Alternative title: Compaq Cities = Less Global Warming
Parking caused global warming. A serious amount of land mass is devoted to parking our cars. Fine, we live in a big country. The problem is that to get around those parking lots, we have to drive more. In fact, a good chunk of any drive these days is devoted to driving past parking lots. To add insult to injury, many of these parking lots are partially empty except on the Saturday before Christmas!
Parking garages are expensive to build and maintain. However, as they use less land, they are a bargain for the rest of us.
Wal-Mart's (sub)urban foot print, for example, would be reduced by 50% if they had parking garages instead of those vast parking lots (the parking garage at Place d'Orleans shopping mall in Ottawa, under the Wal-Mart, is a good example to emulate.).
Unfortunately, land used by parking garages is taxed at a much higher rate than land used by parking lots (property taxes usually tax net value, the value per square meter of land of a parking garage is worth more than the value of the same land without the garage).
So this is my solution to global warming: tax parking lots. I ask provincial and state leaders across North America to please show some leadership and tax (or allow cities to tax) parking lots based on the amount of land used. Then pat yourself on the back for saving the plannet.
By the way, you can also argue that parks and big yards cause global warming. Contrary to popular belief, forests and grassland DO NOT reduce CO2 levels (trees and vegetation release the CO2 when they decompose or burn). However, may I suggest we reduce the size of mall parking lots before we get rid of your kid's neighborhood park. That said, I would be in favour of getting rid of Ottawa's green belt (Orleans and Kanata are on the wrong side of it).