Further proving my consistent point that “global warming” and the deranged ‘alternative energy’ crowd have destroyed environmentalism, a recent controversy in Palo Alto highlights a rift between “wow we can capture gasses and power homes with alternative fuels” and “wow we have about ten square inches of parkland, several square miles of housing developments, and it would be nice to keep preserving this mere eight acres of parks.”
As reported by the Stanford Daily,
“We can do something right now that is great for the environment and also great for the economy,” added former Mayor Peter Drekmeier. He said use of an anaerobic digester employed at the facility would divert 6,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere and power 1,400 homes, saving the city about a million dollars a year.
The proposed site’s proximity to a water treatment plant is ideal, but it lies on an eight-acre strip of dedicated parkland. Open space advocates attended Monday’s meeting to argue that this piece of land should join Byxbee Park as previously planned.
“The Baylands Park has been planned for years by competent and dedicated people,” said Palo Alto resident Enid Pearson, addressing the council. “If we can’t count on our planning process, why not just pick any random project and let it be built anywhere?”
The mayor, of course, just sounds like a politician. But the AGW fanatics are all over this ‘anaerobic digester’ nonsense, because, you know, it makes them sound smart and futuristic and such.
If you’ve ever been to the ‘environmentally friendly’ bay area you’ll notice that it’s about half environmentally friendly and about half the worst imaginable type of land use planning–clearly single-family home real estate developers controlled everything in this part of the Golden State (So Cal as well, obviously) for quite some time.
You want to put a finger on California’s Great Recession? How about the mentality that an entire economy can be built on building strips of homes in deserts, the mortgage debt therein, and the hope that people will just move here forever and ever and ever (and be able to pay all their debts with jobs in a spiral economy largely based on building and selling more homes)?
But I digress. What’s the trade-off in this composting facility v. park debate? A few measly acres in a place that is so developed that rain-turned-run-off is greater than that of Manhattan, with about 1/100th the population (my guess)…versus a composting plant, that’s not for gardening you know, but to “capture gasses” and pump it around to contribute a negligible trace of electricity back into the grid?
So, on a greater scale this is a poignant debate and a critical topic. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a fan of composting. Do it yourself. Plant a garden or give your compost to someone who has one. But, has the environmentalist movement completely abandoned its worthy goals (parks, trees, whales, and birds–&c.) for one single goal (anything anybody claims will help ‘solve’ “global warming” trumps anything else everywhere and everywhere)?
It seems that many of them have. If we have to deal with a little bit of the slightly unsavory coal industry for a few more decades while nuclear power takes more of a hold and mechanical efficiency improves, I’ll take it….if it means some more open space, some woods, and habitat for thousands of species big and small, in a city like Palo Alto.
I hope the “gee, it will have economic benefits while we save the environment [by paving over it]” politics fails to the “just let us have our damn eight acre park” environmentalism. I’m afraid, though, that AGW will win again. [Read me @ 20/10]