Monday, July 9, 2007

Conference on Local Environmental Initiatives

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and the City of Fayetteville are hosting a four-day national workshop starting tomorrow at the Town Center on the “Saving Energy and Saving Money: The Economic Benefits of Local Climate Action." It is primarily an information exchange event designed to showcase and exchange ideas among local officials in cities around the nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make their cities more sustainable.

Mayor Coody is to be commended for bringing this conference to Fayetteville and for making sure that local citizens can attend the sessions for free on Wednesday and Thursday.
Here is a copy of the program. Presentations are planned by local, state and federal officials ranging from long-term global warming solutions to how to expand public transportation. It would also be a good idea to record the sessions for cablecast on the Government Channel 16 and Community Access Television Channel 18. This is an excellent chance for public information and education to increase citizen awareness and to build public support for the city's sustainability initiatives.

This would also be an excellent opportunity for Mayor Coody to explain how the Lights of the Ozarks fits within his
mandatory energy reduction program. It is unclear how burning over a million incandescent lightbulbs for a month-long public spectacle, increasing vehicle traffic, devoting the time of city employees to install and take down the lights, and sticking the taxpayers with a huge electric bill is a good idea for a local government that preaches energy conservation and sustainability. Some people might think it is just another scam in which the Chamber of Commerce and the Northwest Arkansas Times duped the city into making taxpayers pick up the tab for another pointless commercial orgy, so here's the chance to explain how that's not true.

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