Carmel, Indiana Mayor Jim Brainard, whose efforts ClimateEye has featured on more than one occasion, continues to highlight why being a good climate and environmental steward is “very much in line with traditional Republican or conservative principles.”
“We’ve chosen to do things differently here,” he told AlterNet in an interview. “We’ve done wild things hereswitched out our fleets to hybrids, tested hydrogen trucks for snowplows and used LED to light our streetlights. All these things reduce the amount of carbon to help clean up our air. What we’re trying to do is to design a city where less carbon is needed.” Brainard has served as mayor for two decades and has worked toward making the sustainable city, as it expanded from 29,000 residents twenty years ago over near 100,000 today, one that is livable, walkable and bike-friendly. “If you’ve created a city that’s mixed use, that’s fairly dense and doesn’t sprawl out as much, your car trips are shorter. It becomes more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. You pay attention to alternate modes of transportation,” he said.
The mayor disagrees with Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, when it comes to environmental issues and thinks the Republican Party needs to listen to climate scientists. “I’m not a scientist, but when I go to the doctor, I tend to listen to somebody who’s got 10 years of training in the area that I’m concerned about. When I want a bridge design, I’m going to go to someone who has a professional engineering degree and experience. When I want to build a building, I’m going to go to an architect, who has specific training. Why would we throw out those people who have spent their lives studying the science of a particular subject, and just on a whim say, we don’t agree with you?”
Brainard is part of the Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience.