Rafael Reyes on Thursday, 24 May 2007 00:00
We would like to believe that it's all going to be easy - CFLs, some hybrids, maybe a little carpooling - but the truth is, Kermit not withstanding, it's not. Berkeley looks poised to bite the bullet.
Six months after Berkeley voters overwhelmingly passed Measure G, a mandate to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the city is laying out a long-term road map for residents, business and industry. It includes everything from solar panels at the Pacific Steel foundry to composted table scraps.
While San Francisco, Oakland and other local governments in the Bay Area have approved policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Berkeley is the first to begin spelling out how people would be expected to reduce their carbon footprints.
Some measures will be popular and easy, like a car-share vehicle on every block and free bus passes. But others will be bitter pills, such as strict and costly requirements that homes have new high-efficiency appliances, solar-powered water heaters, insulation in the walls and other energy savers.
What we do know is that NEAR TERM actions, efficiency gains, are relatively easy and in many cases have cost benefits. But more difficult needs farther out are more difficult. Of course, as the economy shifts to address these concerns, costs will come down. How fast? No one knows.
We just know for sure that NOT acting is MUCH more expensive...
More on Berkeley's plans here.