Press-Republican

Columns

January 1, 2012

Cities set benchmark for fossil-fuel use

Vaxjo. Now that is an interesting word.

No, it is not a floor polish or a tooth paste. It is the name of a city of 80,000 in south central Sweden (see map) that is frequently called "The Greenest City in Europe."

The background to all of this is that Vaxjo is knowledgeable about climate change and "has the ability to see solutions instead of problems." In 1996, they made a unanimous decision to become a fossil-fuel-free city by 2030 (www.unep.org/cli mateneutral/cities/vaxjo).

In the early 1990s, with a growing awareness of the impact of burning fossil fuels, the city developed an environmental program (revised and approved in 2010).

This states, "Climate change is one of our time's most urgent environmental problems. Mankind's emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide produced when burning fossil fuels, contributes to the climate change. With Vaxjo's efforts to become fossil fuel free, it's taking its global responsibility in terms of reducing its impact on the climate."

When one looks at their initiatives and goals, with the collaboration of its businesses, politicians, organizations and citizens, and compares it to the discourse in the United States, it makes one think we inhabit an opposite but parallel universe.

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suggested a program of people-to-people contacts that might lessen the possibility of future conflicts. This concept grew into the Sister Cities International program, and Duluth, Minnesota and Vaxjo decided to partner with each other.

Indeed, in October 2009, Duluth sent a delegation to Vaxjo for an educational "technical visit tour." The "delegation learned about the city's world-renowned sustainable practices, how those practices make an impact on economic development … and how Vaxjo earned the title of 'Greenest City of Europe.'"

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time