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We Need a Complete Solution to Climate Change

9:04 AM PDT on May 28, 2009

This morning, Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire points us to a newly released measure of CO2 emissions from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (which just won a 2009 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, BTW). He says maps like these help to show why the need to change land-use patterns is vital for reducing greenhouse gases:

Picture_1.pngCNT has released another Affordability Index updatethat shows transportation emissions is 70% less in cities than in thesuburbs. Why is this? Because people don't have to drive as much. Youcan see already the benefits, and it isn't all about electric cars. Yetsome in Southern California think that SB375, the landmark climatechange bill, can be addressed with electric cars alone. Sorry guys. It doesn't work like that.…

But it's not just transportation, it's building as well. We need to look at this as a complete system.This singular focus on one method is somewhat maddening. I know thereare a lot of people who are hoping for a magic green car or a magicgreen building but we're also forgetting our water usage and populationgrowth among other things.

The CNT site has some very cool maps that compare not only CO2 emissions from household auto use per acre and per household, but also the cost of housing and transportation as a percentage of average household income in many regions across the country.

As
The Overhead Wire points out, maps like these point out the importance
of development patterns in limiting emissions, and the reality that
only a holistic solution will make a dent. Zero-emissions vehicles
aren't going to solve the nation's carbon bloat any more than a diet
pill can provide a long-term solution for an obese individual.

Other fun stuff from around the network: Brooklyn by Bike protests the girlification of women's bikes (stop the flowers!); Cyclelicious has the news that French prisoners get to participate in their own Tour de France; and World Streets has data that suggests that swine flu killed more people with traffic fatalities in Mexico City than with germs.

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