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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Urban Spral = Global Warming

Urban sprawl. In its simplest term, the unplanned development of land. In reality, it is the modern day epidemic, sweeping the nation and destroying everything in its path. Urban sprawl can now be held responsible for its contribution to global warming. President Bush once told us “Our duty is to use the land well, and sometimes not to use it all.” Smart growth advocates promote this idea through the implementation of ideas that encourage pedestrian and bicycle usage versus extended commuting times. Public transportation that has been well created is is said to be an option to reducing sprawl and minimizing the amount of CO2 emitted by everyday transportation. The increase in urban sprawl puts more people away from the center of the city which increases the amount of driving time per household, the amount of CO2 emissions, traffic congestion and of course the amount of open space that is designated to parking lots and shopping malls.

This increase in people wanting to move away from pollution and overpopulation is only recreating the same problem further away. The government is then of course not only responsible for urban sprawl and its solution but also the impact it is having on global warming. If the government would implement smart growth boundaries then development could be quarantined to a much smaller area, allowing preservation if open space. Advocates are suggesting solutions such as an increase in land use planning, the development of public transportation that is accommodating to a greater range of people and housing that would place community members closer to school and jobs and homes that are more energy efficient. The problem with this is that many of these solutions to not consider that most of these solutions do not accommodate the lower class. Those that are already living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford the rent in housing close to the city core that is impacted by the rent gradients. The increased upfront cost for a hybrid is not in the budget for many as well as the higher cost for energy efficient windows or better insulation. If you choose to recycle through your garbage company, you actually have to pay them. Many of these options are just not an option for a family with a limited budget. So, until it is affordable to Go Green, environmentalists can continue to blame the government for urban sprawl and its contributions to pollution rather than the market that is making a big buck off of the consumer efforts to conserve.


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