Bill Clinton: Go for the low-hanging fruit
Bill Clinton urged mayors at the Large Cities Climate Summit to go after a pollutant 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide: methane. By capturing it from landfills, from which it leaches in prodigious amounts, cities could use it to generate power. Wrestling CO2 could take years, but harnessing methane could make a big difference and make it more quickly.
He also urged mayors to go after black carbon — all the soot and particulate crud that comes to rest on the surface of the earth, making the ground absorb more solar energy. The charcoal burning cookstoves that produce the stuff have been called an "easy target" for reducing climate change.
Clinton pointed out that reining in charcoal stoves would also solve a public health problem: we could save the lives of more than 2 million women and children every year by reducing cookstove emissions. Saving the Earth, AND the women and children? God, is he dreamy or what?
Get Grist in your inbox