With the federal government at a virtual standstill over its efforts to enact meaningful climate change legislation, it's been left up to the states and cities to take the initiative in embracing proposals to curb greenhouse gas emissions and push for more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. The latest entrant into the race to claim the "greenest" crown is San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, who launched his 10-point "Green Vision" roadmap to much fanfare this past Friday. The roadmap's central plank is the halving of the city's energy use over the next 15 years - no mean feat if successfully accomplished, especially in the face of a continually growing population.
Some of the specific points include:
1. Create 25,000 Clean Tech jobs as the World Center of Clean Tech Innovation.
2. Divert 100 percent of the waste from the landfill and convert waste to energy.
3. Ensure that 100 percent of public fleet vehicles run on alternative fuels.4. Plant 100,000 new trees and replace 100 percent of our streetlights with smart, zero-emission lighting.
5. Build or retrofit 50 million square feet of green buildings.
The two big unknowns at this point are the plan's costs and - more importantly - who or what would ensure that Reed's vision came to fruition if it is approved by the city council in late October. His plan has already garnered him one prominent supporter: California's Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who dubbed him the new "green mayor."