It's Not Easy Being Green
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
Watching the Olympics, I can't help but be shocked at the level of pollution present in Beijing, even after the Chinese took such radical measures to try and curb the problem. And part of me is sort of glad that their weird little stop-gap measures didn't work out as planned, because it certainly implied that they were going to go right back to their polluting ways as soon as the Olympics were over.

Instead, they've been forced to face the fact that there is no easy solution to their pollution problem. I had found myself wondering if some one there might actually wake up and say, "Embarrassment on the international stage aside, perhaps we ought to be alarmed from a health/environment perspective that we can't see more than a few blocks down the street due to the massive amounts of crud in the air."

So, will China make honest steps towards long term environmentally sound policies? I'm not sure, but articles like this give me hope: China Builds a Bright Green Metropolis.
Dongtan's master plan — hundreds of pages of maps, schematics, and data — has almost nothing to say about architectural style. Instead, it outlines the world's first green city, every block engineered in response to China's environmental crisis. It's like the source code for an urban operating system. "We're not focused on the form," Gutierrez explains. "We're focused on the performance of the form." He and his team imagine a city powered by local, renewable energy, with superefficient buildings clustered in dense, walkable neighborhoods; a recycling scheme that repurposes 90 percent of all waste; a network of high tech organic farms; and a ban on any vehicle that emits CO2.
Now, reading the article, planning for Dongtan started in 2005, so you can't really say that the smog during the Olympics had anything to do with. However, I wonder if the Olympics will spur the Chinese to invest in more radical initiatives like Dongtan. Dongtan may someday serve as a model for future mega-cities that want to be environmentally sound.

Speaking of the environment, guess who doesn't want to support environmentally friendly energy policies? If you said "John McCain", then you're right.

It was only five days earlier, on July 30, that the Senate was voting for the eighth time in the past year on a broad, vitally important bill — S. 3335 — that would have extended the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems.

Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.

Senator McCain did not show up for the crucial vote on July 30, and the renewable energy bill was defeated for the eighth time. In fact, John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.

Nice. Great job, McCain. I suppose he's more interested in putting together clips trying to link Britney and Paris to Barack Obama, than he is in presenting a coherent, environmentally responsible energy plan, eh?

Lastly, Joe Lieberman is a giant asshole douchebag fuckwad, and I cannot wait for him to get his comeuppance after this election season is over.
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