Friday, July 22, 2011

Charity Begins...Well, Everywhere But Here

The Times reported Thursday that Mayor4Life Michael Bloomberg will give 50 million dollars to the Sierra Club to assist them in their efforts to close down coal plants across the United States. Mr. Bloomberg believes that this will help reduce greenhouse gasses. The Times also reported that Bloomberg gave an additional 20 million dollars earlier this year to C40, "a group of cities around the world that are trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare for the growing impact of global warming."

So Bloomberg is, essentially, tossing money about in an effort to replace dirty energy with clean energy. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?

Well, no. As far as I am concerned, clean energy is the way to go, and I hope President Obama, after he's done sucking up to the Tea Party, will actually get around to creating those clean energy jobs he's talked about since he first burst onto the political scene.

The combined 70 million the mayor has scattered to cities throughout the world to create clean energy is something of an ironic number, however, as the DOE wants the city to spend 70 million tax payer dollars on dirty oil to burn in NYC public schools. But don't worry. The dirty oil should be gone by the year 2030.

As may many of us. As may many children who attend these schools.

Sure, Bloomberg can spend his money however he wants. It's just a little galling that he's spending 50 million on cities across the country to make their air cleaner, but not a dime to help end the practice of burning dirty oil in NYC public schools. Isn't he the education mayor?

For context, Bloomberg could easily have spend another 50 million--or more--to convert schools to cleaner energy instead of allowing us to breathe toxic soot for the next 19 years. In fact, he could give away 50 million dollars a day for more than a year and still be richer than you or I could ever dream of.

It feels to me as if Bloomberg has embraced his lame duck status and begun to shift his focus to a more national and global point of view. How else can you explain his spending so much to clean the air everywhere else but here? He's dropped hundreds of millions to get himself elected, so 50 million to buy himself some goodwill nationally seems a drop in the bucket.

One of our favorite education writers, Arthur Goldstein, was all over this issue in the Huffington Post. You should give it a read.

Wipe the soot out of your eyes first.

They have no clean air? Let them breathe soot.

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