Friday, April 20, 2007

Sustainable Master Plan

Sacramento has signed on to it and of the five things recommended, two look actually doable by more than a very small minority; the increasing of trees in town and using green technology in building, both of which have benefits worth doing beyond the environmental ones.

5 things Sacramento can do to save the planet
Will Sacramento’s new Sustainability Master Plan become more than another feel-good document? The answer is yes … if the city and its citizens step up.

By Cosmo Garvin
April 19, 2007

It’s a bumper-sticker slogan, a cliché: Think globally, act locally.
But around the country, cities are doing just that.

In Chicago, city leaders passed a “climate tax” on electricity bills, using the money to combat global warming. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was the first U.S. mayor to sign the Kyoto Protocols. And Seattle levies a “parking tax” to dissuade citizens from driving.

The notion that individual municipalities can do anything significant to tackle big problems like global warming and peak oil may seem quaint. But consider that 80 percent of all people in the United States live in cities. The way they develop, and the urban policies they enact on housing, transportation and energy, makes a big difference in the quality of the environment.

A year ago this week, Sacramento’s mayor, Heather Fargo, signed on to the United Nation’s Urban Environmental Accords, and our town joined hundreds of other cities around the world pledging to clean up environmental problems and do their part to combat global warming.

And on April 3, just a year after joining the U.N. initiative, the city embarked on its own Sustainability Master Plan.

The plan borrows the United Nations definition: “Sustainability meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”