It’s football season, which is great because the Cardinals have decided to check out. The following is related, in a green way. I swear . . . a lot.
One of my regular readers commented on my last post with a link to a depressing article related to the same topic, parking lots. The article focuses less on the construction of lots but their sheer magnitude and plentitude. According to the article, “Purdue University researchers surveyed the total area devoted to parking in a midsize Midwestern county and found that parking spaces outnumbered resident drivers 3-to-1 and outnumbered resident families 11-to-1.”
The piece also offered the following: “Purdue researcher Bryan Pijanowski says vast expanses of parking lots help raise urban temperatures and add to water pollution. Pijanowski, an associate professor of forestry and natural resources, says parking lots in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, take up more space than 1,000 football fields. ”
Can you imagine the crazy amounts of tailgating the 156,169 people of Tippecanoe, Indiana could do with this? That’s 100 yards of asphalt for every 156 people. Imagine if all of that was covered with engineered soil instead of crude oil-based asphalt. You heard me. Crude oil people!
Now imagine that states could regulate how crappy the car you parked on one these many lots could be. Well, they can! According to the Sierra Club, “Yesterday, Judge William Sessions, a federal district court judge in Vermont, ruled favorably in a suit brought by the Sierra Club, other environmental groups and several states, that New York and Vermont may enact the California Clean Car Standards, pending EPA approval. These standards, adopted by California and at least 11 other states, will reduce global warming emissions from cars by 30 percent when fully implemented in 2016.”
Good work people. The hypocrisy of this conservative administration is ever more mind blowing. The preachers of small government has given us more federal spending than imaginable, and it’s all been wasted. On top of that, the administration has tried to negate the positive action of states when it has failed to do anything of consequence, which is often. We’re a federalist nation. If the federal government is not going to freakin’ do anything it should get out of the way of the states. Grrr.
So, now we have Priuses being parked on engineered soil lots constructed from natural and local materials. Woo hoo. What if everyone was rocking out pre-game on organic beer and some veggie burgers? I know the scenario is unlikely but hopefully less and less unlikely (double negative?) every day. Yet another article has highlighted the environmental benefits of eating less meat. And what did we all learn in elementary school? None of a bad thing is better than less of a bad thing. Society will surely continue to ignore the immense benefits than can come from vegetarian diets because “meat tastes good!”
But, the fields of slaughter could surely be replaced with acres of plants high in cellulosic biomass. The agriculture industry could be subsidized (even more) during conversion. We could make good ethanol, kill fewer animals, be healthier, pollute less and, if there’s anything left over, give much needed food to the poor developing nations global trade policies rat fuck just for fun. Cheers!