More than 100 mayors from across the U.S. gathered in Seattle late last week to share lessons from their efforts to address climate change, producing the world’s first climate conference that didn’t lead to a spike in Prozac sales. Perhaps it was the uncharacteristic sunshine in the Emerald City, but mayors could barely contain their excitement about the vistas that had opened up when they stopped viewing climate change as, in Bill Clinton’s words, “castor oil,” and instead starting seeing it as an unprecedented opportunity to make their cities cleaner, greener, and more economically vibrant. While they were there, mayors heard from Al Gore (by satellite), Clinton, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Clinton announced that his Clinton Climate Initiative partnership with big cities to create a buying pool for green and energy-efficient products would be expanded to more cities. Bloomberg came out strong for a carbon tax in a bold national policy speech that (re-)sparked rumors of a presidential bid. Fun and hope were had by all.
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