Two resolutions on the agenda for the Tuesday, Dec. 3 town hall meeting of the Greensboro City Council give a pretty good indication of the priorities of this council.
The “Resolution to Support Establishment of a 20-year Strategic Plan and Goals to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy for the City of Greensboro” is fairly typical of the priorities of this City Council, and that priority, despite what councilmembers often say, is not on jobs.
Part of the resolution reads, “Whereas, in its Sustainability Action Plan, the CSC [Community Sustainability Council] recommended the City establish a preliminary goal of stabilizing GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions at forecasted 2010 levels by the year 2020, and while the plan was accepted by the City Council in January 2011, it was not formally adopted.”
In plain language that means in 2011 the City Council thanked the CSC for its hard work but didn’t believe that it made sense to adopt the plan.
Another Whereas states, “In March 2015, the CSC presented an update of their Greenhouse Gas Inventory that found that Greensboro’s carbon footprint shrank by nearly 20 percent from 2007 to 2013, although this decrease was attributable to both favorable and unfavorable trends in the City over that period.”
The unfavorable trend was the collapse of the economy in 2008, the unemployment rate was so high that one factor that reduced the greenhouse gas emissions in the city was that far fewer people were driving to and from work. Plus many of the industries where they had worked had closed down. A closed factory does not emit much in the way of greenhouse gases.
So what the CSC considered good news for Greensboro – a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – a lot of people who were out of work considered really bad news.
If the primary goal of the Greensboro City Council is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy use, discouraging industry from locating in Greensboro is one way to help accomplish that goal.
Another resolution is to recognize Dec. 21 as “National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.” Issues involving homeless persons have been a top priority for this City Council.
But just for comparison while at the first meeting in November the City Council recognized the month as “No Straw November” there was no resolution recognizing Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.