Tuesday, November 07, 2017

37.3 - Good News: wilderness protected; cities go 100% renewable

Good News: wilderness protected; cities go 100% renewable

Okay, two more little bits of Good News, these on environmental issues.

First: Adopted in the closing days of the Clinton administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests. These lands, today equal about 50 million acres, about the size of Nebraska.

The rule was popular with the public and the Forest Service - but not with political leaders with ties to the logging and timber industries. When the Shrub administration failed to protect the rule, in fact tried to overturn it, a group called Earthjustice stepped in.

Now, after 16 years of court fights against at various times the states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska and the Shrub administration, Earthjustice may have achieved a final court victory - with the rule still intact.

This still could be appealed, but the history of repeated court victories in favor of the rule make such an appeal unlikely.

I freely admit it's been some time since I've been able to take advantage of wilderness and I never was a wilderness camper - but preserving what of it there is? Yeah, I say that's Good News.

Okay, second, the Sierra Club has a list of 44 cities, four counties, and one state committed to providing 100% of their electricity by renewable sources no later than 2035 - and be 100% renewable for all energy needs by 2050.

The Good News to note here is that five of those cities already obtain 100% of their electricity from renewables. None of them are particularly large - they range in size from Greensburg, Kansas, with a population of about 800 to Burlington, Vermont, population about 42,000 - so again, it may not seem like any big good news, but the point is, they show it can be done. What's more, Georgetown, Texas, population 64,000, expects to become the sixth such city in 2018 and San Jose, California, population 1 million-plus, intends to get there just four years later.

So yes, it can be done - and in at least some places, it already is.

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