I’m in Seattle as I write this blog post, marveling at the fact that in this city virtually everything is recycled and people can even put out their compost – including anything biodegradable – on the street to be picked up. If Seattle can do this, why can’t every city across the U.S.? Why are there so few cities and states in the U.S. that even attempt this sort of environmental action? But even as Seattle (and other west coast cities) lead the way here, the U.S. as a country lags far behind on the world stage where several nations — notably Iceland, Costa Rica, Norway and New Zealand — are competing to be the first to go carbon neutral.
I confess that I’m quite competitive – raised as I was in Manhattan and competing every day of my childhood for good grades, a good seat at a movie theater, or on my school’s gymnastics team – and I know I come from a competitive country (note those debate teams mentioned in my last blog post), so I’m struck by the lack of competitive spirit in the U.S. right now to lead the way on environmental restoration, sustainable energy, innovative education for a better future, and carbon neutrality. In our most competitive cities – New York and Washington, DC come to mind – we see little effort and leadership in these arenas.
It’s exciting to see what’s happening in Seattle. I’m ready to follow in your footsteps. Can we get the east coast on board? New Yorkers, Bostonians, Philadelphians , please write your representatives and senators. Let’s join the competition, if it helps to think in this way, and race to a healthy future.
Ready, set…. GO!
Author of Most Good, Least Harm
Image courtesy of sergis_blog via Creative Commons.
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Filed under: citizen activism, Cultural Issues, education, energy policy, MOGO (Most Good), systemic change Tagged: | carbon footprint, carbon neutral, cities, competition, educational reform, environmental protection, global warming, recycling, Sustainability, systemic change