By Harold Brown
The Summer Olympics came to Atlanta in July and August 1996, and some people are still talking about it, as I observed at a recent forum. Nothing about the events’ winners and losers, of course, but about the environmental ramifications.
Cars stayed away from downtown in droves. Ridership on public transportation was reported up 250 percent. The media hailed the experiment in reducing traffic, pollution and asthma. Even the Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division saw it as a successful, if brief, solution to Atlanta’s air pollution problem: The agency still has a separate Web page devoted to ozone readings during the Games.
While the EPD seems to offer half-hearted support, it and the federal Environmental…