Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Government Planners Goof Again

A post from the Grist blog looks at new research from Purdue University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, showing that GHG emissions are created mainly in urban centers and along their transit linkages. This study completely belies the basis developed in offical California public policy that density and rapid transit will cut down on GHG emissions - quite the opposite, in fact. So SB 375 and AB 32 are based upon fallacious and destructive premises that will force California cities to overrun their resources and add to climate change. Not so much because of the urban form, but because of the increasing consumption that goes with the increased wealth of people living in more urbanized areas.

From Planetizen:

"Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford, has been vocal about the need for a complete clean-energy transformation. This week, with the political world consumed by health care, his work offers a reminder that carbon pollution is a serious health problem. It makes traditional air pollution—such as particulates and ozone—more harmful, so it poses particular threats to the places with the worst air pollution—cities."

Another linkage here is that the energy used to fuel these emissions is largely coal. This is mined in rural areas, and mostly used to fuel power plants in the states east of the Misssissippi. The correlation is unmistakeable. The GHG emissions are from the power used to run cities, as well as the buildings that use the energy and create emissions and destroy the carbon sink provided by landscaping and natural terrain.