Bloomberg: “New York City 2030: Accepting the Challenge”

Is happening right now….Catch it at NYC.gov

  • Its not working for me…anybody else having problems listening in? Too much traffic?

  • Did you go back through http://www.nyc.gov?

  • Its on now, Thanks.

  • I hate to break it to the Mayor, but a 30 percent reduction is not going to save the city from eventually drowning under rising sea levels. The industrialized countries need a 90 percent reduction by 2050 to stave off dangerous climate change.
    But ts a start. And I love this concept that the Government is asking for good ideas from the people of the city…This could be a great opportunity.

  • someguy

    Some good ideas to save energy that quickly come to mind:

    1. A “cool” and “warm” biz program like Japan:
    http://www.triplepundit.com/pages/japanese-cool-biz-program-payi-001781.php
    Government can set an example by having official dress codes that encourage energy-saving dress during extreme hot or cold temperatures.

    2. Reduce climate control in tall buildings by taking better advantage of natural air circulation at those heights — i.e. make buildings more permeable to air. You get significant breezes at those heights, you don’t need air conditioning most of the summer if you let the breezes in.

  • Painting the roofs white or silver would save tons of energy in the summer. Ans that is cheap and easy to do.

  • Transportation stuff is very broad brush –

    * Get subways to state of good repair.
    * Expand transit capacity to reduce or at least not worsen travel times in the city as the population rises sharply.

    How to achieve the 2nd? Watch these pages!

  • How about putting solar panels on the roof of every building in NYC to generate electricity and heat for the buildings?

  • Steve

    I took a quick tour through the PlaNYC site, which is mainly a portal through which to view existing content on NYC.gov with a bit of added content. The added content includes a ten- point plan for city residents seeking ways to “make themselves and their communities more sustainable”, dubbed “ActioNYC”. This ten point plan omits any mention of shifting transportation whatsoever! (except to advise readers to stay in NYC because living in a city that has mass transit has less environmental impact than living in a non-urban location).

    Forget congestion pricing, traffic reduction targets, or any other meaningful policy initiatives; the Mayor is not even willing to make a direct moral appeal to residents to use mass transit instead of driving! He takes the subway himself as a kind of example; why couldn’t he have at least elaborated on that and said that his preference is informed not only by his desire to be “close to the governed” (ha), but his concern for global warming?

    I know that today is just the announcement of the initiative and things presumably will become more detailed and concrete. And I know better than to expect a charismatic or even direct appeal from this man. But the lack of any detail or passion on transportation issues or open space is far below my already low expectations.

    On the other hand, I am surprised by the scope of vision behind reclaiming 90% of the waterways and waterfronts. That would be huge and dramatically transform the city. It may be under this plan that the city “greens from the edges in” and that the dominance of motor vehicles will be the last thing to be fixed.

  • Police cars also produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Perhaps the NYPD should get rid of 25% of its police cars and replace them with cops on bikes.

  • P

    John-
    Unsubsidized solar panels have at least a 20-30 year simple payback time.

    Changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescents pays itself back in 6 months to a year. Better insulation and a better heating system are also much better values for your money if you want to reduce the amount of fossil fuel you use.

    I’m all for the bike proposal though.

  • ddartley

    A thousand reasons to get rid of a bunch of cop cars and replace them with bikes.

    Just one: a cop on a bike responding to an emergency will get through midtown on a bike much faster than in a car.

    Oh, heck, here’s another: maintenance and fuel costs.

  • brent

    “John-
    Unsubsidized solar panels have at least a 20-30 year simple payback time.

    Changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescents pays itself back in 6 months to a year. Better insulation and a better heating system are also much better values for your money if you want to reduce the amount of fossil fuel you use.”

    A good point. The unfortunate truth is that replacing consumer products- air conditioners, refridgerators, cars, light bulbs- with “more efficient” products is a scam. There is no such thing as green consumerism because through the entire use of the product, it will never, ever save more energy than was required to manufacture it.

  • v

    brent –

    ok, if you can do without lightbulbs. but when a lightbulb in your house goes out, you need a new one. same for a lot of other things (though proper fixing rather than dumping can do a lot). installing better insulation can offset the environmental cost of the insulation itself, provided it’s done right and not just more.

    reducing demand has to be paired with responsible use. responsible replacement can be responsible use. i don’t think there’s anything wrong with the “when you’re in the market, buy green” mentality, so long as it’s paired with a consumption consciousness.

    -v

  • Oy, such a lightweight speech! Okay, maybe it’s the table-setter for bold specifics later on, but it’s still a missed opportunity. Imagine (just one little example) if the mayor had talked of having every New Yorker live within a 3-minute bike ride walk of a park (rather than “within a 10-minute walk of a park”). Multiply by 50-odd paragraphs …

    And hello Brent — sorry, but your blanket indictment of energy efficiency (won’t save enough btu’s to offset the energy to mfg) just ain’t so.

    Consider compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost around 3 bucks wholesale. If 20% of that cost is for energy (and that’s generous), then the energy cost to make each bulb is 60 cents, which would have paid for around 10 kilowatt-hours. Yet over its life the bulb — if it replaces incandescent bulbs — will save around 400 kilowatt-hours, or 40 times the energy need to make it.
    (Math supplied upon request.)

    Get my point? Meanwhile, did you see I put a quote from you (anonymously) in my piece about Eric Ng’s death, in the Downtown Express (see link on Sblog). Thanks for that.

  • bartonfink

    But mightn’t cops on bikes drive up the cost of donuts?

    All that energy has to come from somewhere.

