Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seattle keeps riding that pony

Once again, Seattle is riding the do-gooder pony, with Mayor Nickel's latest, hush-hush plan to curb greenhouse gases. A quote from the Seattle PI article, Climate of Change, outlines what is thought to be the heart of Nickel's possible recommendations:
The city must slash its production of heat-trapping gases to levels 7 percent lower than its 1990 emissions by 2012 to meet the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate change accord that President Bush declined to sign. It's likely everyone will need to contribute in some way, making sacrifices, embracing low-polluting innovations and just changing his or her thinking.
"Everyone will need to contribute in some way, making sacrifices..." I think that's code for, "Watch out for a new round of mandated don'ts in Seattle." It doesn't take much reading power to recognize the word no. Will we morph from the most literate city in the US to the most 'whipped?

The article taps vehicle emissions as the top culprit of Seattle greenhouse gases. Will pizza parties for kids stop the idling in the loading zones at school? Does all that idling really widen the hole in the ozone layer? How about we work together to make streets safer, so parents feel okay with their children walking to school. More legislation won't make us feel safer. We've got tons of bills on the books named after victims of violent acts, but have any of these bills made a difference in protecting kids? Since the parents are still there idling, I'd say no.

Using more public transportation makes sense. But wait-- in the greater Seattle area, we have virtually no public transportation options. You can take the bus or a train into the city. A million stops or three choices a day to get into, and out of, Seattle. A bonus, though-- the buses hook up to electricity when they get into the city.

The monorail bit the dust, surrounded by a maelstrom of debt. We've been picking our noses, when it comes to public transit, as long as I can remember. "It's too expensive; I don't like that; this won't work for me," the people of Seattle whine. Well, let's buy an electric bike like it says in the article, to tootle around the city. "It's like swimming with flippers," said Eric Sundin, the [Electric Bikes Northwest] shop's founder. "Or walking on a moving sidewalk." Wowza, that's as cool as riding the monorail!

If you get a chance to read the article, don't forget to check out the .pdf sidebar. A local cement company is looking into ways to use tires as a cleaner alternative to coal. Now, aren't burning tires one of the most toxic substances? Isn't the pollutants released when the tires burn environmental bad juju? Does that bit, alone, in sidebar make you scratch your head in confusion?


At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

Actually, burning tires isn't as bad as you'd think, and I think it pertains to temperature.

They can burn at extremely high temperatures for long periods of time, making them useful to manufacturing processes that utilize that thermal energy.

At any rate, when you consider the cycle of coal from mining to use, and the cycle of a tire from manufacture to disposal (or incineration), it might be questionable as to which one is the better environmental choice.

Kind of like ethanol and gas.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger lewlew said...

"Kind of like ethanol and gas."

I understand that part.

So, when you burn tires at a higher temperature, then the toxic stuff burns faster, or doesn't have time to get airborne?

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Erin said...

My understanding is that because it burns much, much hotter, it burns more completely.

But I could be full of it.


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