Once again, Portland proves it’s possible.
The city and Multnomah County announced yesterday that carbon dioxide emissions had fallen to 0.1% below 1990 levels. Nationwide, CO2 levels rose more than 17% over the same 15 years.
There are several factors that contributed to this success, but the goal of reducing emissions itself is the most important. To hear Bush/Inhoffe Conservatrons speak it is impossible to control emissions and simoultaneously grow the economy.
But Portland’s commitment to environmentalism is an economic driver. An ordinance to compost restaurants’ food waste has led a Washington State composting company to open a branch here. Environmentalism has created new jobs while costing restaurants about one day of additional training for their current staff.
Sustainability – inserting environmental and social values into once purely economic decisions – creates a stronger and healthier economy and grows jobs.
Making this positive argument, instead of depressing “the end is near” battles over remote tracks of land, should be the crux of the politics of neoprogressive environmentalism.