Vermont has been hailed as the greenest place in America but its residents need to look to Manhattan for some real low-impact living, argues David Owen. Vermonters might feel green with all that countryside around, but they lack the public transport and low energy use that makes New York City the greenest place in the US, Owen writes at Yale Environment 360.
The Big Apple's population density might make it look like an environmental nightmare, but that density is the very thing that results in the lowest per-capita energy use and lowest rate of car ownership in the nation. Moving to places like Vermont just creates more sprawl, Owen warns. There's not enough space for everyone to live like Henry David Thoreau, he adds. The world's population is expected to hit 9 billion within 30 years, he notes, and "we won't be able to accommodate that change by making the world look more like Vermont."