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Message for Al Gore

Fight for the cause, Al.

Hey Al,

We were impressed by An Inconvenient Truth and pleased when Barack Obama said earlier this week that if elected he’d offer you a cabinet job. Truth be told, we’d probably have voted for you in February’s primary if you’d been running.

BeyondDC is your kind of people, Al. We like you. We like what you stand for.

When we heard about your latest operation, the We Can Solve It campaign, we clicked over excitedly to read the latest news and sign up to do our part. Unfortunately, when we got there our initial excitement gave way to disappointment. You spend plenty of time talking about techno wizardry and new sources of energy, but we pored over your solutions page and find nary a mention of anything about changing our gluttonous driving-based lifestyle. You have a whole section titled Cutting fuel costs on the road, but in the entire piece the message “drive less” is nowhere to be found. Tucked way down deep below whole chapters about minor subjects like light bulbs, properly inflated tires, and residential air filters, there’s a single sentence about public transportation and a passing reference to walking to work, but that’s the extent – a single sentence and a passing reference. Nowhere on the entire We Can Solve It site is there any mention about living in a walkable, urban community. Nothing about the damage caused by sprawl. Searches on your site for “transit“, “walkable“, “downtown” and “suburban” come up completely blank.

Look, we get that you’re a politician trying to muster people behind a new idea, and we get that BeyondDC’s particular pet issue isn’t the sole solution to this country’s environmental woes, but for goodness sake it’s certainly a major part of the equation. Our auto-oriented lifestyles are the primary reason Americans pollute so much more than our first world cousins in Europe, so a shift to urban living is probably the single best thing anyone can do for the environment.

We’re not asking you to redesign your whole campaign, just to add a paragraph here and there addressing the tough-but-important issues of sprawl and urbanism. All that stuff you say about light bulbs and air filters is well and good, and the stuff you say about wind power is great, but please Al, say this also: Moving to the city is good for the environment.

We need you on this one, Al. Don’t let us down.

Rather than joining the We campaign, BeyondDC encourages readers to send them email noting this mountain-sized hole in their agenda, and asking them to update their rhetoric.

April 4th, 2008 | Permalink
Tags: environment, people



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