I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome and wise comments. In particular, I want to pick up on “JGA”’s comments about organizing, morality, and new ideas. I hope this blog can really help people across Connecticut with this, and I plan on coming back to these themes.
Earth Day provides a good focus for this. From a morality perspective, the religious amongst us will recognize that we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation. Yet unfortunately, too often public policy doesn’t reflect this. So, we need to organize as concerned citizens. Thirty-Five years ago, twenty million people across America participated in the first Earth Day. Now, it is an annual event. The EPA has a website about Earth Day. You can follow the links to local activities, but unfortunately, none are listed for Connecticut.
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has a website dedicated to Earth Day with a lot of great ideas. I hope everyone goes out and does something special for Earth Day.
Mayor DeStefano has already shown great commitment to the environment. After I had breakfast with him to discuss the website, we chatted briefly beside my 2001 hybrid car. He has a newer hybrid and we compared mileage. It is great to be working with a person that takes a personal interest in cleaner and more efficient transportation.
I knew that he had added bike lanes to the streets of New Haven. I’ve only just learned that New Haven now has ten hybrid vehicles. In my mind, a little competition between the cities as to who has the cleanest and most efficient transportation system would be a good thing.
I also recently learned that New Haven received a grant from the EPA to “purchase ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for all of the 251 city’s school buses” and “to retrofit those buses with particulate matter filters”. (For more information see this website).
A few years ago, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill that required school buses to limit their idling time, but stopped short of requiring cleaner fuel. Cleaner fuel for buses is the kind of new ideas that pay off in the long term, especially in terms of improved health. We need more new ideas like this. Personally, I would like to see a move to buses fueled by BioDiesel, but that’s a long post in and of itself.
Then, of course, there is the solar energy project that was mentionedhere a few days ago.
Under Mayor DeStefano’s leadership, New Haven has instituted bold new ideas to make the city cleaner and more ecologically. We need this across the state. However, this isn’t something to be done only by a Mayor or Governor. It is something that each one of us needs to do. We need to organize more efforts to improve the environment in our state.
What are you doing for Earth Day?