Sunday, February 25, 2007

Denver hoping for a green convention

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Denver has always had a image as environmentally friendly, and they're hoping to continue that image with the 2008 Democratic Convention:

Mayor John Hickenlooper's senior adviser Katherine Archuleta said Friday the Host Committee will talk with Xcel Energy about using clean electricity, such as wind-generated power, as well as looking at alternative methods of transportation for delegates and using recyclable materials.
Alternative methods of transportation? Bicycles? Sailboats? I'm just not getting this one.


Anonymous said...

Good Question. It's not as if delegates are arriving in single-occupant autos in any case. RTD has a few of their "green" hybrid buses and plan to roll out more -- perhaps they plan on using those (or others like those) exclusively for the convention.

Anonymous said...

What about Light Rail for delegate travel? That would be an alternative to the normal "bus 'em everywhere" mentality of past conventions, and the light rail runs directly to the Pepsi Center...

Matt Pizzuti said...

They probably just put transportation on the list of ways to make the convention "green" because it linguistically fits so nicely with the other concepts of environmental friendliness. You don't want a list of just two things - recycling and electricity - when you want your plan to have a battle-on-all-fronts sentimental impact. And in any case, when a city talks about "going green," fixing transportation is usually the first way and easiest way to reduce pollution and use of natural resources on a local level, and public transportation is a major issue the city has taken up in the last 10 or so years.

I would guess that most delegates, and tourists in general, are already relatively "Green" in traveling around a city, because they tend to use the buses and public transportation or walk rather than drive. And airplane travel - which is actually very polluting - is unavoidable, unless you're going to bring delegates in on trains.

That said, some delegates and tourists might prefer to use taxis or rental cars, which are not particularly "green" modes of transportation, and the city may be encouraging them to take the light rail instead.

For the delegates to use environmentally-friendly services during the convention not only helps the city and environment, but also gives the DNC itself a positive connotation, inasmuch as the efforts are covered in the media. The Democrats get out a "we practice what we preach" message that dilutes any sense that they put themselves on an environmental pedestal to tell other people what to do.