A square in Gijon, Spain – dense, with a terrific mixture of uses, and even, yes, bike rentals. (Carbon footprint in Spain: 7.72 tons per capita, 2004)
I just cannot resist picking at some low-hanging fruit. In yesterday’s New York Times, staff writer Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed piece he filed in Berlin, while traveling in Germany. (Carbon footprint in Germany: 9.79 tons per capita, 2004). The piece is entitled “Stranded in Suburbia” – you can look it up.
In this piece, Prof. Dr. Krugman (Princeton, Economics) writes that he believes we are in trouble with the way we live, in a time of rising fuel costs, and as we face issues of sustainability and rising food prices. (Carbon footprint in U.S.: 20.4 tons per capita, 2004). He compares our way of living with what he is experiencing in German cities and towns. So far so good. He notes that we use too much oil, have too many cars, and he tells us that our patterns of habitation are wrong in these challenging times. He suggests that we should drive less, in smaller cars, use transit more often, stay away from suburbs, and live instead in mixed use settings with more density and more services. Okay then.
What planet is this guy on? Hey, New York Times, Rome is burning – cut the fiddling! Seldom do we have a chance to see the profoundly obvious so underwhelmingly stated, and by the world’s greatest newspaper no less. I guess it may be too late, after all.
In Lisbon. (Carbon footprint in Portugal: 5.63 tons per capita, 2004).