gore and Clinton (who were both members) supported NAFTA and GATT, but oppposed Kyoto?

    if Gore really believed that dealing with climate change was the defining issue of human survival, isn’t it a little odd that he wouldn’t even support putting the treaty in front of the Senate?

    after all, lives were (and remain) at stake, if you accept his perspective

    Gore wouldn’t publicly fight for it, with the passion that he put behind “An Inconvenient Truth”?

    But, I guess that’s American liberalism these days, there’s always a reason why they can’t do what they say they really want to do (cf. Pelosi and Iraq, although, the sad fact maybe that the House Democrats really do support the occupation).

    –Richard Estes

  34. Richard

    Gore and Clinton fought for NAFTA, fought for GATT, against strong, entrenched opposition as will, but didn’t fight for Kyoto

    wonder why that was? maybe, because, the corporations that finance the Democratic Leadership Council, and, by extension, Gore and Clinton (who were both members) supported NAFTA and GATT, but oppposed Kyoto?

    if Gore really believed that dealing with climate change was the defining issue of human survival, isn’t it a little odd that he wouldn’t even support putting the treaty in front of the Senate?

    after all, lives were (and remain) at stake, if you accept his perspective

    Gore wouldn’t publicly fight for it, with the passion that he put behind “An Inconvenient Truth”?

    But, I guess that’s American liberalism these days, there’s always a reason why they can’t do what they say they really want to do (cf. Pelosi and Iraq, although, the sad fact maybe that the House Democrats really do support the occupation).

    –Richard Estes

  35. Richard

    Gore and Clinton fought for NAFTA, fought for GATT, against strong, entrenched opposition as will, but didn’t fight for Kyoto

    wonder why that was? maybe, because, the corporations that finance the Democratic Leadership Council, and, by extension, Gore and Clinton (who were both members) supported NAFTA and GATT, but oppposed Kyoto?

    if Gore really believed that dealing with climate change was the defining issue of human survival, isn’t it a little odd that he wouldn’t even support putting the treaty in front of the Senate?

    after all, lives were (and remain) at stake, if you accept his perspective

    Gore wouldn’t publicly fight for it, with the passion that he put behind “An Inconvenient Truth”?

    But, I guess that’s American liberalism these days, there’s always a reason why they can’t do what they say they really want to do (cf. Pelosi and Iraq, although, the sad fact maybe that the House Democrats really do support the occupation).

    –Richard Estes

  36. Richard

    Gore and Clinton fought for NAFTA, fought for GATT, against strong, entrenched opposition as will, but didn’t fight for Kyoto

    wonder why that was? maybe, because, the corporations that finance the Democratic Leadership Council, and, by extension, Gore and Clinton (who were both members) supported NAFTA and GATT, but oppposed Kyoto?

    if Gore really believed that dealing with climate change was the defining issue of human survival, isn’t it a little odd that he wouldn’t even support putting the treaty in front of the Senate?

    after all, lives were (and remain) at stake, if you accept his perspective

    Gore wouldn’t publicly fight for it, with the passion that he put behind “An Inconvenient Truth”?

    But, I guess that’s American liberalism these days, there’s always a reason why they can’t do what they say they really want to do (cf. Pelosi and Iraq, although, the sad fact maybe that the House Democrats really do support the occupation).

    –Richard Estes

  37. choose your words

    man, bikes for city employees? come on, get one out of the metal recycler like the rest of us poor folk.

    gimme a break- i think city employees could afford to buy a bike. I’d rather they spent on of that money on giving kids free bike helmets.

  38. choose your words

    man, bikes for city employees? come on, get one out of the metal recycler like the rest of us poor folk.

    gimme a break- i think city employees could afford to buy a bike. I’d rather they spent on of that money on giving kids free bike helmets.

  39. choose your words

    man, bikes for city employees? come on, get one out of the metal recycler like the rest of us poor folk.

    gimme a break- i think city employees could afford to buy a bike. I’d rather they spent on of that money on giving kids free bike helmets.

  40. choose your words

    man, bikes for city employees? come on, get one out of the metal recycler like the rest of us poor folk.

    gimme a break- i think city employees could afford to buy a bike. I’d rather they spent on of that money on giving kids free bike helmets.

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