This op-ed from Rick Cole, city manager of Ventura, Calif., will be music to the ears of all you Gristians:
The feel-good stage of California’s leadership on global warming is unsustainable. Kudos to the pop stars with their calls to switch lightbulbs and unplug cellphone chargers when not in use. But we can’t pretend that we will actually reduce 2020 greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels without tackling our region’s embedded patterns of auto dependence and suburban sprawl.
Halting the slide toward irreversible global climate change starts with envisioning a new and better way of life. That is not as utopian as it sounds. Americans have risen to great urban challenges before.
It will take more than alternative fuels to bring about this nirvana. It will require finding room inside our already developed footprint for significantly more people and serving that larger population with real alternatives to auto mobility. Caving in to developer demands for more density will backfire without far greener urban building, far better urban schools, far more attractive urban parks, far safer urban streets and far more equitable ways to fund vital urban services.
Speak it, brutha!