22 July 2020
Honorable Greg Fischer
Mayor of Louisville
Fifth & Jefferson
Louisville KY 40202
Dear Mayor Fischer:
This is the twentieth month of “The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative. Twenty months ago, on 22 November 2018, we began delivering to your office a monthly letter asking for concrete and immediate action by Metro to slow climate change. This, our twentieth letter, joins the previous nineteen monthly letters in asking for Metro to act immediately on reducing locally the two primary sources of greenhouse gases per EPA data, power generation and transportation. (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions) As mentioned last month, in the past twenty months we have seen much too little concrete action addressing power generation and transportation.
On the power generation side of the equation, there has been no significant action toward the installation of photovoltaics or turbines (hydro or wind). LG&E has not been challenged by Metro to be a good corporate citizen. LG&E has not even been challenged by Metro to abandon the gas pipeline through Bernheim Forest. Metro is not taking a lead in greener local power generation.
On the transportation side of the ledger, and as stated last month, the most significant action taken by Metro has been to close down the economy in response to Covid 19, resulting in less surface and air travel. Recognizing that to be an accidental result, Metro gets no credit for less surface and air travel. With the racial justice protests of recent weeks, Metro has been presented with, and (to date) ignored opportunities to change transportation in Louisville. Armed citizens in moving motor vehicles are threatening protesters. And LMPD is risking escalation, injury and lawsuits with the use of moving LMPD motor vehicles. Moving motor vehicles have no place in protest areas. (see Design Approach in the following: https://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Streets-for-Protest_2020-06-16.pdf?mc_cid=c312332ee3&mc_eid=a97b17befb ) Taking action to reduce moving motor vehicle usage during protests can set a new precedent for reducing motor vehicles in the central business district and urban neighborhoods. Metro should take every opportunity to reduce, slow, and calm traffic. Metro still refuses to make the most of opportunities to reduce, slow, and calm traffic.
This, “The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative was preceded by another initiative. The first initiative was a citizen led effort to remove the cars and trucks leaking fluids into Beargrass Creek from the city’s motor vehicle impound lot. That initiative resulted in Metro committing to move the impound lot. The impound lot is still in the same location. (Metro is steadfastly adamant in refusing to combat the many and varied problems inherent in our car dependency – heat, flooding, energy dependency, pollution, bad land use, danger to life, limb and property, economic drain, etc..) “The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative resulted in Metro declaring a climate emergency. “The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative was also recognized in your Earth Day speech celebrating the fiftieth Earth Day. But, like the impound lot commitment, Metro’s actions are insufficient.
With great sadness, this is probably the last of the letters you will receive from “The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative. It is the last, not out of a lack of commitment or energy on the part of the citizens, but it is the last because our commitment and our energies in attempting to reduce the coming storms are apparently better focused in the coming few months somewhere other than the mayor’s office.
Tavia Cathcart Brown
Rev. Dawn Cooley
Angela De Simone
Richard (Dick) Dennis
Diana Brockway Klem
Richard J Ronald
Avalon Gupta VerWiebe
Coalitions for the Peoples’ Agenda
Louisville/North Central Kentucky Veterans for Peace – chapter 168
Response may be mailed to:
“The Mayor’s” Monthly Earth Day Initiative
107 West Market Street
Louisville KY 40202