Can You Fight Climate Change From Behind The Wheel?

<p>Lauded city official and smart growth champion Rick Cole argues that California can't reach 'green' goals without changing its car culture.</p>
July 24, 2007, 11am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"The feel-good stage of California's leadership on global warming is unsustainable. Kudos to the pop stars with their calls to switch lightbulbs and unplug cellphone chargers when not in use. But we can't pretend that we will actually reduce 2020 greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels without tackling our region's embedded patterns of auto dependence and suburban sprawl.

"A subway to the sea" remains largely talk. Instead, nearly $1 billion is being allocated to widen a stretch of the 405 Freeway. L.A. County transit fares have been hiked again, while Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority continue to pursue the boondoggle of tunneling under South Pasadena to extend the 710 Freeway. In local City Council deliberations and planning commission hearings, business goes on as usual, with developers trying to jam as much density as possible into their projects and neighbors fighting them every step of the way.

Halting the slide toward irreversible global climate change starts with envisioning a new and better way of life. That is not as utopian as it sounds. Americans have risen to great urban challenges before."

Thanks to Rick Cole

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Published on Monday, July 23, 2007 in The Los Angeles Times
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