Voices in favor of green stimulus spending
I think it kind of disappeared in the rush late last week, so if you haven’t already, check out this op-ed from Chip and me in the Seattle Times. It seems to be part of a growing chorus calling out for green stimulus spending.
Here’s Michael Northrop, director of the Sustainable Development Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund:
Let’s put our dollars and our policies to work immediately, to create the next great American economy, based on efficient, clean energy. As we do so, we will be tackling our economic, energy, and climate crises simultaneously.
Here’s NDN’s Robert Shapiro:
A third or more of the new funding should go to infrastructure — and most of that not for traditional roads and bridges, but for the public requirements of the low-carbon, energy efficient economy we know we have to build. The package could provide, for example, the first support for modernizing the nation’s electricity grid. The federal government also could make itself a model of climate-friendly and energy-efficient ways of doing business, with large-scale, new investments to upgrade the heating, cooling and lighting systems of all federally-owned buildings for low-carbon energy efficiency and to shift the federal fleet to hybrid and other energy-efficient vehicles. The package also could include new tax preferences for businesses and households to upgrade their systems. Investments in public transportation could be another important focus for stimulus spending. Today, public transportation accounts for just one percent of U.S. passenger miles, compared to five percent in Canada, 10 percent in Europe and 30 percent in Japan. For the short term, the stimulus package could include subsidies for local transit systems to cut their fares by half or more. For the long term, the package can include down payments on a new national program to promote the construction or extension new light rail systems for metropolitan areas, which can also create jobs quickly.
Alexis Hooi, in China Daily:
In a roundtable recently organized by this newspaper, the director of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, Orville Schell, worried that efforts to deal with the challenges of climate change are in danger of being “crippled”.
“In the middle of a financial crisis, companies and governments are going to be much less willing to make capital outlays to solve these problems”, Schell said.
However, there is actually no better time to go green. If anything, the current economic challenges accentuate the need for sustainable development and for cutting back on excess.
The Pasadena Star-News:
Will sending consumers checks — like Congress did earlier this year — help stimulate the economy? Again, economists can’t agree … But there may be another way to invest in our economy and create jobs at the same time: Building our infrastructure.
Seen any more like this? Send them my way.