Subscribe to Pardes Yehuda

Pardes Yehuda: It ain't easy bein' green

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It ain't easy bein' green

The "leaders" of the world have exhibited a typically leadership-less commitment to lowering the world's carbon output by the year... 2050! 2050!?

At the G-8 conference in Japan, where some members of Oxfam International were arrested during their peaceful protests, these people elected to rule their countries made an embarrassing promise universally criticized by environmentalist organizations as not even coming close to coming close to solving a serious worldwide problem.

While the world's leaders sit in their fancy homes and fancy clothes, eating their fancy food, those in developing nations are suffering from the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, one American city's mayor is trying to make a difference now.

Mayor Bill White of Houston wants to make his city the greenest in America. I first heard of Bill White in an NPR interview, and he has some great ideas for the future of Houston and America. The fact that Texas has no zoning regulations makes it easy for him to make Houston a center of mixed-use development, pairing residential and commercial zones in the same district so people can have all their services and amenities within walking distance, making it easier for Houston to have no carbon footprint.

The man has some great ideas, many of which have already been implemented. Houston has hybrid buses for public transport, he has established Houston's own Clean Air Act dedicated to lowering cancer rates in communities where mainly minorities reside. He also has a Green Building Advisory Committee and he has made it so Houston, TX runs 25% of its energy from wind power and he also intends to expand the use of solar power. All this and more can be read about at the city's website.

This mayor even makes me want to move to Texas.

As the world's "leaders" flounder in the face of this global crisis, it is nice to know that Bill White, the Mayor of Houston, Texas is doing what he can to make a difference, not in 2050, but right now.

Thank you, Mayor Bill White, for making a difference.

No comments: