Vox, Get real. Mayors and COOs don't have magic wands to escape the forces of the global and US economy. The worst recession since the 30s was in full swing when the administration came in. Failing to fix pensions would have broken the budget. Even in good times, resources are extremely tight in a city with so much poverty. So moving Ponce City Market into development, grabbing what little stimulus money the city could get to begin transit connection to the Beltline, attracting a bunch of high-tech employers to the city instead of the burbs ... all contribute economic dynamism.
So this Mayor has really had no agenda. I think everyone recognizes that. His intention was to use these two terms as means to propel him into statewide office, however unrealistic that ambition might be. Since he had no vision for what he wanted accomplish as Mayor (his big three policy proposals - opening closed rec centers, adding police officers, and fixing pensions are all tactical issues at best), we should not be surprised that nothing has happened. Now he wants to address our infrastructure deficit in year 6 of his administration despite the fact that he knew about this issue when he came in. He is a very cautious, very political player, and as a result will go down as a below average Mayor.
@ Mark from Atlanta
"Because you cannot address my "core" argument?"
I addressed your core argument - make excuses why the global warming forecasts have been incorrect for the last 17 years (depending on which expert you ask).
You responded with two reasons, one being low solar activity. I pointed out that low solar activity was a known factor when the forecasts were made and was included in the forecasts, so it is NOT a valid reason for the forecasts to be incorrect.
I am not going to get in an extended debate with you about this as neither of us is expert. I do have a university minor in thermodynamics and understand the subject at that level. We must agree to disagree.
"At the end of the day, I don't believe the hyperbole that human activity is the main driver of global temperatures."
I cannot think of a single scientist who has made that claim. At the most, human activity has a very tiny effect on global temperatures. However, the Earth is a unique and fragile ecosystem where even very small fluctuations in temperature can result in a cascading series of events leading to species dying off. It would be the height of collective ego to cling to the Pollyanna belief that those species cannot include us. If you do not understand what I am talking about I would encourage you to get a good book on thermodynamics and after studying it follow up with an academic book on ecology.
"If it's too hot - it's global warming; if it's too cold - it's global warming; if it snows - it's global warming; if it doesn't snow - it's global warming, etc."
Now you've done it - while NASA, the NAS , the AMS etc have used climate data doing back hundreds of thousands of years to indicate trends it has been the Right that has used exactly the anecdotal nonsense you describe to mock the scientists' work. The fact that you would try to make that argument indicates you apparently have little interest in getting at the truth, but instead wish in engage in a futile attempt to validate your own deep seated anti-science world view.
"The present decrease in solar activity is not a recently discovered event and has been included in temperature forecasts."
This seems to make my point.
"The Earth has another heating system - the molten rock at its core."
Hopefully you realize the Earth's core would freeze without the Sun's heat. Deep space is very, very cold - as in about -270 C. Why did you try to delegitimize my answer with completely extraneous nitpicking? Because you cannot address my "core" argument?
@ Mark from Atlanta
Thanks for responding, but I don't agree.
"1. Since the 9 years of the leveling off of temperatures corresponds almost exactly with the global slowdown in economic activity there could very possibly be a link between decreased fossil fuel usage (releases CO2) and a pause in climate change."
Look at the decade of the 1940s which showed a large drop in temperature, even though industrial production and carbon use was much increased during and after WWII. Of course, the New Scientist blames this on sulfate aerosols, even though they were not banned decades after the 1940s.
"2. There has been a decrease in solar activity which can account for a decrease in temperatures since the sun is the Earth's only heating system."
The present decrease in solar activity is not a recently discovered event and has been included in temperature forecasts. The Earth has another heating system - the molten rock at its core.
At the end of the day, I don't believe the hyperbole that human activity is the main driver of global temperatures. There has been too much documented chicanery amongst the purveyors of global warming as a business. If it's too hot - it's global warming; if it's too cold - it's global warming; if it snows - it's global warming; if it doesn't snow - it's global warming, etc.
you forgot the bike lane on 10th
"OK, so if it had not been for the two stadium fiascoes this year, the administration's record would have been strong."
In what manner?
Unemployment recently ticked up, crime is higher year on year since 2010, lost Thrashers, losing Braves, businesses are shuttering downtown, police and fire are upset, the streetcar is over-budget and late, underground is no better off, gulch cancelled.
(we did get Porsche to move in and a Ferris wheel up)
Arguably the biggest successes in the are in areas where the mayors office has less influence.
