Thursday, May 29, 2008

LA's Carbon Footprint

Yesterday the Brookings Institution released a study saying that Los Angeles was the second greenest city in the country (after Honolulu) in terms of its carbon footprint.

Then you read the details:
  • The calculations did not account for the fact that half the city's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. Instead, [they] used a state-wide average that included the hydroelectric and nuclear plants in Northern California.
  • Omitted from the data are emissions from industries and commercial buildings, and from local roads apart from federal highways.
Why might something like that happen?
As the Bush administration fended off pressure in recent years to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty limiting greenhouse gases, more than 800 U.S mayors signed a "Climate Protection Agreement" to cut their cities' emissions to 7% below 1990 levels, the Kyoto target.
If your mayor signs up for a goal, you can be sure his bureaucrats will try pretty hard to meet it -- on way or the other. Soon we are going to be in a position where all of our cities are claiming significant cuts in their carbon emissions, but overall emissions for the United States will continue to grow.

John Fleck revealed Albuquerque's machinations a few months ago.

1 comment:

Steve Bloom said...

Very similar stuff has been done with recycling rates. The bureaucrats have lots of practice. If you can get 100% of the political credit while doing only 50% of the work, what's the downside?