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Monday, December 6, 2010

New Orleans and the 21st Century city

Two articles caught my attention in this weekend's newspaper.
One on Entergy and their negotiations with the Arkansas & Mississippi branches of the Entergy family.
Another an Op Ed on Recycling and the Trash Contracts.

Let's take some information from the Entergy article:
"Entergy Arkansas, which relies primarily on power generated from lower-cost sources like coal and nuclear plants."

"Entergy Louisiana, Entergy New Orleans, and other sister utilities that produce more expensive power at plants fired by natural gas, which has shot up in price in recent years."

Now Coal is just about the dirtiest fuel you can burn and Natural Gas the cleanest. So we're trading cheap for less environmentally friendly fuel. We're trading fuel that comes from Arkansas for fuel that comes from and through Louisiana and provides payroll for lots of New Orleans and Louisiana based folks.

Now lets take a look at that Op Ed about recycling and
"Some residents, admittedly, don't worry about recycling, but those who do care tend to care a lot and get frustrated every time they have to toss a plastic water bottle or old newspaper. For them, living in a city that offers such basic services is bound to provide a psychological boost.

It's also a boost to New Orleans' outside image as it strives to market itself as an environmentally aware city of the future, not some barely functional backwater. It's a lot easier to position yourself as a 21st century city if you're at least living up to late 20th century minimum standards."

So if we really want a 21st century city... and we do folks, we do... then we need to wean ourselves from Entergy Arkansas, push to use what we have and push Entergy to start using more 21st century solutions... solar... wind... a turbine run by the Mississippi River's current.

And suck up the costs of the trash contracts and be damn grateful that they now include recycling because it sends the right message about who we want to be.

New Orleans has always been called the most European city in America. Look to how some of the European cities have become more green and environmentally aware. It's not a bad way to be true to our historical legacy and look to the future at the same time.

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