Posted by: Tony Carson | 23 October, 2007

Saving NYC one tail pipe at a time

Tom Friedman has an interesting column Save the Planet: Vote Smart on how NYC got green by changing the taxi fleet to hybids. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

People often ask: I want to get greener, what should I do? New light bulbs? A hybrid? A solar roof? Well, all of those things are helpful. But actually, the greenest thing you can do is this: Choose the right leaders. It is so much more important to change your leaders than change your light bulbs.

Why? Because leaders write the rules, set the standards and offer the tax incentives that drive market behavior across a whole city, state or country. Whatever any of us does individually matters a tiny bit. But when leaders change the rules, you get scale change across the whole marketplace. And the energy-climate challenge we face today is a huge scale problem. Without scale, all you have is a green hobby.

Have no illusions, everything George Bush wouldn’t do on energy after  9/11  — his resisting improved mileage for cars and actually trying to weaken air-conditioner standards  —  swamped any good works you did. Fortunately, the vacuum in the White House is being filled by leaders from below.

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