Sunday, July 23, 2006

Land use-- the Achilles heel of global climate change?

[Global Sunday]

   Concern over global climate change is moving out from the world of environmental alarmism and into the mainstream, says author Michael Grunwald in an essay here.  Grunwald asserts that the public is slowly accepting the need for change, citing Wal-Mart's commitment to limiting carbon emissions by cutting down on truck idling, Governor Schwarzenegger's commitment to slashing pollution, and the growing popularity of hybrid cars in a world of high gas prices.  But he slides past the Achilles heel of the notion that cutting carbon makes economic sense, through his statement that a climate-conscious policy would "discourage sprawling subdivisions, instead promoting high-density neighborhoods that would reduce distances for commutes, as well as smaller homes that would require less energy to heat and cool."  It will take a lot more than Al Gore's movie and high fuel bills to convince most Americans of the personal benefit of such a land use policy.

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