The Bloomberg-Livingstone love-in

There was quite a love-in this afternoon between "Red" Ken

Livingstone, one of England’s most popular left-wingers, and billionaire

Mike Bloomberg, who mentioned at one point that since he owns

a house in London he helps to pay some of Ken’s salary. It’s worth remembering

that Livingstone at one point was too much even for the UK Labour Party, but

nothing succeeds like success, and Bloomberg made a point of reiterating that

Livingstone’s popularity ratings went up more than 10 points after he introduced

congestion charging in London.

What’s more, Livingstone did a great job of painting himself as business-friendly:

he had no particular intention of introducing congestion charging when he was

first elected in 1997, he said, but London’s businesses complained to him about

the £2 billion per year that London was losing thanks to traffic congestion,

and so he was simply responding to them in doing something about it.

I’ll add a link here to Bloomberg’s speech when it appears on the website.

But here’s a snippet:

As we developed the initiatives making up PlaNYC,

we saw that almost all of them, whether they have to do with encouraging transit-oriented

housing, or improving natural drainage by greening our city streets, or promoting

energy conservation in homes, businesses, schools and City buildings: You

name it — virtually all of them will also cut greenhouse gas production.

Addressing one’s carbon footprint is very much a positive-sum game, in other

words. David Miller, the mayor of Toronto announced a new website,

Zero Footprint Toronto, which

will help people not only in Toronto but around the world calculate their carbon

footprint and work out ways to minimize it or eradicate it entirely. Businesses

and cities are already on board; individuals are coming on board. All that’s

left is national governments, and they will surely follow sooner or later.

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