|Al Gore in Bogotá|
The environmental problems "we've seen are nothing compared to what will happen if we don't stop using the atmosphere as an open-air landfill." - Al Gore in Bogotá.
After reading about the event, however, I felt like asking: 'Are these people really serious?'
Don't get me wrong: Al Gore is right, and has done a whole lot to gain attention for global warming, which has to be the world's most dire mid-term crisis. Gore is sincere, dedicated and deserves tremendous credit. And, in a few decades, as rising seas flood coastal cities, deserts spread and storms intensify, people all over the world will be crying 'Why didn't we listen to him?'
|Al Gore's house - green?|
|Bogotanos enthusiastically pump CO2 in the air.|
Sorry, Mr. Mayor. Subways are great for moving lots of people around quickly and efficiently. But they do little or nothing to reduce driving. For proof of that, just look at cities like Medellin (Colombia), Caracas (Venezuela), Santiago (Chile), Mexico City and many others with efficient subways and tremendous traffic congestion. Moreno's scheme to build a network of urban freeways will only generate more automobile traffic.
In fact, the only way to reduce automobile use is to raise the cost of driving. Colombia has done that to some degree by raising fuel prices. But private car ownership continues booming in Bogotá, with March expected to show record car sales. Bogotá needs a London-style congestion charge, but neither the mayor nor any other Colombian is courageous enough to advocate one.
|A Colombian coal mine. Carbon out of the ground, into the air.|
This hypocrisy issue also applies to people like myself and my business, Bogotá Bike Tours. Bicycle tours are pretty 'green,' but our customers often arrive at our shop in taxis and almost always fly to Colombia in carbon spewing jet planes. Sustainable tourism is an oxymoron. Sustainable tourism means vacationing at or close to home. How many people fly to Colombia, whereas they could have had a great time in the mountains near home?
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours