Canceled carbon footprint savings

From the University of California – Berkeley

Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores

Interactive maps of US metro areas shows striking differences between cities and suburbs

According to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities’ extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits.

Dominated by emissions from cars, trucks and other forms of transportation, suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions – largely carbon dioxide – in United States.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), uses local census, weather and other data – 37 variables in total – to approximate greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the energy, transportation, food, goods and services consumed by U.S. households, so-called household carbon footprints.

A CoolClimate Map of New York City’s carbon footprint by zipcode tabulation area shows a pattern typical of large metropolitan areas: a small footprint in the urban core but a large footprint in surrounding suburbs. Credit: Daniel Kammen and Christopher Jones, UC Berkeley

Interactive carbon footprint maps for more than 31,000 U.S. zip codes in all 50 states are available online at http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/maps.

“The goal of the project is to help cities better understand the primary drivers of household carbon footprints in each location,” said Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy in the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy, and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. “We hope cities will use this information to begin to create highly tailored, community-scale climate action plans.”

A key finding of the UC Berkeley study is that suburbs account for half of all household greenhouse gas emissions, even though they account for less than half the population. The average carbon footprint of households living in the center of large, population-dense urban cities is about 50 percent below average, while households in distant suburbs are up to twice the average: a factor of four difference between lowest and highest locations.

“Metropolitan areas look like carbon footprint hurricanes, with dark green, low-carbon urban cores surrounded by red, high-carbon suburbs,” said Christopher Jones, a doctoral student working with Kammen in the Energy and Resources Group. “Unfortunately, while the most populous metropolitan areas tend to have the lowest carbon footprint centers, they also tend to have the most extensive high carbon footprint suburbs.”

Taking into account the impact of all urban and suburban residents, large metropolitan areas have a slightly higher average carbon footprint than smaller metro areas.

Developing sustainable cities

“A number of cities nationwide have developed exceptionally interesting and thoughtful sustainability plans, many of them very innovative,” Kammen said. “The challenge, however, is to reduce overall emissions. Chris and I wanted to determine analytically and present in a visually striking way the impacts and interactions of our energy, transportation, land use, shopping, and other choices. Cities are not islands: they exist in a complex landscape that we need to understand better both theoretically and empirically.”

The UC Berkeley researchers found that the primary drivers of carbon footprints are household income, vehicle ownership and home size, all of which are considerably higher in suburbs. Other important factors include population density, the carbon-intensity of electricity production, energy prices and weather.

“Cities need information on which actions have the highest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities,” explained Kammen. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution.”

Efforts to increase population density, for example, appear not to be a very effective strategy locally for reducing emissions. A 10-fold increase in population density in central cities yields only a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“That would require a really extraordinary transformation for very little benefit, and high carbon suburbanization would result as a side effect,” Jones said.

Increasing population density in suburbs appears to be an even a worse strategy, he said. Surprisingly, population dense suburbs have significantly higher carbon footprints than less dense suburbs.

“Population dense suburbs also tend to create their own suburbs, which is bad news for the climate,” explains Jones.

So if building more population-dense cities is not a viable solution for city planners, what is? The project website includes a tool that calculates carbon footprints for essentially every populated U.S. zip code, city, county and U.S. state (31,531 zip codes, 10,093 cities and towns, 3,124 counties, 276 metropolitan regions and 50 states) as well as an interactive online map allowing users to zoom in and out of different locations. Households and cities can calculate their own carbon footprints to see how they compare to their neighbors and create customized climate action plan from over 40 mitigation options.

In some locations, motor vehicles are the largest source of emissions, while in other locations it might be electricity, food, or goods and services. California, for example, has relatively low emissions associated with household electricity, but large emissions from transportation. The opposite is true in parts of the Midwest, where electricity is produced largely from coal.

Tailored emission lowering strategies

The real opportunity, say the authors, is tailoring climate solutions to demographically similar populations within locations.

“Suburbs are excellent candidates for a combination of solar photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles and energy-efficient technologies,” said Kammen. “When you package low carbon technologies together you find real financial savings and big social and environmental benefits.”

The authors argue that cities need to step out of traditional roles in planning urban infrastructure and learn how to better understand the needs of residents in order to craft policies and programs that enable the adoption of energy and carbon-efficient technologies and practices.

One example of this is the CoolCalifornia Challenge, a statewide carbon footprint reduction competition to name the “Coolest California City.” The program, run by Jones and Kammen and sponsored by the California Air Resources Board and Energy Upgrade California, will be accepting applications for new cities in February. Each city creates their own, targeted strategies to reduce barriers and increase motivation to engage residents in climate action.

“People need to act within their own spheres of influence, where they feel they can make the most difference,” Jones said. “We hope the information provided in these tools will help individuals, organization and cities understand what makes the most impact locally and to enable more tailored climate strategies.

###

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the California Air Resources Board.

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77 thoughts on “Canceled carbon footprint savings

  1. So this is the excuse they will use to pursue the Agenda21 aims of herding us all into massive “Judge Dredd” style mega cities is it? This country boy (living in the English Lake District) would rather die than submit to it!

  2. I was about to say exactly the same thing as Phillip. Complete, total, utter waste. And completely obvious too. But apparently in the rarified world of climate alarmism, logic never did factor in very much.

  3. Each city creates their own, targeted strategies to reduce barriers and increase motivation to engage residents in climate action.

    Fair enough. But three thoughts:
    1 Why only “climate action”? Why not crime reduction or community spirit or wealth creation or piety or…? How do you determine what the city is for?
    2 What do you do with the heretic? Ostracism, exile or some more punitive measure?
    3 On-going, who is in charge of the strategies and who watches them?

  4. carbon footprint

    ‘Dr Fleming said the Antarctic Division would complete the annual resupply of Casey station which was interrupted when the Aurora Australis was tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to go to the assistance of the stricken vessel some 800 nautical miles away.

    “This will include discharging the remaining cargo and loading material for return to Australia. It will unload about 500,000 litres of fuel and, if weather conditions permit, hopefully allow the completion of some programs interrupted when the ship was diverted on its rescue mission.’

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/media/news/2014/australian-antarctic-shipping-schedule-revised

    500,000 litres of fuel in one station.

  5. Models and more models
    to be used for “sustainability” implementations.
    I expect this to be quoted by members of the legislature in Sacramento as proof that we must not use our cars and must live in small apartments. “Bullet Train” anyone

  6. “500,000 litres of fuel in one station.”

    That is less than 1,400 litres per day for all purposes. Electricity, Vehicles, Boats, Aircraft and heating (and it’s cold in the Antarctic). I don’t know whether they have wind power at Casey (Mawson station has), but this part of Antarctica is one of the very few places on Earth where windpower is fairly reliable since it is usually windy even when it is very cold.

  7. Even by the low standards of climate science, this is really quite special. A complete and utter waste of time, money and resources.

    Follow the argument through to its logical conclusion and we shall all have to live cheek by jowl in Stalinist box apartments. For those who have never seen one in Cuba or the former Soviet Union, this is a highly undesirable way to live.

  8. M Courtney says:
    January 7, 2014 at 2:00 am
    “Fair enough. But three thoughts:
    1 Why only “climate action”? Why not crime reduction or community spirit or wealth creation or piety or…? How do you determine what the city is for?”

    Oh come on. Do you want us to believe you don’t know about Agenda 21 and ICLEI?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICLEI

  9. Regardless of the motivations behind this GIS survey and the metrics used, it looks like it has produced results which would surprise many urban planners who advocate densification on spurious sustainability principles. I wish more planners would to do their own data digging and mapping. The tools are there.

  10. The model says we should build Caves of Steel. Sounds like Berkeley. More government intervention is always the answer.

  11. Regardless of the motivations and metrics used, a study with results that would surprise urban planners who advocate higher density living on spurious sustainability grounds. Would like to see a lot more planners do their own data digging, mapping and analysis. The tools are all there these days.
    [Dupe? Mod]

  12. Ask for their raw data and their methods, and see what happens. Rosa Koire has been fighting these UN progressives for years now.

  13. I could do a map like that.

    I presume it’s done by modelling, rather than by getting any real data. Just pick a city – the people living inside won’t spend a lot getting to work while the people outside will. Pick an arbitrary boundary line.

    Then just estimate average miles traveled, cash spent, or any other obvious variable, convert to CO2 using a simplistic guess, and mark on the map in two contrasting colours, light blue and fiery red…

  14. what about the huge amount of energy litterally build in the core cities ? It’s a huge capital, and this capital does what capital allows do : increse efficiency

  15. From the article:
    “The UC Berkeley researchers found that the primary drivers of carbon footprints are household income, vehicle ownership and home size, all of which are considerably higher in suburbs.”

    Then the solution is obvious: Reduce people’s income, house size mobility. This is better known as poverty.

  16. Really??? What a crock. When I saw UC Berkeley I should have stopped reading. It’s all about the “privileged class” that doesn’t conform to the city model that the elites believe the mass populous should conform to. Nothing more, nothing less. NO SCIENCE HERE, just social stereotyping.

  17. Silly me, I thought the problem was Carbon Di-oxide.

    If they cannot get that right, what else is left to believe in this “report”. Does the author qualify for the longest job title ever. Man he must be Important.

  18. phillipbratby says:
    January 7, 2014 at 3:41 am
    “DirkH. Douglas Adams had a solution for the useless members of society.”

    I know. It’s difficult to tell whether the EU uses that story as its playbook or 1984.

  19. Several studies have been done measuring urban and suburban CO2 and confirm that CO2 is higher in the cities. I’m surrounded by trees here in suburbia, people in urban housing projects – not so much.

    CO2 is a beneficial gas and the damn trees are robbing it from us! Therefore we need emergency government subsidies to create more CO2 for fatter back-yard crops in CO2 starved suburban gardens. Perhaps a coal fired power plant or two would help?

  20. What’s the betting that once they get away with this idea that carbon is pollution, that they will use this as a way of applying taxes to individual people, much like insurance companies rate clients based on their postcode. In that context, it isn’t at all a waste of time. It is a nasty and insidious piece of work.

    And it won’t stop there. They will look at a postcode’s carbon footprint and make decisions as to whether a certain business can locate there, and other aspects of how other people in that postcode conduct their life. It is yet another piece of the thin end of a very long wedge.

  21. “Surprisingly, population dense suburbs have significantly higher carbon footprints than less dense suburbs.”
    Not so surprising. Some of us have been pointing out for years that the urban planners’ enthusiasm for “urban consolidation” was a shibboleth (eg what the in-crowd believe in but the rest of use know is bunk). It ignores a whole range of issues such as cost of retro-fit, UHI, and other costs of urban concentration. So – they try to re-work the “figures” using the dubious currency of “carbon footprint” ?
    “Each city creates their own, targeted strategies to reduce barriers and increase motivation to engage residents in climate action.” Pretty much straight out of the ICLEI handbook.

  22. So if the electricity used in the inner city is produced by a power plant out in the sticks, it’s the zip code with the power plant that is blamed for the “carbon footprint” ?

  23. Ken Hall says: January 7, 2014 at 1:36 am “This country boy (living in the English Lake District) would rather die than submit to it!” Well said!

    We Westerners must learn the lessons of the Buddhist monks self-immolation. I have resolved to not survive the encounter with government agents trying to disarm me or relocate me from my Lake Michigan Island home. MOLON LABE (sometimes having come, take, sometimes, in modern American English, “From my cold dead hands!”) when uttered by King Leonidas at Thermoplyae, did not refer to his arms, but to his army’s lives, and to ours.

  24. Right, the gang of Green is now targeting ZIP codes to define the non problem?
    Now here is what is going to happen:
    1. they take your guns and fleece you to the bone.
    2. one night they start marching.
    3. they surround your ZIP code area,
    4. they kick in your door,
    5. arrest you and your family
    6. the Carbon Court informs you about the carbon crimes you have committed.
    7. After a swift trial you are convicted of crimes against Gaia and send to a sustainability camp

    We’re all Jews now.

    It’s them or us, no doubt about it.

  25. I will have to read this, but my first impressions is “Here comes agenda 21″ with it’s urban prisons. I think the researcher has likely ignored sinks and of course “Quality of Life” is nowhere to be seen… cities have lots of emissions but no sinks, decentralisation puts the emissions where the sinks are which results in lower Nett emission – For example on my rural hectare property I sink about 3 times what I emit. I doubt that’s accounted at all. I wonder if the researcher ever saw “Escape from New York” to understand what an unhealthy world he is committed to building. Not to mention that Agenda 21’s urban prisons would create a complete disconnect between the population and the real world, a completely artificial environment, Humanity in a bubble, I can’t think of a worse punishment – just hang me instead

    Like Ken Hall, if they decide they want me to inhabit a 10m square box in the city, then they’ll be wheeling me out of here in a considerably smaller wooden box before they’ll get me to leave.

  26. Anthony Hopkins did a wonderful 2007 indie-movie, Slipstream, in which he played a character named Felix Bonhoeffer. In the middle of the film’s run-time I noticed a book, prominently displayed in the background, that featured the book author’s name BONHOEFFER. Thus I discovered Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemöller’s Confessing Church and its legacy.

    Pastor Niemöller is better known, particularly in US RKABA circles, as author of “First They Came …” Yes, all freemen are now dhimmi, branded for our resistance with Stern der Ehrenbürger in red, white and blue.

  27. This study looks like the justification for “Smart Growth”. Stick everyone in a central city, in a high rise building, with no cars, use only public transportation, and oh yeh! keep the income level down by taxing and redistribution of wealth. This must have been done in the geography dept at Berkley.
    It is just another generalized model with generalized parameters. It doesn’t consider those people who do try to conserve energy.

    Our electric power company generalizes power use by households and zip code. This does not consider the side of the house, the source for A/C nor heat. I live in a farm community where most of the houses are small, old leaky wooden farm houses w/o A/C and the heat source is either oil or wood stove. The houses are heated to 62F at best. Our house is one of the larger houses (there are others much larger & new too), but very energy efficient. I like 70F in the summer & winter (this is MD where it is hot in the summer and right now at 1F–very unusually cold). We are compared to other houses in the zip as being in the middle of the energy use. But the reality is we use very very little power consumption. Models are for playing with in my opinion. They are not reality. But they do create jobs for academics. ;-)

  28. Anthony,
    There is an increasing political edge to many posts on this and the tamiflu thread that I believe can damage climate skepticism. In my opinion to the extent that we lose focus on the prime issue of climate, we lose the climate debate and what ever social capital we accumulate when we are focused on climate. If we stick to the failure of AGW to prove its claims of a highly sensitive climate response to CO2 we win, If we continue to document the failure of AGW inspired policies such as ethanol, wind, solar, carbon tax, and climate treaties, we win. If we focus on bizarre rent seeking scams like Turney’s Antarctic frolic, or the debacle in Britain over their energy policy or how the EPA and DoE have wasted billions and destroyed jobs pursuing bad policies and idiocratic ‘investments’ of tax payer dollars, we win. If we descend into Agenda 21 and other global conspiracies, we lose. If we start critiquing other science issues that we have expressed no prior interest in, we lose. Let the climate kooks be seen clearly as the conspiratorial wack jobs they are. Let’s not try to occupy that space they dominate so well. Let them beclown themselves with polar vortices from a grade C sci fi movie. Let them justify Turney’s bogus quest to Antarctica. Let them tell Americans freezing in deep winter that global warming is worse than ever.
    We just need to keep pointing out their failures. That is the role of the skeptic. And on climate we are good and, to judge from the increasingly rabid actions of the climate opinion makers, we are pretty good at it.

  29. This study is so outrageously flawed, it’s disgusting.

    1. So what if cities produce more CO2, it’s the suburbs, w/ trees, lawns, gardens, etc, that take in that CO2. The only useful number would be net CO2.

    2. Suburbs were EXPLICITLY created as a result of removing manufacturing and other “dirty” processes from cities, b/c the high concentration of pollutants that were seen in cities. So, they sent companies and their employees out of the cities to reduce the concentration of exhausts, and now this study is supposed to demonstrate that happened. No duh!
    Yet now this new situation is supposed to be a problem.

    Dumn.

  30. Leave it to one of California’s “citidels of higher learning” to spend lots of money and time and effort trying to solve a problem that exists largely in the minds of these Brainless souls, pointing out things that everyone who has ever paid an electric bill or gas station bill already knows – cram people into highrise condos and those people will require less energy for HVAC, the largest household energy consumer. We also already know that houses in places like California don’t
    require as much energy as those in International Falls Minnesota.
    A pointless study, by idiots, for idiots.
    Rather than attempt to control peoples lives and reduce their freedom and choices, these arrogant SOBs should be suggesting the obvious – if you want to reduce carbon, build nuclear.
    Gas powered cars are poised to become obsolete at the first appearance of a practical battery,
    which won’t be that long in coming, so stop wasting your time planning for a tansportation future that won’t even exist. And these morons are equating carbon-free with “renewable” which is total ignorance, since the largest amounts of carbon free energy we use comes from nuclear, which due to ignorance, is claimed to be an exhaustible energy source, which it clearly is not : nuclear fuel will be around as long as our sun is still shining. Other than that ….

  31. I note that they completely ignore the sociological cost of dense cities – crime rates and violence are higher because of the dense population. Humans are only able to handle so many interactions before they need some alone time. In dense cities they get this alone time by dehumanizing the people around them and slowly tuning out of their true humanity, thus the violence. So we can all be herded into a violence time bomb or we can emit a little more nondangerous CO2. As with everything else pushed by environmental activists (not the real scientist who study real biosystems mind you), we have to chose between a non-problem and full on state control of everyone’s lives “for our own good.”

  32. Col Mosby says:
    January 7, 2014 at 5:49 am
    …Gas powered cars are poised to become obsolete at the first appearance of a practical battery,
    which won’t be that long in coming…

    They’ve been “not that long in coming” since the days when Edison’s lab discovered 30+ ways to not make a better battery. The engineering hurdles in battery technology have come a long way, but mostly in improving the efficiency of existing technology. The problem really comes down to a couple of factors: holding the energy density required without becoming explosively unstable, and charge cycle efficiency (doesn’t do much good if it can only be charged a few times before it needs replacing). I am not holding my breath that they are coming any time soon.

  33. StefanL says:

    January 7, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Actually, no, it gets assigned to where the electricity is used.

  34. Y’all need to pay attention to this part:

    The UC Berkeley researchers found that the primary drivers of carbon footprints are household income, vehicle ownership and home size, all of which are considerably higher in suburbs.

    They have identified the “problems” in need of “fixing.”

    There has never been a more concise statement of the true focus of the ‘global warming’ campaign.

  35. Still waiting for a few studies:

    1. Carbon footprint of the IPCC;
    2. Carbon footprint of universities;
    3. Effect of using newspaper for newspapers in a digital world;
    4. Carbon footprint of the annual climate conferences (especially the limos);
    5. The effect of eliminating printed junk mail;
    6. Pollution / carbon footprint of scientific research in the Antarctic.

  36. This study underscores the need for common sense measures to save the planet. If we could save but one child, surely it would be worth it. We should relocate the population from antiquaded rural areas to our modern cities. The Chinese have demonstrated that this can be done with a minimum impact to the environment. Then we should require that citizens obtain travel permits if they wish to travel outside of the cities. Some might argue that this would lead to over population in our cities. But this could be easily managed by limiting parents to having only one child. Fairness requires everyone to do their part. If you don’t agree with this, then you are an uneducated anti-science denier who is trying to kill children for your own greedy enrichment. But, since we are tolerant and non-judgemental, even when faced with baby-killing denialist, we will provide re-education for those who disagree with us.

    /sarc

  37. Give me a break !
    This is just another far left wing fantasy of packing us all into urban centers like Sardines in a can & trying to figure some sort of data to justify it. Sorry, we are not falling for it.

  38. It was painful navigating their site, perhaps slow due to WUWTers mobbing their server. The US map is a joke of course. Did anyone else notice it is not more carbon intensive to live in the north as opposed to the more middle sections of the US. I guess needing more heat in the winter doesn’t cause CO2, per their map.

  39. Not surprising, another leftist typical attack against suburbs…aka freedom.

    JJ said everything we need to know:

    JJ says:
    January 7, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Y’all need to pay attention to this part:

    The UC Berkeley researchers found that the primary drivers of carbon footprints are household income, vehicle ownership and home size, all of which are considerably higher in suburbs.

    They have identified the “problems” in need of “fixing.”

    Nothing like a grey cement tiny building of Soviet era…

  40. M Courtney says:
    January 7, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Each city creates their own, targeted strategies to reduce barriers and increase motivation to engage residents in climate action.

    Fair enough…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually it is not fair because the inhabitants of the cities are not independently making plans they have UN directed ICLEI representatives doing the planing and then orchestrating the acceptance via the Delphi Technique
    See: Transit Villages and a very good video of a presentation by a California bureaucrat.

    These are actual video of town meeting where the residents knew what was going on:
    Near Riot at Delphi Meeting–Part 1
    Near Riot at a Delphi Meeting–Part 2
    Near Riot at a Delphi Meeting–Part 3

    and there are more.

    I first came across the Delphi Technique several years ago when the USDA tried to use it to drive a ‘Concensus’ among farmers and ranchers. The concensus wanted was that “Farmers want a tracking system to cover all livestock”
    2009 USDA employing Delphi Technique: Prepare to be Delphi’d!

    I have concluded the USDA and its henchmen really do believe we are all stupid. I have come to this conclusion after months of reading the misinformation, the disinformation and the outright lies the USDA has put forward in an attempt to force the implementation of the National Animal Identification system and the companion land grabbing piece, Premises ID….

    As every state in the Union mounts a campaign to halt the implementation of any of these international agreements and Codex Alimentarius mandates, rules and regulations, USDA was forced to conduct a “listening” tour. Of course…..there was never any real intent to listen to anything. These are staged meetings where control of the crowd, content of the dialogue, is all determined before hand. At least that’s what USDA team leaders thought would happen….

    Please note, even though consensus was shot down 99% HE!! NO!, even though the new reg in the Federal Register got resoundingly shot down, the tracking system got implemented anyway.

    Ain’t government by the people great?

  41. They’ve got it 180° out of sync. CO2 is the gas of life. Up to around 1200 ppm we should be working to increase the atmospheric concentration. We should be celebrating a big CO2 footprint. (does that make Al Gore a real hero?).

  42. Kids today want to live in high density areas where the bodega, laudromat, BART station, etc. are all in an easy walk. None of that is possible without the suburbs and rural areas. The allegedly low carbon footprint shown is based on a study desigend to support what is considered cool today: living in neo-villages of high density, easy foot traffic, etc. What is not shown is where the energy, consumables, tax revenue, water, and infrastructure suport all come from. For a truly low carbon footprint, look at Detroit or N Korea.
    The architect Solieri tried to sell mega structures and ultra dense populations back in the 1960’s. They are niche products, fun for a limited number of people.
    It is the CO2 obsession that makes this sort of study laughable: Allowing CO2 obsessed people to control anythign has proven to be bad everytime it is tried. Let’s not allow the climate kooks to ruin our living decisions like they are with power grids, science, food crops, and finance.

  43. tty says:
    January 7, 2014 at 2:25 am

    “500,000 litres of fuel in one station.”

