Going green for good
September 26, 2007
Cheers to the City Council for putting green development on the agenda (“Developers will have to go green,” Sept. 19). It’s heartening to see that all the clapping and cheering for the parade of speakers who catalogued the threats of global warming this past summer at the Aspen Institute is moving beyond the Institute to action by our city’s government.
Tom Friedman, in his roof-raising speech at the Ideas Festival, talked about the need for urgency in putting into place programs for stanching our environmental crisis. The clear message was that reduction in energy consumption is the only way to change the direction we’re headed. However, I don’t sense a pace of urgency in the suggested timetable for setting and implementing standards for moving Aspen to a carbon-neutral goal. Knowing that such a possibility is being developed by the city staff and council, developers, both commercial and residential, will rush to beat the rules with another surge in building before the new codes are put into place. A leisurely stroll to a plan that can be enacted sets up a scenario of the barn door that closes too late.
I urge the staff and council to move with the urgency that this issues deserves. Who knows? Determination and a strong will applied to our environmental problems could also help solve seemingly intractable traffic problems with air pollution standards that would require developers to create vehicle reduction usage solutions on their construction sites. Maybe we wouldn’t need that extra highway lane to bring more traffic into Aspen.