Calling global warming a "planetary emergency," elected officials and a mayoral commission today presented a series of recommendations for curtailing Seattle's greenhouse gas emissions.Just think, we barely escaped having Gore for president.
Mayor Greg Nickels and the city were praised for leading the nation on the issue and urged to continue in their fight against planet-warming pollution in a packed event at Seattle's City Hall.
"The United States of America has really messed up on this," said former Vice President Al Gore, the event's featured speaker. "But let me tell you about Seattle."
The proposed solutions are multi-faceted in their approach and include increasing bus service, building more bike lanes and parking spaces, and discouraging driving by imposing tolls and higher parking lot taxes. There are recommended zoning changes that would encourage the creation of pedestrian-friendly communities where stores, jobs and homes are close together.I'm sure Seattle business owners are clamoring for these things.
While some of the ideas could cost consumers, residents and businesses, the supporters of the plan note that the strategies aren't only about sacrifice. Some of the changes could benefit communities by cutting down on the overall pollution levels. They can boost the economy through the development of new and widely desirable technologies. Businesses and homeowners could cut costs in the long-run by becoming more energy efficient.
But even as the city was basking in the glow of the proposal and successful recruitment of cities nationwide, some at the event already were asking for more.In related news, Scotland has been taken over by anti-smoking zombies.
"Kyoto, my friends, is not big enough," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. "We need a bigger dream, we need a higher bar ..."
"Seattle, lead again."