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Where We Live: Scorecard

How we track our progress

President Obama in his victory speech stated clearly that, “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Since this Huffington Post article was written back in July we’ve added an endless Midwest drought and a record-setting dry spell here, Hurricane Sandy, the Nor’easter, continued the warmest year in US history, and the continuing Midwest drought to back up the President's worry. The US Department of Defense takes this seriously, stating climate change is one of the biggest security concerns they have over the next fifty years, assisting in numerous climate research projects, and engaging in a huge, department-wide campaign to reduce fuel use and overall environmental impacts of the U.S. military- the world’s largest user of petroleum. 

Yeah, the climate is changing around us, no matter how the deniers whine, but we’re not standing still here. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Shoreline and Lake Forest Park are doing a great deal and planning even more.  As Hilary Franz said, we’re leaders here in Green activities. In fact, we are obligated. The City of Shoreline has signed on to the King County Cities Climate Collaboration, a formal agreement to advance the environmental redesign of our urban area. Specifically, we have pledged “to work together to directly respond to climate change and reduce global and local sources of climate pollution”

This includes-

Outreach: Develop, refine, and utilize messaging and tools for climate change outreach to engage decision makers, other cities, and the general public.

Coordination: Collaborate on adopting consistent standards, benchmarks, strategies, and overall goals related to responding to climate change.

Solutions: Share local success stories, challenges, data and products that support and enhance climate mitigation efforts by all partners.

Funding and resources: Collaborate to secure grant funding and other shared resource opportunities to support climate related projects and programs. 

So how are we doing? Shoreline has developed a scorecard of sorts. It’s pretty slick, and you might think it’s just eye-candy, but Forevergreen  represents a huge amount of detailed thought and work. It grades us on Natural Habitat (Limited Progress), Resource Conservation (Limited Progress), Built Environment (Limited Progress), and City Initiatives (Strong Progress). Each category is divided into specifics, like Built Environment, which includes Green Streets (Strong Progress), Green Buildings (Limited Progress), Tree Canopy (Strong Progress), and Transportation Infrastructure (Limited Progress) and each has a paragraph description.

What I’d like to see is more detail. What do the ratings mean? How are they determined? What next-steps are there to improve things? Are more reporting categories anticipated? This is just the kind of resource an involved citizen should be able to refer to, and this is just the kind of gateway site it needs. Now to improve itand use it for all our betterment.

Rick Lewis November 13, 2012 at 03:32 AM
At least as important as details of the grading, are changes over time and comparisons with comparable and nearby cities.

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