I’m giddy with hometown pride.

In an address to NYU’s law school, the former Veep and climate protection championpar excellence singled out my neighborhood for praise:

Individual Americans of all ages are becoming a part of a movement, asking what they can do as individuals and what they can do as consumers and as citizens and voters. Many individuals and businesses have decided to take an approach known as “Zero Carbon.” They are reducing their CO2 as much as possible and then offsetting the rest with reductions elsewhere including by the planting of trees. At least one entire community – Ballard, a city of 18,000 people in Washington State – is embarking on a goal of making the entire community zero carbon.

Pretty cool. You can learn more about Ballard’s somewhat quixotic community-driven initiative here. And you can learn even more over at Gristmill, where fellow Ballardian Dave Roberts geeks out on Al’s speech.

I guess I should point out that Gore was mistaken about one thing: Ballard isn’t actually its own city. Or at least it hasn’t been since 1907, when it was brought under the oppressive yoke of the city of Seattle. Luckily for Ballard’s efforts to go carbon-neutral, however, the tyrannical rule of Seattle’s city hall has yield one or two big benefits: a city-owned electrical utility with zero net greenhouse-gas emissions and a city leadership committed to meeting Kyoto’s standards.

Ballard is certainly not perfect, but it is inspiring to see communities rally to address what is, perhaps, the single biggest environmental challenge facing us in the twenty-first century. It helps, I imagine, that the neighborhood has a few thoughtful residents like this fellow, who has been jestingly dubbed a “freak” for his car-less ways. So I’m glad Gore shined a little limelight on my `hood.

p.s. I was kidding about the “oppressive yoke” bit. I love the rest of Seattle too.

Free Ballard!