An inspiring closing to Greenbuild 2018 with the mayors of two cities that are an example of best practices and the best in people.
“… from there it gets bigger and bigger, and the good news for me as the Mayor since I just passed my budget 48 to one, not that I’m competitive, but I wanted you to know that, is do go out there, spend time, meet your colleagues, but just do me a favor go out there and spend some money. I got to balance this budget. It would really be helpful in my effort.
I’m glad you’re here because this has been a priority of mine since day one. I started the challenge as it related to city buildings to retrofit our buildings. Today the city of Chicago annually saves through energy costs 12 million dollars because of what we’ve done on public buildings throughout the city of Chicago on saving energy.
More importantly than that in my view is we started with about nine buildings on the private sector challenge. We are now up to over a hundred buildings and 57 million square feet that’s under retrofit, and every one of those buildings are saving somewhere close to about 20% in energy costs. That started from a basic premise that while there is obviously oil, there’s gas, there’s nuclear, there’s renewables, there’s coal which should not be mentioned in this room at least. Should not be, but we actually closed the only two remaining coal plants in the United States that were in the city. We closed them.
But retrofitting building is that sixth energy source, and I firmly believe in that energy source that when we talk about other sources of energy, retrofitting buildings can be an energy source in and of itself, and and the city of Chicago today, as I said, has 57 million square feet and our effort continuing to retrofit more and more buildings. Not only are we on that process of buildings, we have the largest street lighting system in the United States of America, and over the next three years, every street light will be turned over to LED lighting in the city of Chicago.”
“Thank you so much, can you hear me? Can you see me? Since I’m so little, I don’t know if you people in the back can see me. First of all thank you very much for the opportunity to be here before you. I’m going to disappoint you right off the bat, I’m no climate change expert, in fact I have to say I didn’t really think about climate change much before September 4th and September 20th.
You see the world counts from Maria which was on September 20th, but before, 14 days earlier came Irma on September 6 and our lives changed forever. We will be never be the same. So I cannot talk to you about the rising sea levels and how long we have until coastal cities are going to be totally swept away by the water, I cannot talk to you about how long it’s going to take for missions for look at a different way, but what I can do is talk to you about what we went through.
What I am, along side with 3.5 million other Puerto Ricans is a witness to the devastation caused by climate change. So despite what some people say we have to continue to repeat, one thing that seems obvious, climate change is real, it is not fake news, it is real. And it destroys people’s lives.”
It was a stirring end to the event with the mayor of Puerto Rico asking the crowd to invent solar lighting posts, solar coolers and other inventions that use renewable energy to save lives. Thanks for following along. Contact me if you would like to help; Chuck Lohre, [email protected], 513-260-9025.