Mayor Anderson leads fight against global warming

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

Salt Lake City has gone green to combat global warming.

Mayor Rocky Anderson addressed the issue and the steps Salt Lake City is taking to protect and preserve the environment at an Oct. 18 lecture held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and sponsored by the honors program.

Through the program Salt Lake City Green, which was organized in 2001, Anderson encourages residents to make daily life changes through conservation, energy efficiency and the utilization of clean and renewable sources of fuel and energy.

In this program, Anderson said, “We are working with dog waste, nuclear waste and everything in between.”

Since 2001, 21 billion tons of carbon dioxide have been added to the earth’s atmosphere, causing greenhouse gases to accumulate in the ozone layer and produce global warming.

Currently, Antarctic ice caps are melting, sea level has risen an average of four to eight inches and there have been dramatic increases in hurricanes, droughts, floods, mosquitoes, heat-related deaths and starvation.

Although the United States has not joined the international Kyoto Accords agreeing to fight the effects of global warming, Salt Lake City has set its own Kyoto goals aimed at reducing emissions. Already, in 2005, the city met its 2012 goal for emissions reductions.

Anderson said he is confident that Salt Lake City can make a difference in this international effort. “We have the means to combat global warming. Every city, county, state, business and individual can help,” he said.

The city government is taking measures to reduce emissions and energy use by encouraging open space, greater use of public transportation, changing light bulbs to fluorescent lighting and using energy-efficient cars.

Recently, a city ordinance has been instated making all energy-efficient cars exempt from parking-meter charges. Anderson said he hopes the U will do the same.

Anderson has ordered that all future city-owned buildings be environmentally friendly. He looks to expand the light-rail, encourage recycling and encourage biking and walking.

Anderson has also worked with U students to increase tuition $1 to contribute to environmental causes.

At the U, some steps are being taken to protect the environment. Jessica Batty, a freshman in architecture, said there are recycling bins at her house in Officer’s Circle that are left on the porch and picked up in the morning.

Sophomore architecture major Mike Klekas said there is still much room for improvement. “I do like Rocky’s idea about free parking at the U for energy-efficient cars. We also need to stop heating buildings to ridiculously uncomfortable temperatures in the winter and ridiculously low temperatures in the summer,” he said.

Lennie Mahler

Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson shares his views on global warming with a PowerPoint presentation at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium on Wednesday evening.