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Is this happening in your city? It did in Portland, and now in Albuquerque: Greenwashing.

John Fleck wrote a Sunday front-page Albuquerque Journal about the real numbers on green initiatives.  There is also a sidebar on ethanol-friendly city vehicles that don't fill up on ethanol.

Martin Chavez has gained a lot of attention for environmental work.  Over and over  again.

Now it has all come crashing down thanks to some investigation by Fleck.  From the lead, it is a great story:

It is a claim every Albuquerque resident who cares about global warming could be proud of: Since 1990, city residents have cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent.

It is also untrue.

Wow.  If that doesn't get you to read the rest of the story, then what will?

It's not the first time Chavez's green-claims were questioned in the pages of the Journal.  Back in October, Dr. John Fogarty of Martin Chavez SenatePhysicians for Social Responsibility asked some questions about Chavez's grandiose claims.  "On the surface it looked glitzy" Fogarty said of the green building code, "but what was under that coat of green paint?"  Well, it looks like Fleck has found out what is under that green paint.

The best internet-friendly information from Fleck's article comes at the bottom.  This is where Fleck has a list of claims and the corresponding actual facts.

CLAIM

The city's latest "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory" said emissions were reduced by about 6 percent from 1990 to 2005.
REALITY

Figures were based on the claim that natural gas usage dropped 87 percent from 1990 to 2005. PNM data show no such drop. City officials acknowledged a calculation error and withdrew the report.

The story immediately gained attention from local bloggers.  Duke City Fix, Cocoposts, and the SWOP blog all weighed in.

If you aren't reading John Fleck's blog, then you have to start doing so.  The science writer for the Albuquerque Journal  (who also has a blog at the horribly-designed Journal website) may be my favorite local newspaper writer.  He has a knack for making science interesting to those who might not find science interesting at all.

PS: Remember, Chavez is Kos' favorite Democratic mayor.

Originally posted to pieisnull on Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 07:05 AM PST.

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