A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

Several commentators have recently expressed profound pessimism about the possibility of addressing the challenges posed by catastrophic climate change. Some have argued that current technology is insufficient to address the problem, and that we can only hope for an as-yet unknown technological panacea to effectively combat global warming.

Our experience in Salt Lake City shows that individuals, businesses, and governments on every level can employ measures available with current technology to address the serious challenges of global warming. On the eve of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, I committed Salt Lake City to reduce global warming pollution from municipal operations by seven percent by 2012, in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. Last year, we surpassed our Kyoto goal, seven years early. Salt Lake City's efforts in improving efficiency and sustainability can be easily undertaken by other municipal, state, and federal governments, and lead to significant cost savings.

An op-ed I authored on how climate change can be effectively addressed at the local level, using current technology, appeared in the Arizona Daily Star and other newspapers through the McClatchy-Tribune Wire. The op-ed is available here: http://www.azstarnet.com/opinion/138594. The Arizona Star also published an accompanying editorial enumerating effective solutions on the local level to the problem of disastrous climate change, available here: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/138597.

We know that Kyoto is only a modest beginning, and that we must make even greater changes to our patterns of consumption in order to fully address the challenges posed by disastrous climate change. However, we presently have the means at our disposal to make a real positive difference. If all communities, businesses, and individuals work collaboratively to significantly reduce our energy use, we can meet the challenges of global warming, energy dependence, destabilizing fuel price fluctuations, poor air quality, and declining public health.

Tags: Climate change, Environment, Global Warming, local solutions, Salt Lake City, sustainability, Utah (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

Re: A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

Just wanted to say - I visited your fine city last December, the week before Christmas.  It is indeed beautiful and the people are some of the nicest you will come across.  Quite a picturesque place to live.

by beeswax49 2006-07-20 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

Thanks for posting.  I think it is incredible what you're doing in Salt Lake.  I know you take a lot of heat -- no pun intended -- for being a leader on global warming.  But, you're inspiring a lot of other mayors to also start to take matters in your own hands.  

by lojo 2006-07-20 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

It's great to see elected officials step in and take responsibility even though our federal government has chosen a path of reckless disregard. It means a lot internationally, among other nations that are pulling their weight on the issue, and patiently waiting for the world's #1 emitter to wake up. The least we can do is harvest the low hanging fruit, and that alone would take us way beyond Kyoto, as you've shown. And from there, perhaps, a new habit can take root that will lead us to sustainability. Thanks for your work and leadership.

by chindoda 2006-07-20 11:27AM | 0 recs
Urban environmentalism

People do not give enough credit to cities -- residents of cities are leaps and bounds more energy efficient and less polluting than people who live outside of cities for a host of reasons.

An element of fighting global warming should certainly be to celebrate urban living.

by The Cunctator 2006-07-20 12:48PM | 0 recs
Boston lagging

I'm embarassed as a Bostonian to have cities like SLC and Seattle taking the lead on reducing greenhouse emissions.

But congratulations and thanks for your leadership.

by The Cunctator 2006-07-20 12:49PM | 0 recs
What's up with Utah?

Utah's senate candidate is a MyDD regular and now the mayor of SLC is coming around? Any bets on how long it will be until Rep. Matheson starts showing up?

Thanks for your work, just want you to know that I think Utah is one of the most beautiful states and I've had some simply magical days at Alta and Snowbird.

by Bob Brigham 2006-07-20 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

Mayor, have you seen any climate change there in Alta. Please note that it doesn't necessarily mean that Alta gets less snow. Some places should get lots of powder and others might have glaciers disappearing. What comes to mind in fact is Oregon, getting tons of snow - I think mt. hood meadows was snow all through the summer but , glacier national park is almost gone.

So, that said, what do you see out there at Deer Valley ( my husband, who shall now be referred to hereafter as turnerbroadcasting-banned-from-mydd , and I have a place in Deer Valley)

by heyAnita 2006-07-20 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: A Message from the Mayor of Salt Lake City

ps.  I am seeing more powder.

by heyAnita 2006-07-20 02:38PM | 0 recs

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