Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Copenhagen Reverie: "The King is in the All together"

It is without a doubt heavily ironic that Mike Bloomberg not only went to Copenhagen for this climate conference to save the planet, but that he also apparently had an epiphany while attending. As we have already pointed out-and as Liz has cited-the mayor really got into the Copenhagen spirit with a redux of his ill-fated congestion pricing scheme: "I don't think congestion pricing, or those kind of things, are dead."

Now the irony here is that it was in Copenhagen that the late great Hans Christian Andersen penned his famous fable, "The Emperor's New Suit." And we all remember how that story of a naked leader ended: “But he has nothing on at all,” said a little child at last. “Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child,” said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. “But he has nothing on at all,” cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, “Now I must bear up to the end.” And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist."

And so it goes with our own fabled chief executive who, on the issue of environmental purity, is fully unclothed. And while he prattles on about the need for another tax on cars going in to Manhattan, he is supporting the dumping of 70,000 tons of CO2 from the proposed Willets Point development. While at the same time we may add, he is bemoaning the defeat of the Kingsbridge Armory project that will also threaten the health and safety of the residents of that local Bronx neighborhood by dramatically increasing the vehicular traffic in a community already overwhelmed by too many cars and trucks.

But there's more-and it takes the wisdom of Speaker Silver to point out further hypocrisies in the mayor's effort to green the city. As the Observer points out: "On NY1 last night, Silver said, "[T]he mayor has added congestion by narrowing streets, by putting benches in the middle of the city—and this was the same mayor who talked about congestion when he was going to build a football stadium in the middle of the most congested part of the city. They've now put park benches in the middle of Times Square, reduced Broadway traffic up and downtown from four lanes down to one or two, and lower Broadway down to one lane. So, he's created congestion just in these traffic patterns that have taken place."

Ah, the sheer nakedness is truly embarrassing. As Burl Ives once sang-and we'll give him the last word:

"Look at the King! Look at the the King! Look at the King, the King, the King!

The King is in the all together. But all together the all together.

He's all together as naked as the day that he was born.

The King is in the all together. But all together the all together.

It's all together the very least the King has ever worn."