OPINION: Shrinking Roanoke's footprint:
Roanoke City Council members got one of their first looks at the city's progress in its efforts to decrease the size of its carbon footprint.
Sean McGinnis, director of Virginia Tech's Green Engineering program, presented a report recently assessing the city's carbon emissions in 2008 and comparing those emissions to 2005's baseline.
The upshot of the technical report: Emissions in 2008 were down very slightly from 2005. That's good news tempered by a couple of unknowns: how much of the reduction was due to that year's mild winter and the then-deepening recession.
The reduction, a tiny 0.7 percent dip, is better than an increase, of course. But McGinnis noted in his report that council has set a goal of dropping emissions by 2 percent a year.