Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wonderful People Doing Fabulous Things – Seattle’s Mayor Nickels

Mainstream media really ticks me off. Their coverage on environmental issues is appalling. A case in point:

In the September 29, 2005 article “Melting Artic ice cap sounds alarm bells”, The Globe and Mail reported “In recent years, some have predicted that the treacherous waterway, which is normally clogged with ice, could become the much sought-after shortened trade link between Europe and Asia.”

Whoo hoo! The world could fall apart, but relax! Another trade route will open.

What’s worse, the mainstreamers seldom cover Wonderful People Doing Fabulous Things. That’s why I created this blog column. It’s easy to despair when you think of all the Ignorant People out there Doing Stupid Things. But when I read about folks like Seattle’s Mayor Nickels, the world doesn’t seem so gloomy after all.

Something very exciting is happening in the United States right now, and Nickels is behind it.

Nickels made an appearance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal in December to great fanfare from everyone attending. Why all the fuss? Nickels decided that if the US government won’t stand by the Kyoto Protocol, he will. Last March, nine other mayors in the US joined him. As of Feb 2, 202 mayors representing over 41 million Americans have accepted the challenge outlined in the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which was passed unanimously by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on June 13, 2005.

Yeah, but can he deliver? According to a press release, the Seattle government has already cut its own emissions by 60%.

Nickels’ plan for a greener Seattle is outlined in his Environmental Action Agenda. The city has already expanded park space, reduced vehicle idling, as well as single occupant vehicle trips by 22%. Seattle also created four green city buildings and a 1,200 foot salmon spawning channel. It installed 10,000 water conservation retrofits such as toilet, showerhead and faucet aerator replacements in low income housing units. The list goes on.

The Mayors Climate Protection Agreement is not binding, so whether all cities are following through on their commitments is difficult to say – but the agreement does send an important message. And nowadays, any message that acknowledges climate change and plans for sustainability is welcome.

To read more on Mayor Nickels, visit Grist Magazine.


Humour and last laugh said...

interesting blog!

hope springs eternal said...

Mayor Miller should sign up. Why shouldn't Canadians jump on the bandwagon of something good the americans are doing?