Jamie Banks on the Newton struggle

Last week the Boston Globe had a front page story about the increasingly fractious politics of leaf blower control in the suburb of Newton. You can read about the report here.

Today in the GlobeJamie L. Banks, of the Quiet Communities environmental organization in the Boston suburb of Lincoln, points out that the pitched battles may be unnecessary, since technology (and community strategy) are leading other communities to post-dirty-engine solutions. In her letter to the editor Banks says: 

Transitioning to electric technology is best started with positive incentives to engage operators and let the cleaner alternatives prove themselves.... Financial incentives and active promotion of green businesses are needed.

More than 100 companies now operate with advanced electric equipment, and at competitive rates. Harvard, Tufts, and Yale are among the schools making the shift. In 2016, South Pasadena, Calif., became the first city in the nation, according to the American Green Zone Alliance, to maintain all municipal grounds with low-noise, zero-emissions tools. Southampton, N.Y., is following suit.

One consistent theme of the QCDC campaign in Washington D.C. is that the shift away from hyper-polluting, medically damaging, obsolete two-stroke gas-powered engines is a matter of "accelerating the inevitable." Sooner or later communities and companies will adopt radically cleaner and quieter battery-powered alternatives. It might as well be sooner.