Finally - some good news about climate change!
Ten major U.S.cities have announced that they are going to be making an effort to reduce the greenhouse gases that are emitted from buildings in their town. Those cities include Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Salt Lake City, UT.
New York City is also doing its part by persuading landlords to switch over from oil heat to natural gas (which also brings emissions down), as per ex-Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
While methane gas is more of an issue, carbon-dioxide is a pretty big player, too, when it comes to air pollution. While a significant portion of the methane gas in the atmosphere comes from animal burping and farting (seriously), most of the carbon dioxide pollution comes from the utilities that assist people in running their homes, whether via electricity, heating, or cooling.
Of the cities listed, Los Angeles was the first to implement “cool roofs” in their new or remodeled houses. “Cool roofs” reflect sunlight in an effort to both save energy (heating, cooling) and reduce consumers’ electric bills.
As for Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, these three cities require their buildings’ owners to provide regular energy audits. Tracking the amount of energy that is required for these buildings is the first step on the road to recovery, which here equates to more efficiency.
Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Houston are already taking part in a voluntary federal program that works to reduce the amount of energy wasted by buildings of a commercial or industrial nature. Through this program, these cities are now working side by side with the NRDC (or Natural Resources Defense Council), as well as the Institute for Market Transformation (a non-profit organization that specializes in eco-friendly building), in order to maximize their efforts to become more green.
So what does this mean exactly? Well, both NRDC and IMT estimate that the reduction in emissions that these cities will be experiencing will equate to taking about a million cars off of the road. Not only that, but this move toward cleaner energy (which actually involves cutting our energy usage down instead of cleaning it up) can save consumers and businesses up to $1 billion a year.
It’s been said before, and it can always be said again - suppose “climate change” really was a myth. (It’s not, but for the sake of this post, humor me.) What is so wrong with changing our ways to make a better planet for future generations? Why live in a sea of garbage when you can pick it up? Why pay more money for more electric, heating, and cooling options when you can actively work to reduce the amounts consumed (and therefore the costs involved)? If the answer is simply “because it’s cheaper” or “because that’s what we’ve always been doing,” then you’re missing the bigger picture.
While this may seem like a huge leap forward, and it is, it will take several years to analyze the results and determine if the emissions and savings goals are being met. But hey, at least we’re doing something, which is a helluva lot more than doing nothing.