This just in from Don Berwick’s aide, Dave Marsh:
Don is deeply committed to conservation and environmental protection. Don supports the Environmental League of Massachusetts’ call for an increase in investment in environmental protection programs to 1% of the state budget. In fact, he would go further and propose doubling the 0.6 % of the budget currently spent on environmental stewardship and protection to 1.2%.
In addition to the crucial intrinsic value of protecting our beautiful open spaces for our posterity and preserving treasurers that have become part of the identity of our state, a focus on conservation has several tangible benefits:
- Preserving open space and maintaining plant life helps reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For the scientific reasons you mention, development and logging are directly contrary to our goals of carbon neutrality
- Conservation is a job creator. Data indicates that every dollar spent on conservation creates a minimum of 3 dollars in sustainable economic activity (as opposed to the one-time economic benefits from the logging industry).
- An insistence on conservation encourages denser housing, transit oriented development, vibrant downtowns and complete streets. This will reduce our reliance on cars and encourage more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, which also a crucial part of our push towards carbon neutrality.