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Think globally, act locally: Mayors move on climate change

In a new report on efforts by U.S. cities to outdo the federal government on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels admits that even the early strides made by Seattle -- reducing the city's 1990 carbon footprint by 8% in 2005 -- don't allow the city to rest on its laurels. Today's gains could be tomorrow's losses. Real measures to slow the warming of the planet will take patience, persistence and a determination to press on despite setbacks.

"I'm a realist, and I see Seattle's population growing, so I know we're going to have to increase our environmental vigilance in the coming years in order to stay on track and reach our climate protection goals," said Nickels, who announced that 1,000 mayors have signed on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors initiative to unilaterally limit their own greenhouse gas emissions.

"I also know that this generation, which is showing such a bold willingness to shed old behaviors and habits in the name of climate protection, won't come up with all the answers and won't make the atmosphere a pure place any time soon," he added. "But with each passing decade, we'll make more and more progress greening our cities ... and nobody will forget that all this started because 1,000 courageous and broad-minded mayors thought of the Earth as well as their neighborhood turf at the same time."

The report on the program so far outlines what cities across the country are doing to transition to cleaner fuels, phase in lower-energy lighting, synchronize traffic lights to keep traffic moving more quickly and cleanly and raise energy-efficiency standards for new construction.

"The city of Los Angeles has the largest carbon emissions output of any city in the state of California, which has the largest carbon footprint of any state in the U.S., which has the largest carbon footprint of any country in the world," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in the profile on Los Angeles, which has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% below 1990 levels by the year 2030.

--Kim Murphy

Photo: Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Credit: Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (8)

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Here are 30,000 + who disagree with the idiots who keep perpetuating this hoax in order to keep the grant money flowing.

The only thing that has been cherry picked is Michael Mann's tree ring data!!!

Its critical that cities lead the way in the fight on climate change, and LA has the dirtiest utility West of the Mississippi given its large dependence on coal. The Mayor has made some bold pledges to get our City of Los Angeles off coal, but we need to work hard to get there.

Harness the finance sector as detailed at my We have given the finance sector of the economy Trillions and to show their appreciation not one of the CEO's of the major banks and investment companies showed up at Obama's Wall Street speech last month!
Cities could also promote electric car conversion auto shops ,which would create jobs. Old fashion solar, active solar panels which are very inexpensive to make out of copper sheets has massive employment potential , in parts of the country that has heating bills .Like photovotaics they work great on sunny days.Could be installed for $1000 or less.
Too much of the tax breaks for solar went to the top twenty percent of the population, the "fortunate fifth," addresses this. We don't need what's called "opportunity hoarding" on such an important issue.The mantra should be "Whatever Works."

It's great to see that local governments are reacting to global warming rather than just leaving it to the federal levels. It will undoubtedly make a big difference.

Every individual has to play a part. Only then will we see GHGs fall. I know from experience that the following works. I now live in a 2000 watt household. Can you imagine that? We live so well and are SO happy. We give 10% of our meagre income to charity, mainly local. One assists low income people with housing, another the aged with better care.

"Reduce your requirents to a minimum. That way you can preserve ypour individuality and your independence. Learn to do without luxuries and YOU ARE FREE. A man can be wealthy only by the number of things he can leave alone. " Henry Thoreau.


There's no mention of increasing urban density. Synchronizing traffic lights seems like a pretty weak response to the massive urban sprawl in Los Angeles that's destroyed quality of life for so many and caused climate change. The commute times are enough even without climate change to merit an examination of urban density.

That's right Mark, Let's cherry pick one (1) person's opinion against global warming in spite of the rest of the scientific community's data and conclusion.

In the 70s it was cooling and now it's warming. No matter which fear mongering tactic is employed, taxing industry is always the answer.

Anyone wanting to learn the truth about this subject should read the works of Lord Christopher Monckton:


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