Daily Archives: July 12, 2007

Aspen’s Green Challenge

When it comes to global warming, writes Brent Garnder Smith, Aspen is probably not as green as it thinks it is.

And it is certainly not as green as it should be.

Smith was writing about the ideas presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

“There is a saying at the Pentagon that a vision without resources is a hallucination,” Friedman said. “And I think right now we are in the middle of a big green hallucination.”

“We’re talking about preventing the doubling of CO in the atmosphere from the pre-industrial age to the year 2050,” he said. To do that, Friedman said, “We have to conserve as much energy as we’re now using as a world.”

Friedman said one way to move forward on the vast scale required to meet that goal is to change the definition of the word “green.” “So I’ve been trying to redefine green as the most capitalistic, patriotic, geo-strategic, pro-American, pro-growth, future-oriented thing you can do, be or say.”

But he said, “Green has not gone down Main Street at all at the scale we need. Not even close.”

And so while Aspen has gotten a lot of positive press coverage for its efforts to combat global warming, Friedman’s speech begs for a reassessment of the community’s efforts.

Read the full article . . .

Advertisements

A New Two-Wheeled Course?

Neal Pearce highlights the posiblities for cycle tracks in U.S. cities in his  July 8 article.   Such infrastructure could address a number of growing concerns from climate change to obesity.  As he writes,

Cycle tracks are actually a separated part of the roadway yet distinct from the roadway, distinct from the sidewalk. In their purest form — Odense, Denmark, where 50 percent of all city journeys are by bicycle — the paths even have their own traffic signals.

What actually separates the cycle track? It can be a long, narrow curb. Or a line of cones or concrete barriers. Or metal stanchions. Or a line of trees and other vegetation (an on-street greenway).

Another solution, tried on relatively wide streets in Bogota, Paris, London and elsewhere, is to move the parking lane several feet from the sidewalk, creating a new lane for cyclists between the sidewalk and parked cars. Brooklyn-based bicycle advocate/blogger Aaron Naparstek has an excellent online video celebrating that solution (www.streetfilms.org/archives/physically-separated-bike-lanes/).

Read the full article . . .