Maybe I'm missing all those successes vs. other cities the last few years?
Thanks, Roger. That is an informed and well-expressed argument actually makes sense.
Look Ted, Atlanta is a small city where much of its commercial land area (about 10%) is occupied by non tax paying entities such as governments, universities, non-profits and hospitals. It derives most of its revenues from property taxes. It does not have the tax base to support the urban infrastructure it needs. The City of Atlanta is only about 8% of the metro region, while most major cities are 30-50%. That means the City is stuck trying support the urban infrastructure requirements of the entire metro region on a fraction of the tax base of competing cities. That is what the Mayor was referring to when he mentioned how it was good that someone in the region other than the City was taking on the financial obligation of support our urban infrastructure, in this case the Brave's stadium.
Per capita parks acreage comparisons such as the one cited above are nonsense, because they don't control for density. We are one of the least dense cities in the country. When such a large portion of your land area is dedicated to single family residences with yards and porches, your need for greenspace is greatly reduced. Atlanta has plenty of parks, and can barely manage to maintain the ones it already has (grass should be mowed every 7 days in the summer; ours are mowed every 11 if we are lucky). Mixed used, mixed income private development designed with smart growth principles in mind is the best use for the former stadium cite, in my view. The City should sell the property to the developer that can make the best case for such a development.
The Falcons stadium transaction is not even a done deal.
Chad, We here could learn a lot from how Berlin deals with history. They are very upfront about it in monument after monument after museum after museum. These dissect how the Nazis rose to power, how they subverted democracy, what cruelties they wrought and what disaster they brought on Germany. Georgia's treatment of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow and continuing racial disharmony are largely the opposite of this. There are plenty of reasons for the difference, but keeping Tom Watson's statue around does not contribute to historical understanding - except if he's in a park focused on discredited heroes like the one in Berlin (or is it another former communist capital?)
OK, so if it had not been for the two stadium fiascoes this year, the administration's record would have been strong. And Atlanta's caving to the NFL and being shafted by the Braves is sadly in line with how it goes down in every city in the US. Can't be blamed on the COO.
Ms Farooqi has been smart and competent as COO and has worked all hours in a pressure cooker of a job. I'd say for that we owe her a slightly more gracious sendoff than we commenters have mustered so far.
@ Roger in ATL
"The Dems never attacked Bain & Company or Romney's affiliation with them."
Total rubbish. They started with Bain Capital and then expanded it to Bain & Co. because the founders of Bain Capital came from Bain & Co. The Dems love the tactic of guilt by association.
" Please explain no global temperature increase for the past 17 years."
Once again you demonstrate that there are those the Right who CAN think. However, according to NASA, the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the NAOA your data is off - it is not 17 years, but about 9 years. Let me offer two possible explanations for the leveling off:
1. Since the 9 years of the leveling off of temperatures corresponds almost exactly with the global slowdown in economic activity there could very possibly be a link between decreased fossil fuel usage (releases CO2) and a pause in climate change. It is CO2's role in capturing the sun's heat that causes the greenhouse effect. Contrary to popular opinion this effect is a good thing because it keeps out planet relatively warm even at night, but because of the fossil-fuel driven industrial revolution too much CO2 is causing us to capture too much of the sun's heat. So, as soon as the global economy heats up again (pardon the pun!) the planet will continue heating up.
2. There has been a decrease in solar activity which can account for a decrease in temperatures since the sun is the Earth's only heating system. Ultimately a long-term decrease in solar activity could prevent drastic climate change, but according to this article - don't count on it!
-135 in Antarctica recently. Climate change caused by man is a scam..
1. Close out your computer immediately.
2. Go to the library and check out a good dictionary.
3. Look up "weather" and "climate."
4. Note the difference.
This is how it works when you have a corporate kiss ass in the Mayor's office. These people DO NOT work for us, they work for the corporations who pad their pockets.
"The fix is in" and has been for years. Wasn't anyone wondering why the bridge on Hwy 41 in Vinings needed to be widened to 8 lanes? Work began 2 years ago to prepare for Braves Stadium traffic. Who owned the land this monster will be built upon? Oh yeah, it's really hard to find out the names of member of a Real Estate Partnership. It would take a real investigation to find that out. Don't forget the storm drainage LAKE that is in the middle of the land now. I'm sure there is an infrastructure plan for pouring that water somewhere...like into the dip in Hwy 41 where it goes to 4 lanes under I-285. Tony Soprano must be getting a good laugh.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation