The top story in today's Washington Post ought to be thought provoking:
D.C. Area Sees Spike In Rate of Emissions
Carbon Dioxide Increases 13.4% In 4-Year Period
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff WriterSunday, April 29, 2007; Page A01
The Washington area is in the middle of a carbon dioxide binge, with emissions of this greenhouse gas from vehicles and electricity users having increased at more than twice the national rate between 2001 and 2005, according to a Washington Post estimate.
That estimate, which appears to be the first to track the region's emissions from those two key sources, found a 13.4 percent increase. Nationally, those emissions from grew by 5.6 percent in the same period.
The Post used traffic statistics and utility records to track the two major components of greenhouse gases; other sources, such as farms and airplanes, were not easily quantified.
Environmentalists say that these numbers illustrate an unwanted legacy of Washington's recent economic boom: Population grew, but emissions grew faster. As exurbs have crept out to farms and forests, the region has required more energy for home air conditioners and long-distance commutes….
Across the area, carbon dioxide emissions increased faster than the population, which grew about 5.5 percent from 2001 to 2005. Environmental groups said that this is an indication that the problem is not only growth but the way in which the region has grown.
"People have moved farther and farther out and drive more and more miles," said Frank O'Donnell, president of the District-based Clean Air Watch. "What it's telling you is, sprawl is causing a big increase in greenhouse gases