Not Easy, But Worth It

Sightline has a post up on land use patterns and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that makes my day cause it saves me the trouble of writing the same piece.   Some argue that restructuring our built environment to be more compact and location efficient is not a practical strategy for cutting GHGs because it is expensive and will take too long, not to mention being counter to the mythical American way of life.  Clark lists five reasons not to buy that argument, and concludes:

In the end, then, I see the fatalistic view of land use—essentially, that changing land use is just too hard—as not merely unhelpful, but unethical. Rather than bemoan how hard it is to make progress, I’d rather buckle down and get to work.

Yes, unethical:  it needs to be said again and again.

2 Responses to “Not Easy, But Worth It”

  1. slag

    It’s been my experience that anytime someone presents a fatalistic view of an issue, it’s just an indication that the issue in question is not particularly important to that person. That’s the true source of Technology Review’s pessimism about sprawl and the environment–apathy.

  2. MJH

    The Urban Land Institute’s new publication entitled “Moving Cooler” offers a detailed analysis of what transportation-related steps would be most effective in curbing GHG’s. Land use, i.e. dense, mixed-use land patterns, certainly makes the top five of a lengthy list of actions. Top of the list, by a wide margin, is more heavily taxing carbon-based fuels. True, aggresive taxing of gasoline would be regressive and would create market distortions, but we know it would be effective in getting people to think harder about where they live (those denser places near transit are looking pretty good) and how they get around.

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