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The Green Life: Cambridge's Climate-Change Plan Too Radical?

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February 16, 2010

Cambridge's Climate-Change Plan Too Radical?

Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge's attempts to lead by example in the battle against global warming are drawing heat from the conservative blogosphere after Fox News recently brought attention to the city's progressive climate-change proposal. Released on Jan. 23, the Cambridge Climate Congress's ambitious recommendations are fairly wide-reaching and include a voluntary carbon tax, funding for sustainability-education programs, and creating more bike paths and sidewalks. The Cambridge Climate Congress, created last May as a local response to global warming, will submit its proposals to Harvard's hometown's city council once it has finalized its recommendations.

While Fox has focused on several aspects of the plan, including Meatless Mondays and taxes on plastic bags, the proposal's language is slightly more flexible than Fox suggests. The group says that one of its goals is to "raise awareness and promote action about the connection between food choices and climate change." While it does suggest mandating that restaurants and schools institute Meatless Mondays, it also proposes year-round farmers' markets and support for community gardens, initiatives that are hardly radical. And while plastic-bag taxes are among the suggested fee-based incentives, so is a statewide refund for recycling bottles and cans, which is already practiced at some level in 11 states.

--Jessi Phillips

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