Chicago Pledges Deep Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Chicago Mayor Richard Daly pledged last week that the City of Chicago would take significant steps to lower its carbon footprint.  For starters, the City Council is expected to consider changes to its building codes to require better insulation and more efficient heating and cooling systems in residences and businesses.  The city also plans to promote alternative energy (including solar energy installations at city-owned buildings) and increased use of public transportation.  Two coal-fired power plants will close or significantly reduce their emissions by 2017. By 2050, the City's goal is to reduce carbon emissions to one-fifth of 1990 levels.

The article goes on to note that the average winter temperature in Chicago has risen 4 degrees since 1980.  While such a drastic temperature change in such a short time is likely to reflect both natural temperature variations and warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, there is little doubt that human activities are warming the planet.

The Mayor's press release can be found at the City of Chicago's website.  The Environmental Protection Agency's climate change website looks at the science, health effects, economic, and policy issues surrounding climate change.  The New York Times also has a nice site.

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