Has “green” lost its luster?
Corporations and Madison Avenue advertisers tell us of the advantages of “going green,” which seem to have more to do with consumerism and product placement than actual strategies for success. Governments double down on green technology, green architecture, green transportation—passing legislation and tax subsidies to ensure a more eco-friendly environment.
But when you parcel out the individual pieces—recycling, infrastructure, energy development and the politics underlining the whole process—success seems farther away than ever.
In this issue of City & State we take a hard look at what going green means for New York. We examine the costs of growing the state’s solar power production, and what the looming issue of hydrofracking will mean for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s environmental reputation. And we spotlight the hot button issue of waste transfer stations, and what they will mean for the 2013 race for mayor.
We talk with some of the city and state’s top environmental and legislative leaders to see what they think about the business of going green. And we check in with one of the country’s hottest movie stars, who knows a little something about living green (and turning green in the upcoming blockbuster The Avengers).
Our main story follows a single piece of trash—an empty coffee cup—from the 49th floor of a midtown skyscraper to (literally) the slow boat to China where it will be processed and recycled—and most likely shipped back to the United States. What happens to that coffee cup in between is fascinating, and could have serious implications for the city of New York and its attempts to overhaul its recycling program.
Going green is no easy task, especially for city and state government, which run not on biofuel or solar energy or wind power but on the most important green of all: cash.
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