Our local political group features little wrangling, so unified are we against the big, dumb, gold ol’ boys who for years have been destroying our downtown.
They’ve done it (mostly unwittingly – and that’s the scary thing) by loading up the Planning and Zoning Commission with developers and their lackeys (real estate agents, construction contractors, etc.).
If you’re feeling like you’ve missed something – like this diary starts in the middle, somehow – forgive me. When one lives this kinda shit day in and day out, one tends to begin with ranting and add context as one goes.
The context here is not so much frustration with the good ol’ boys (bless their pointed little heads) as disbelief when a member of “our side” seems to justify their arguments for growth…
(Eeeeesh, I really have dug myself a contextual hole here. Back up, Tony.)
So, our little group devised a strategy for winning businesses over to the notion that growth for growth’s sake in our town is not good. Called “the business memo,” it’s a flyer citing (with footnotes) the unsustainability of unbridled growth, when the cheap (once farm)land on the edges of town is sold to commercial developers, who in turn build WalMarts, Targets, frozen yogurt shops, etc. We take the flyer to businesses we patronize and talk to the owners.
The response has been wonderful; increasing numbers of local merchants are seeing that adding automobile trips to an already overburdened road system is not as likely to get more customers into their stores as it is to discourage people from “going out” at all. And they already knew that big box stores – offering only part-time jobs (to dodge paying overtime or providing benefits) – are not the “job creators” the good ol’ boys paint them to be.
So imagine my surprise when one of our group began sounding like a good ol’ boy herself.
I’d floated the notion of “steady state” economies, and she (tried to) really let me have it: “We need to promote growth lest we be slammed as anti-growth by our opponents! It’s all about the way we are perceived, the facts are secondary!”
Her rationale was just soooo… well, Democratic Party.
So now I’m sending her this book.
In case you haven’t noticed, the realization is spreading that a return to self-contained, regional economies is inevitable. Heinberg’s book explains why – and why, as this occurs, we will become healthier, happier, more engaged people.
You can hear Heinberg speaking about his book here.
His thinking is also summarized in the video below, produced by the Post Carbon Institute, where Heinberg is Senior Fellow:
Anthony Noel is a facilitator of the New Progressive Alliance.