…would be great for the climate and also a great way to generate post-Covid19 jobs. Win-win:
An incentive for growing trees would contribute to exactly the sort of economic stimulus the United States badly needs. Every dollar the federal government gives landowners and tree-planting contractors multiplies economic activity in communities that plant trees and manage forests, including underserved urban and rural communities. Rural communities are already more vulnerable to certain impacts of the coronavirus pandemic due to an ongoing trend of rural hospital closures and the scarcity of high-speed internet access for remote work. An annual federal investment of $4-4.5 billion in tree restoration could help these communities recover by bringing in $6-12 billion per year in economic growth. That investment could also fight climate change cost-effectively, removing nearly 10% of annual U.S. emissions at less than $10 per ton of carbon dioxide.
I know, I know. It can’t really “save” the world. But it has so much upside it deserves some hype.
This week the National Bike Summit is convening here in DC. And if there is one takeaway it is that biking is a supremely cost-effective investment.
In a town where almost nothing gets decided in a rational manner that focuses on costs and benefits (and instead gets hijacked by ideology, special interest money and cable madness), it’s always important to hammer away at this point. And the League Of American Bicyclists is doing exactly that, highlighting lots of research on how biking pays off big-time.
Here’s a one-stop sampling of the analysis (with links) that any bike advocate can use to blow away any bike-haters that get in his or her face:
Between 1995 and 2010, the Portland region spent $4.2 billion on roadway improvements and $153 million on all active
Since 1990, the City of Portland saw an increase of 14,912 in daily bicycle commute trips and 37,006 in daily auto trips.
The cost of a new auto trip in Portland was approximately 22 times the cost of a new bicycle commute trip
Cost-effective: Between 1995 and 2010, the Portland region spent $4.2 billion on roadway improvements and $153 million on all active transportation improvements. Since 1990, the City of Portland saw an increase of 14,912 in daily bicycle commute trips and 37,006 in daily auto trips. The cost of a new auto trip in Portland was approximately 22 times the cost of a new bicycle commute trip.
By 2040, investments in the range of $138 to $605 million will result in health care cost savings of $388 to $594 million, fuel savings of $143 to $218 million, and savings in value of statistical lives of $7 to $12 billion. The benefit-cost ratios for health care and fuel savings are between 3.8 and 1.2 to 1, and an order of magnitude larger when value of statistical lives is used.
Job creating: A Baltimore study shows that for each $1 million spent, striping bike lanes and signing bike routes creates twice as many jobs as repaving and repairing roads, thank to a favorable labor to materials ratio.