Monday, August 20, 2007

This Post is Made of 100% Recycled Content

From the Tribune-Review:

Parking incentives for alternative fuel vehicles. Urban gardening. Solar-powered security lights. "Green" education in city schools.

The ideas poured out as Pittsburghers stretched their imaginations to come up with ways to make the city a sustainable trendsetter.

The Pittsburgh Climate Protection Initiative -- a grassroots program created to help the city come up with a plan to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- is holding public brainstorming sessions in the South Side, Mt. Washington and Highland Park...

Among the suggestions at last week's meetings:

• Establishing a "green" hot line -- similar to the city's 311 line -- that people could call with environmental questions.

• Providing incentives for people who make energy-saving improvements at home.

• Better enforcement and management of the city's mandatory recycling program.

• Allowing hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles to use HOV lanes when there is only one passenger.

• Offering citywide bicycle rentals in which the bikes could be picked up in one location and dropped off at another...

Now, we've already talked about Green Economics here... and here... and here... and here and to, what I consider to be, an embarrassing extent, and yet the monkeys running the show still haven't acknowledged my brilliance.

Frankly, the suggestions alluded to in the article above aren't really particularly good and don't really go far enough, but are pretty much what we've come to expect from the general public. So, here are some alternative ideas that are far more practical for Pittsburgh City Government to implement*:
(1) An extensive recycling program of the City's Youth Policies program. No need to recreate a new committee each year, just use the report from the old one.

(2) Reduce city heating bills in the City-County Building by recycling the City and County Council hot air.

(3) Reduce road paving waste by not paving roads.

(4) In order to reduce harmful carbon emissions, install "scrubbers" to the lungs of Councilpersons Shields and Harris.

(5) As an auxiliary power source, attach a bicycle powered dynamo to the public comment podium in City Council: people would be allowed to talk as long as you could keep the lights on.

(6) Make the mayor carpool to the airport every time he flies with Ron Burkle.

(7) Install magnets to people migrating out of the Pittsburgh region, thereby generating up to 1,000 megawatts of power per semester as they try to flee.

(8) Dam the fountain at Point State Park.

(9) Make Whirl Magazine easier to recycle by mandating that it be the proper size to line bird cages.

(10) Research Pittsburgh alternative to Solar Power: Gray-Hazy Power.

(11) Improve access for alternative methods of transportation, not only bicycles and walking, but water taxis, kayaks, dirigibles, and hang gliding.

(12) Upgrade the city vehicle fleet to jinrikshas.

(13) Plant a tree every time the Mayor's Office uses the phrase "Moving Forward."

(14) Use old cat licensing legislation as decorative mulch.

(15) Three words: Interns, hamster wheels.
In my opinion, all of these alternatives are vast improvements over what is usually suggested: ensuring that public buildings exceed current building codes for heating/cooling; ensuring that public buildings meet or exceed LEED certification; using excess rooftop space for gardens or solar panels; reducing the thermostats by one degree in the winter and increasing by one degree in the summer; providing free green seminars and consulting to city residents; provide low interest loans and mortgages to early adopting green developments; mandate all HACP, PWSA, URA, and PPA projects be certified to a green standard; reduce paper used by implementing more eGovernment solutions; turn off lights when not needed; and establish some sort of neighborhood green standard.

Those are just stupid ideas.

*You're welcome.


librarian666 said...

You forgot Humanure. The power of poop for heating, growing food and detering crime is underestimated. Oh yeah, it's also used as tenets for domestic and foreign policy. And as the basis for most human interaction.

And a low-tech option for summer heat -- awnings, man, they are the answer for all exposures except North.

O said...

Funny that you should mention that: City Council is the #1 producer of bovine fecal material in this region... outside of local blogs.