    That is less than 1,400 litres per day for all purposes. Electricity, Vehicles, Boats, Aircraft and heating (and it’s cold in the Antarctic). I don’t know whether they have wind power at Casey (Mawson station has), but this part of Antarctica is one of the very few places on Earth where windpower is fairly reliable since it is usually windy even when it is very cold.

    And what is your point exactly?

  44. Kit Blanke says:
    January 7, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Models and more models
    to be used for “sustainability” implementations.
    I expect this to be quoted by members of the legislature in Sacramento as proof that we must not use our cars and must live in small apartments. “Bullet Train” anyone
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The plans are already underway:
    Just from my book marks.
    L.A. Weekly: L.A. County’s Private Property War

    …Tough code enforcement has been ramped up in these unincorporated areas of L.A. County, leaving the iconoclasts who chose to live in distant sectors of the Antelope Valley frightened, confused and livid….

    ….she heard one agent, looking inside their comfortable cabin, say to another: “This one’s a real shame — this is a real nice one.”

    A “shame” because the authorities eventually would enact some of the most powerful rules imaginable against rural residents: the order to bring the home up to current codes or dismantle the 26-year-old cabin, leaving only bare ground….

    Now think of all the retirees in the homes they bought thirty years ago and have finally paid off, their retirement savings that have lost a tremendous amount of value especially recently and the high cost of renovation.

    Wall Street Journal: California Declares War on Suburbia: …governments are adopting plans that would require most new housing to be built at 20 or more to the acre I have been to one of these new subdivisions. The front lawn is a grass strip about 3 ft wide with no room for a garden, you can barely walk between the buildings, there is no garages or off street parking and the streets are so narrow, there is barely room for two small cars to park and a third to carefully thread its way through. Worse the houses are in the quarter to a half million range or more!

    The apartments are even worse.
    The ‘micro-unit’ mini-apartment building is coming to New York City
    200 Square Feet and Room to Swivel
    5 Super-Efficient Tiny New York Apartments: …For a couple living in a 460 square foot apartment … even for some, 400 square feet is a luxury. Take Zach Motl‘s 178 square foot…

    San Francisco considers allowing nation’s tiniest micro-apartments (NYC already beat them to it.)
    Boston’s Wharf Tower is a “project will help turn this neighborhood into a vibrant, 24-hour mixed-use community.”

    Mini-Prisons & Micro-Apartments Built Across America in the Name of Sustainability Susanne Posel is a globally syndicated independent journalist and radio host from Portland, Oregon. link

  45. You have to admit the efficiency of the Agenda 21 plan.
    Instead of creating so much CO2 moving people into concentration re-education camps, draw people into the core cities with the lower CO2 footprint. THEN wrap barbed wire and cement wall around the core.

    The Soviets+East Germans surrounded West Berlin overnight, Aug 13, 1961 and were tearing up streets and laying the concrete of the first wall by the end of the weekend.

    Hmmm. Maybe it should be called “Agenda ’61”

  46. “Increase population density…” Thanks but no thanks. My suburb is dense enough. How do they plan to increase density, removing parks and putting in more multifamily housing? No thanks.

  47. JJ says: @ January 7, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Y’all need to pay attention to this part:

    The UC Berkeley researchers found that the primary drivers of carbon footprints are household income, vehicle ownership and home size, all of which are considerably higher in suburbs.

    They have identified the “problems” in need of “fixing.”

    There has never been a more concise statement of the true focus of the ‘global warming’ campaign.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well yes there was. The statement by Maurice Strong as Chair of the Kyoto gabfest.

    That industrialized countries have:

    “Developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.” ~ Maurice Strong in the opening session of the Rio Conference (Earth Summit II) in 1992

    And earlier the statement written by Obama’s Science Czar John Holdern and his co-authors Anne Ehrlich, and Paul Ehrlich.

    “Only one rational path is open to us—simultaneous de-development of the [overdeveloped countries] and semi-development of the underdeveloped countries (UDC’s), in order to approach a decent and ecologically sustainable standard of living for all in between. By de-development we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.” – John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, “Introduction,” in Holdren and Ehrlich, eds., Global Ecology, 1971, p. 3.

    And again two years later

    “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. . . . Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political”

    – John Holdren, Anne Ehrlich, and Paul Ehrlich, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (San Francisco; W.H. Freeman and Company, 1973), p. 279.

    That such a man is high up in the US government is truly frightening. What is more frightening is the apathy, the acceptance, even the desire to be reduced to third world poverty by the general population.

  48. Steve from Rockwood says: @ January 7, 2014 at 6:47 am
    …3. Effect of using newspaper for newspapers in a digital world….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    Now Steve, newspaper is so useful for wrapping fish, lining bird cages, lining bottoms of the crates that my baby goats deposit bupkis on, that puppies learn to pee and potty on instead of the kitchen floor….

