purechatterbox Posted June 18, 2010 Report Share Posted June 18, 2010 The US efforts to combat climate change at next weeks UN summit in Copenhagen, one Kansas town is going green in a big way — and setting an example for American communities. But this community of 1,400 is rebuilding stronger than ever, in a remarkable comeback billed by Greensburg GreenTown — a grassroots organization involving town residents, local officials and business owners — as a “model for sustainable building and green living.“ On the evening of May 4, 2007, a category-five tornado swept through the rural midwestern town of Greensburg, killing nine people and obliterating 95 percent of the urban landscape, including the school, the hospital and more than 900 houses. The efforts have attracted green experts and enthusiasts from around the world because of the Greensburgs environmentally sustainable principles through renewable energy.In the wake of disaster, local leaders vowed to rebuild their town as the first in the United States to have all municipal projects constructed to the highest environmental and efficiency design standards. A water conservation system turns rain into drinking water, wind turbines on the edge of town provide eco-friendly enery throughout the community, and the street lamps light up roads with LED lights. gEven the larger building projects are aiming for an almost 100-percent green record. Greensburgs eco-friendly, under-construction hospital, for example, has a heating and cooling system based on geothermal energy. Whereas previously the towns only pull was having the worlds largest hand-dug well, it now hopes to put itself on the map for eco-living. Bush spoke to students graduating from the high school here, saying the town “is back and its best days are ahead,” and pledging to continue federal aid for the community. In May 2008, then-president George W. Bush saluted Greensburg with a glowing review of the towns efforts, saying he wanted to celebrate the communitys “journey from tragedy to triumph.” Washington announced last month that, relative to a 2005 benchmark, it would reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020, 30 percent by 2025, 42 percent by 2030 and ultimately 83 percent by 2050. The December 7-18 UN summit in Denmarks capital Copenhagen will be a landmark move for US environmental efforts, with President Barack Obama scheduled to attend amid growing calls for a comprehensive, international treaty to confront the climate crisis. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to reach a two-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming target, a cut of 25 to 40 percent is needed by industrialized countries by 2020 compared to the 1990 benchmark. The US numbers have been criticized, however, as falling well below the contribution needed. The US target for 2020 would be the equivalent of only a four-percent cut against this benchmark, the IPCC says. source: http://www.go-eco.net Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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