What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
The Great Transition, Philly-Style: Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels
We can transform three conflated problems, with their dead-end, Band-Aid, “silo solutions,” into a visionary 21st century opportunity to actuate what economist Lester Brown calls the Great Transition.
Problems: 1) there is a 10-25 year window to mitigate global climate crisis by reducing our carbon use. 2) the Marcellus Shale gas “Energy Bridge” increases (not lowers) CO2 emissions when including methane leaks, while jeopardizing our water supply and tearing up our land. This non-renewable resource is predicted to last 30 to 100 years. 3) Replacing Philadelphia’s deteriorating gas infrastructure is estimated to cost over $1.46M/mile over 38-66 years.
Bold synergistic solution 1, 2, 3 - Wean Philadelphia off gas! How? By retrofitting whole neighborhoods using proven Passive House science-based efficiency strategies.
By starting with our poorest communities with the most vacant sites. Paid for by a combination of reallocated infrastructure dollars, state/federal grants, PECO incentives, savings from LIHEAP, utilities, other social service dollars, and tax abatements, to name a few. We will permanently improve and “future-proof” our building stock while creating jobs, improving air quality, health, land values, and saving tax dollars.
Plus Philadelphia will lead the nation in super-efficient, all electric, solar-ready 21st century buildings... next great city!