    Why would you want to deprive us of such a useful resource?

  49. Pet peeve: Considering the terms “CO2 Emissions reduction” and “Sustainability” to be “Synonymous”. Same goes for “Carbon Emissions” and “CO2″, and for “CO2 Emissions” and “Pollution”.

  50. And there are other facts concerning the impacts of California’s high-density centralized planning that the planners would rather you didn’t know.

    See this article by Randal O’Toole over at the Cato Institute for the details.

    California Thinks Your Time Is Worthless

    California’s S.B. 375 mandates that cities increase the population densities of targeted neighborhoods because everyone knows that people drive less in higher densities and transit-oriented developments relieve congestion. One problem, however, is that transportation models reveal that increased densities actually increase congestion, as measured by “level of service,” which measures traffic as a percent of a roadway’s capacity and which in turn can be used to estimate the hours of delay people suffer.

    The California legislature has come up with a solution: S.B. 743, which exempts cities from having to calculate and disclose levels of service in their environmental impact reports for densification projects. Instead, the law requires planners to come up with alternative measures of the impacts of densification….

    -Chip Knappenberger

  51. How long can the sensible people of the USA put up with this socialist agenda?
    The USA needs is rapidly becoming a socialist/marxist state under Obama-et-al.
    What is needed is a Democracy/Freedom Spring in the USA [or a rebellion].

  52. The Rose Bowl is a terribly awful event. A nice green field surrounded by concrete and being maintained by a few people produces a small carbon footprint. On game day that carbon footprint increases by about 100,000 times.

    You must enjoy the humor in such studies.

  53. Another stilted study to validate a liberal false assumption. This is merely an attempt to divert attention from earlier studies that demonstrate suburban living is LESS carbon intensive than high density city living. Pols and Stats are the two biggest liars and here we have yet another example of a liberal agenda masquerading as scientific observation of the data. Population density being the prime mover of energy consumption and more importantly, waste. The more dense the population, the more energy that must be wasted to idle electrical equipment during non peak periods ready at a moment’s notice to move even a single person. An example of this would be mass transit, who’s passenger mile energy efficiency drops drastically in NON peak hours, whereas in the suburban environment individual vehicle use, there is no energy waste because it isn’t being idled waiting to be used, it is shut OFF. This goes for heating and cooling as well in city commercial and apartment buildings, they are in idle in off hours – using energy, where as suburban dwelling’s energy usage is turned OFF until the thermostat calls for the equipment to come on, achieve setpoint and then turn OFF. The assumption of energy usage is completely different for suburban versus city energy usages.

    The idea that packing people like sardines to save energy is a childish oversimplification that liberals use to make absurd assumptions to be used in computer models. Always check the unstated assumptions, the chief fallacy of liberal assumptions is that there aren’t any non peak periods of utilization and second related fallacy, periods of non peak use, when acknowledged, are proportional in efficiency utilization rates, therefore waste is minimized. Waste as a general rule is increased not decreased when groups of people get bigger.

  54. As several previous posters have mentioned this is yet another move toward implementation of Agenda 21. ‘Management of Human Settlements’ is the fourth of the Seven central themes of Agenda 21. The next year will see the feverish implementation of Agenda 21 in Europe and the United States as its proponents appear to be aware that they may be ‘just missing the wave’ as the world is not warming and the sheeple are starting to notice.
    Agenda 21 is about 5 tiers up the house of cards the bottom level of which is CO2 driven Global warming. Yet the atmosphere is not warming even the IPCC has admitted that there has been no warming for more than 15 years. Therefore, the bottom layer of their house of cards has collapsed. Arguing about the way they are putting the top layer together is nugtory and only gives credence to their false claims of CO2 warming. Therefore, a study like this one should be met with the statement that CO2 has no measurable effect on the Earth’s climate but it does improve the growth of food crops and plants, so their base assumption for study is flawed and therefore it is meanngless.

    Do not get drawn into arguments about the top layer of cards, as the house of cards is falling.

  55. Ian W says:
    January 7, 2014 at 9:57 am
    “Do not get drawn into arguments about the top layer of cards, as the house of cards is falling.”

    That is the biggest mistake we can make.
    We are already screwed by all the existing legislation in place.
    If we don’t actively kill this scam and role back the legal consequences of all the precautionary measures now in place we’re all riding bicycles with no where to go.

    We have to “clean up” the system.

    It’s them or us.

  56. Ian W says:
    January 7, 2014 at 9:57 am
    “Do not get drawn into arguments about the top layer of cards, as the house of cards is falling.”

    Disagree. They don’t work with logic; they work with nonstop brainwashing and history rewriting (GISS cooling the past, for instance). They also work on replacement McGuffins for the day CO2AGW drops.

