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Friday, June 4, 2010

CONTEST: Best climate ideas for Salem's next mayor

OK, now that slightly more than a third of us bothered to pick who would run unopposed for the mayor's seat in November, the real work can begin: Helping her understand the opportunities and challenges Salem is going to face as a result of the massive "let's wing it and see what happens" experiment we're running to determine what happens when you pump aeons of fossil-fuel carbon emissions into the atmosphere in a century or so.

To do so, I thought I'd try something new: a LOVESalem reader contest.

That is, to help get more people thinking about how Salem can either help prevent, prepare for, or respond to the global climate destabilization experiment we're running, LOVESalem is giving away three hardbound copies* of the excellent book "The Weather Makers" by Tim Flannery to the three people who submit the most interesting, creative, and useful ideas (in my opinion) for how Salem can help prevent, prepare for, or respond to the consequences of this experiment.

To enter, put your idea(s) into a comment below. Enter as many times as you like, be as creative as you can, and anticipate objections where possible (while remaining reasonably concise). Feel free to build on the ideas of others (so long as you add something significant to them).

When it seems that the brainstorming has tapered off, I'll try to consolidate all the ideas and pick three winners. If you want the book, put an email in with your suggestions or otherwise let me know how to contact you so I can get you the book if one of your ideas lands among the three best.

[*Fine Print: Potentially this will only prove that nobody reads LOVESalem; if so, or if the ideas are all recycled or if I just can't find three that grab me as exciting, then I'll do something else with the books. In other words, while I hope to give away these three books in return for some great ideas, the books aren't guaranteed to be given away at all. Oh, and since everybody's carbon emissions are the problem, you don't have to live in Salem or even Oregon to win -- you do have to live in the US, though, because the price of mailing books internationally has gotten way out of hand. But if you're outside the US and you have a great idea for what Salem should do, feel free to speak up, as this is a problem that hurts everybody, everywhere.]

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reduce the use of fossil fuel by reducing the use of electricity generated in coal fired power plants by switching to compact florescent light bulbs. Turn down your thermostat, especially if you use electrical baseboard heaters. Drive your car less. Seal your home and add insulation to reduce heat loss. Install solar water heating. Install light tubes to provide passive light. Change the building code to allow more use of local and low-tech materials like earth and straw. Start growing your own food. Build a root cellar and learn how to preserve your food without electricity.

Anonymous said...

Pass the city ordinance to allow 3 chickens to be kept by home owners.

Anonymous said...

Create safe routes for bicycle riders.

Anonymous said...

Plant food producing trees instead of trees that don't produce food.

Anonymous said...

Buy locally produced food instead of food that must be shipped long distances to get to Salem.

Anonymous said...

Re-localize, join Transition Salem.

Anonymous said...

Buy products that use natural renewable materials like wool, alpaca, hemp, cotton, wood and bamboo.

Anonymous said...

Create a local currency.

Anonymous said...

Turn off the lights in buildings that are closed.

Anonymous said...

Create higher density housing and neighborhood markets. Learn crafts and other practical skills that increase self-sufficiency.

Amecameca said...

Run streetcars down the middle of Commercial St. S. and Market St. E. Model this after Interstate Ave. in Portland which is a wonderful example of how to tame the automobile with a streetcar and bike lanes. The success of these two streetcar lines will feed a demand for more lines in Salem. To see what I am talking about take a field trip to Interstate Ave. in Portland and ride the streetcar.

(I don't want the book. Donate it to the library in my name and I will check it out!)

Anonymous said...

Reduce gasoline use by requiring City employees to live in Salem (or if that's too extreme or illegal, offer cash incentives to employees who live in the City and even bigger ones to employees who don't drive to work).

Anonymous said...

I love the library, and I love books, but the daily US Mail, UPS, and FedEx deliveries of new books, magazines, newspapers, and AV materials must represent significant CO2 emissions. I think the library should seriously investigate ways to organize the ordering process so as to require fewer deliveries. Also look at materials that can be obtained online or otherwise electronically (though I realize there are environmental costs related to all that electronic stuff, too, so it may not be that helpful).