August 13, 2006

The World in Which I Live

Thanks for visiting my blog. This is my first post.

Saw this article in the New York Times today.

I think it's really great how the world is becoming greener and that these ideas are taking root in New York. It looks like for the time being, only the more affluent city dwellers will be able to make the most of green living, but as the price of technology drops (as it usually does), I expect that green values will play an increasingly larger role in the lives of all people.

I was at a Portland City Club meeting last year, and I heard the statistic that even though many think of pollution when they think of New York, New York actually produces less pollution per citizen than any other major American city. The person who quoted this statistic said that New York is able to achieve this feat mostly through its highly efficient subway system.

In Portland, we have a public transportation system called the Max. It's a great system--cleaner and and more on-schedule than the New York subway, but it only has three lines, which means that it isn't directly accessible to much of the Portland area. As it was explained to me by a city planner, Portland simply doesn't have the population density to get the same kind of public transportation efficiency that New York has. So because of our low density, we produce more pollution per citizen. But without the high density, we also lose the problems that come with overcrowding. So it's a tradeoff.

I'm personally looking forward to the day when I can drive from one place to another without releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. With more and more people actively living with greener values, I hope our people and government will encourage more research in this area.

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