GREENWASHING

Greenwashing is like whitewashing. When an organization wants to do a project and it needs some kind of voter or government approval, they say it will be good for the environment, green. Even though they know it isn't.

Just a lie to get well-intentioned people to approve their project. And in some cases, a lie to misuse government funds that were intended to fight global warming.

AC Transit greenwashed the Bus Rapid Transit project and is wasting $178 million building the small portion of BRT that was approved. Berkeley said no to BRT. San Leandro said no to BRT, north Oakland said no to BRT, all the way to downtown.

That $178 million was intended to help fight global warming, and could have put solar panel systems on 10,000 homes. Or it could have built 50 utility-scale wind turbines that would produce 100 megawatts of clean energy.

Instead it is being thrown away on this project that will do essentially nothing to help the environment.

The high cost and near-zero carbon reduction of BRT means it will have to operate for over 5000 years before it provides a significant reduction in carbon.

The original full-scale version of BRT was estimated to cost $250 million and to remove 9.2 tons per day of carbon dioxide from the air. The carbon offset credit price at the time was $13.50 per ton of carbon dioxide. Carbon offset credits are a good way to analyze the greenness of a project, because they place a dollar value on the removal of a ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Dividing $250 million by $13.50 per ton equates to 18.5 million tons of carbon dioxide that could be removed for that price using carbon offset credits. Dividing 18.5 million tons by 9.2 tons per day works out to about 2 million days or 5500 years of continuous operation for BRT to break even with the carbon offset credit standard and significantly help with global warming. That is a very long time in the world of transit, about the time since the invention of the wheel.

Global warming needs to be addressed now. The Earth shouldn't have to wait 5000 years before something is done.

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