Was bedeutet das "Green"?

I'm really unclear on exactly how it is that "regular mowing along Memorial Parkway" makes Huntsville more "green". Are we talking about neatness, or environmental responsibility? The latest newspaper reporting seems to confuse the two (or maybe it's the self-congratulatory civic leaders they're interviewing).

Now, planting trees, land preservation, picking up litter, preserves/parks, and curbside recycling are all reasonable indicia of green-ness. The work of Forever Wild, the Nature Conservancy and the Huntsville Land Trust is truly laudable. And we shouldn't forget the city's trail/greenway efforts.

But someone needs to tell the mayor that mowing has a big carbon-and-air-quality footprint. Moreover, many would dispute the assertion that we have "good public transportation". There's no bus or train feeders from rapidly-growing suburbia. The core shuttle-bus service is underused and under-promoted. No HOV lanes. Bad traffic snarl on almost every in-and-out-bound route during peak times (so lots of idling). No significant promotion of car pooling that I can see.

And let's not even talk about the monster sprawl out in the county (e.g., drive Maysville Road between Maysville and Buckhorn sometime and tell me where those cotton fields and pastures are going, and where the inhabitants of those new houses are going to have to drive their SUVs in order to work, to eat, to shop). We can't call Huntsville "green" and ignore the massive changes going on in the hinterland just because it's a different jurisdiction -- it's all one big environmental system.

And there still has been no responsible grappling with water issues, despite the drought and good reporting in the Huntsville Times and on Alabama Public Television, as well as Lee Roop's wakeup calls ... not to mention the widely publicized specter of electrical shortfalls this summer if the TVA can't cool all its reactors.