Is Bloomberg's Climate Change Road Trip a Political Move?
NEW YORK — September 12, 2018
The former mayor of New York is helping to launch a cross-country project offering to fund for local projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
It seems like in the Trump era urban and rural areas are becoming more and more separate, however the reality is that it has always been this way in America. Cities and small towns or villages are naturally very different from eachother. It is not only a question of the number of residents, but also about the cultural life in different areas. In America, cities consistently choose a more progressive vision of the future than the countryside that surrounds them.
However, there is something that unites urban and rural areas. For example, on the issue of gun control, city and town leaders across the country have long worked together to lobby for tighter restrictions on things like who can purchase automatic rifles. Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, has often been on the forefront of these initiatives, maintaining a network of city mayors across the country.
In 2014, he founded Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that includes Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a network of city executives working together to keep their townspeople safe.
However, gun safety is not the only issue has taken up. On September 14, he and other leading philanthropists will join for part of a cross-country road trip in an electric car 2017 Chevy Bolt, stopping along the way and meeting with local city leadership groups to fund local projects to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The project is called 'New American Road Trip' and it is also supported by California governor Jerry Brown who is a friend of Bloomberg.
This kind of grassroots project is badly needed as Trump’s administration defunds environmental protects across the country. In particular, the EPA, under then-administrator Scott Pruitt who has since resigned, abolished the Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s signature carbon emission reduction policy.
At each stop, the so-called 'New American Road Trip' (along with the route Las Vegas, Boulder, St. Louis and Pittsburgh) will award cash prizes of up to $7,000 for projects by schools, companies, or community organizations which offer innovative proposals for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This can already be called a political move rather than a simple act of philanthropy.
Bloomberg, who is in addition currently the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for climate action, said that "the cross-country road trip is a great American tradition and a chance to see some of the nation’s most impressive sights," and added that "today, that includes the work Americans are doing in both red and blue states to reduce carbon emissions in ways that strengthen the economy, create jobs, and protect public health."
"This trip is a way to highlight and support their efforts."
One of the scheduled stops on the trip is in Boulder, Colorado. "My fellow female mayors and women leaders across the country have been integral to driving clean energy and climate policies, and promoting innovation and technology that is creating green jobs, economic growth and a more sustainable future here in Boulder and nationally," Suzanne Jones, the mayor of Boulder, said in a statement.
And California Governor Jerry Brown added that "this is more than a road trip, it's a window to the future when renewable energy will power our cities and electric vehicles will dot not only America’s two coasts, but also its heartland."
But a 'window to what future'? Maybe Bloomberg is just taking measures to get the mayor's seat and before the upcoming election? Everyone knows that the most effective way to attract people is to meet with them in person and discuss problems together. Now Bloomberg, who suddenly became very concerned about urban ecology, seems to be secretly promoting his candidacy so that people will ask him to return to the mayor's seat.