  57. Exactly, Don E and George. What did they assume in order to rig their conclusions in line with their political desires? What did they measure? This is Berkeley, after all.

    Back in the early 1980s there was a study of Los Angeles commuting that concluded that the vast majority of people planned things to limit their commutes to about 20 minutes. They were not commuting between central city and sub-urbs, as the central planners assumed, but between sub-urban locations.

    This also vindicates my uneasiness in preparing a GIS feasibility study for an electric company, that they would inevitably be abused by power-mad people, just as power-mad people had done with maps over 500 years ago. Perhaps, this is why the power-mad set is so eager for “intelligent transportation systems” and black-boxes in “private” vehicles — privately owned, used to travel in privacy, rather than controlled by government, to provide information for power-mad bureaubums.

  58. Good thing there is absolutely no reason to reduce carbon footprints. Increase them maybe, to increase plant growth, and the greenhouse warming effect of CO2 does get stronger as the world cools (less redundant with water vapor, which gets squeezed from the atmosphere), so that is a benefit, since that is the direction we are headed. But reduce carbon? Only the sheerest idiot would want to do that.

  59. I always enjoy comments by Alec Rawls:

    “But reduce carbon? Only the sheerest idiot would want to do that.”

    That is a Truth that is not mentioned nearly often enough. Our planet is now at the very lowest point of atmospheric CO2. More is better. Much more is much better.

  60. Nice CO2 graphic Dave. More detailed than others that are available. Do you know who compiled it? I did an image search and couldn’t find any provenance.

  61. This is tailor made for the left’s overall viewpoint and strategy and dates all the way back before the golden goose of global warming was even a mere twinkle in its father’s eye.

    The left hates the suburbs.

    They genuinely believe that the suburbs were initiated through racism. They believe that the problems, and concentrations of poverty, in the cities were caused by “white flight” to the suburbs. They believe that the Progressive experiment in Detroit probably would have worked, instead of producing the utter disaster that it did, if white flight to the surrounding areas had not occurred.

    They want to continue their experiment. The NSF has received a chunk of change from the $800,000,000,000 stimulus. It’s no secret that the Obama Administration used stimulus funds to quietly pursue their agenda. Otherwise, why would monies intended to revive a moribund economy have gone to organizations such as the NSF in the first place? (And, you can verify that by checking out their very own website.)

    The foregoing study, funded by the NSF, is just one more tool. The Obama Administration intends to use every agency of the federal government that it can, and most particularly the EPA and HUD, to force us out of our suburbs and back into high density housing in the city cores: zoning restrictions, discrimination lawsuits, FHA home mortgage rules, HUD grants, EPA land use and energy diktats. The list is endless and the mechanisms are being put in place.

    They want to tell you where to live.

  62. Owen in Ga says: “Humans are only able to handle so many interactions before they need some alone time” Don’t give any more crazy ideas. their interpretation of alone time maybe somewhat different than yours and mine.
    And to those that pointed out the “21 UN plan” for awhile I thought that was crazy but the more I read and now see some of the things that are happening I am starting to believe it more and more. The sustainability crowd that invaded our area are now so entrenched you could not get them out There is not a day they don’t infiltrate the media and the local institution such as our schools and “community” services and institutions it is frightening to see. Letters to editors don’t get published and the herd mentality is becoming stifling. The social services networks in many countries are not that anymore they have become social establishments and will never go away again. FI, you are now frowned upon if you don’t donate to food banks or join “community clean up days or something like that etc etc. Where and when I grew up every-one keep their houses spiffy and that included the street in front and if the neighbor was away you did his but nowadays you would have a union rep on your door step stating “your taking the food out of union members mouths”! The solution the Berkeley people have smell of FEMA camps and plan 21 to me..

  63. hunter says:
    January 7, 2014 at 5:41 am

    “Anthony,
    There is an increasing political edge to many posts on this and the tamiflu thread that I believe can damage climate skepticism.”
    =========================================================================
    Hunter, I think you miss the point. ES&T is an established respected journal. Doing my working years I referred to articles in ES&T often. Discussing an article in ES&T that depends on the fallacy of CAGW seems entirely within the stated purview of WUWT. The PR release paints an article than misuses science to promote political ends.

    Note the article assumes that CO2 emissions are bad. That CO2 caused CAGW is a fact. It purports to show that suburbs result in more CO2 than urban areas. The obvious solution is to move everyone into cities. This is exactly Agenda 21. And that is political.

    IMO this is the perfect place to expose an article in a scientific journal that would misuse science (by assuming “facts not in evidence” as the lawyers say) for political ends. But the criticism should be about the misuse of the science to promote a political solution that would be unpopular if it were done for any other reason than to “save the world from CAGW.” Not to rant against Agenda 21 (even though it deserves it).

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