Reducing air pollution backfires
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 22:04
Pull quote: “I feel like Vermonters take special interest in having a clean environment, but the rising emissions show that even though we’re making a huge effort, there’s still something we’re not addressing.”-sophomore Melanie Molewski
Burlington’s plan to decrease green house gas emissions appears to have missed the mark.
Burlington’s emissions rose by seven percent from 2007 to 2010, despite the 2008 goal to reduce emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020, an article in VT Digger stated.
“There’s a lot that can be done to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Burlington,” environmental journalism professor Josh Brown said. “We need more serious incentives to use alternative and public transportation, increase the push on building efficiency, push solar PV and hot water and many, many other things.”
Though greenhouse gas emissions have recently been on the rise in Burlington, the city’s Climate Action Plan illustrates ways to promote alternative energy use to lower emissions in the future, according to the Town of Burlington website.
The plan includes implementing solar panels on schools, replacing existing streetlights with LEDs and reducing the total number of miles that the community travels by car.
Some students said the Climate Action Plan has failed to complete its goal because the rising emission levels does not coincide with the belief that Burlington is a city full of “clean air.”
“I feel like Vermonters take special interest in having a clean environment,” sophomore Melanie Molewski said. “But the rising emissions show that even though we’re making a huge effort, there’s still something we’re not addressing.”
Burlington could improve by finding alternative methods of transportation, Molewski said
“It’s unfortunate that so many cars are being used because there are greater benefits for people to switch to alternative methods of transport like biking,” she said.