  • brent

    V- I agree. I am just tired of the corporate machine trying to manipulate people into solving environmental problems through consumption. Like Al Gore in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ telling people to buy all kinds of environmental products. Mass consumerism and environmentalism are completely incompatable no matter how it is advertised (and reinforced by the corporate media).

  • CFLs are worth every cent. I’m giving them out as stocking stuffers this year…

  • We just installed solar panels on the roof of our house in Brooklyn for hot water heating along with an ultra-efficient oil boiler. Boy, I could have used some subsidies from the city to help pay for it. Jeff Perlman at Brightpower.biz did the work for us. He’s great if anyone is interested in having him do similar work. I’ll try to do a posting on it soon. It’s still too early to tell how much money and carbon it’s saving us but I don’t think it’s going to pay for itself for a long while (unless, of course, oil goes through the roof, which it might).

  • P

    Brent, it must be pretty dark in your apartment.

    Seriously, as Komanoff suggests, your numbers are off. While sitting in the cold and dark might make you feel more righteous it isn’t the best course for conservation, first of all, because no one will do it.

    It does, of course, take petroleum to make, for instance, foam insulation. However, the amount of petroleum saved from that addition to your building is staggering. As it happens foam has better insulating qualities than a sweater.

  • It’s true that a solar heating system has a long payback time. I wonder if the same holds true for geothermal heating systems.

  • Correct me if I’m mistaken, but aren’t there federal, state and/or local tax credits or deductions available for homeowners who install solar heating systems? In addition, homeowners who generate more energy than they consume using solar panels can sell excess energy back to the grid, literally making their electric meter run backwards.

  • Jersey has great subsidies for this kind of thing. My Father only paid 25% for his solar panels, the NJ Govt. paid the other 75%! I think they are scaling this back though – because they obviously cannot afford to do that for everyone.

    In NY I think you can get a 17-25% rebate…anybody know the specifics on this?

  • brent

    -“And hello Brent — sorry, but your blanket indictment of energy efficiency (won’t save enough btu’s to offset the energy to mfg) just ain’t so.
    Consider compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost around 3 bucks wholesale. If 20% of that cost is for energy (and that’s generous), then the energy cost to make each bulb is 60 cents, which would have paid for around 10 kilowatt-hours. Yet over its life the bulb — if it replaces incandescent bulbs — will save around 400 kilowatt-hours, or 40 times the energy need to make it.” -Komanoff

    Komanoff and P, the whole point I am trying to make is that describing energy in terms of economics is irrelevant to energy conservation even if it is great for money conservation. Energy happens to be artificially cheap at this particular point in history because a huge amount of civilization’s efforts are going into finding and exploiting it. Fossil fuels, by far the most used form of energy, are like a piggy bank of energy saved over millions of years. This means that there is abundant and available energy for mining raw materials, moving them from point a to b, producing finished goods, delivering them thousands of miles to a retailer, allowing the consumer to pick up the product, and feeding everyone involved in this process (calories). These factors are not all calculated into the 60 cents to make each bulb because the metaphorical piggy bank is cashing out in our favor, energy is abundant. If all of this ancillary energy was factored in, it would actually take a huge amount of energy to make a light bulb, regardless of if it was 60 cents, 2 cents, or a C note. My point is that if someone has a crappy inefficient fridge and wants to save energy, the best thing to do is just keep it. If you want to save money, go ahead and throw it away and buy one that Best Buy has deemed “EnergyStar”.

  • P

    “My point is that if someone has a crappy inefficient fridge and wants to save energy, the best thing to do is just keep it.”

    The price of the refrigerator has the cost of the energy built into it (undervalued or not). If the energy savings of a new Energy Star refrigerator pay for the replacement of your ten year old refrigerator (which they do) you are consuming less energy despite the production of a new appliance.

    The equation will become even more pronouced as the cost of energy rises because it is only one component of many in the manufacture of a refrigerator while it is the entire cost of the operation of a refrigerator.

  • Right, all the more reason for us to invest now in more energy efficient infrastructure NOW rather than when energy prices rise dramatically. The salient point is to stop consuming energy intensive “wants” (car rides to nowhere) and invest in energy efficient infrastructure that takes care of our “needs” like EnergyStar appliances.

    I think it is completely rational to invest now for efficiency later.

  • steve

    Ever ride a bike down 57th Street in August? All the boutiques have their doors thrown open with industrial-strength air conditioners turned to 11 in hopes of luring shoppers in off the simmering pavement. The effect is so powerful that it cools you off as you bike by. Outlawing that practice would probably reduce energy consumption more than all of the personal conservation steps that Sblog readers might undertake, with or without subsidies. Personal responsibility is important, but it’s not everything.

  • gecko

    Brainstorm

    Here in NYC there are about 20 underwater train tunnels part of subway systems where train cars (only) are cooled by electricity produced by fossil fuels. Apparently, water cooling is only good for automobiles! Even though, there is virtually an unlimited amount of cold dense water at 39 degress beyond the continental shelf and just a few miles off Montauk and the beginning of Long Island Sound. Water starts to expand at 39 degrees which is why ice floats. Cooling the Sound by inducing some kind of convection system generated currents toward New York City might not only greatly reduce the need for air conditioning in the New York Metropolitan region during summer, but provide a measure of immunity during Hurricane season when storms gravitate towards the higher sea surface temperatures. There have to be some aliens up there looking down on us laughing their fool heads off that we have to heat stuff to cool stuff!

  • someguy

    Uhh.. sounds like a fail-safe plan, gecko.. 🙂

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