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Re: [carfree_cities] 1. Monbiot; 2. "mainstream media catching on.... "

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  • Christopher Miller
    1. Regarding Joel s posting from Monbiot, I remember, a number of years ago, reacting to something Joel had written in a pre-publication draft of Carfree Times
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 13, 2009
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      1. Regarding Joel's posting from Monbiot, I remember, a number of
      years ago, reacting to something Joel had written in a pre-publication
      draft of Carfree Times about "stopping climate change" or something
      along those lines. I proposed that all we could do at the stage we had
      reached by then, given the available knowledge, would be to mitigate
      the extent of climate change. Thinking that "climate change" was too
      neutral a term, I proposed "climate destabilization". Unfortunately,
      that doesn't fall trippingly off the tongue... But something like
      "climate crash" or "world climate emergency" might work better to
      communicate the seriousness of the problem in a nutshell. "Climate
      crash" is a bit sensationalist sounding, but the second choice seems
      to encapsulate pretty well what we are up against.

      More than ten years now we have known what we have been up against,
      battling to be heard by "mainstream" public thought managers who
      prefer to embed their heads in the sand and converse over the
      fascinating interactions of the ants they see scurrying about
      underground. Sorry to mix so many incompatible metaphors, but it gets
      disheartening being among the Cassandras on the Titanic when the
      people in charge at this stage think the most important thing is
      getting the gas flowing again into the stoves in the galley so
      everyone can continue to gorge themselves on hot food in the
      magnificently appointed dining room.

      2. About Jon Koller's posting:

      This appearet a couple of days ago on a business-centred blog:

      http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/michael-cannell/cannell/suburbia-rip

      To give you an idea of the reception it got, here are the comments
      reacting directly to the story itself:

      =========================================================

      March 11, 2009 at 11:40am by Debra DiEdwardo
      Quite frankly, I'm exhausted from reading the doom and gloom. We're
      obviously in economic crisis. But day in and day out to be flooded
      with snippets of panic about our retirement funds, the neighborhoods
      we live in, and the wonderful vision of squatters inhabiting our
      vacant homes, just leaves me cold. I'm not ignorant on the subject,
      just tired of the herd mentality. Let's write about what we can do
      within our communities to prosper, instead of plying the masses with
      fear. With love from rural suburbia.
      Report Content
      March 11, 2009 at 12:07pm by Amber Vongsamphanh
      I couldn't agree with Debra more. And frankly I think this type of
      gloom and doom journalism is irresponsible. I think we all remember
      the principle of "Self Fulfilling Prophecy" from Econ 101. This
      suburbanite will be unsubscribing from your RSS feed.
      Report Content
      March 11, 2009 at 3:38pm by gary griffin
      This article is a prime example of the "chickens coming home to
      roost". And the whiny comments of the NIMBY's who are afraid of
      "squatters"(read: minorities and such) need to wake up and smell a cup
      of reality; The "American Dream" is slavery and subjugation of the
      populace, pure and simple. These are the sheep who allowed dictators
      like Bush, Cheney, et. al. to drive us over this cliff by refusing to
      see the truth. Well, ladies, better brush up on your Espanol and plant
      some veggies in your suburbayards; and while you're at it, look up
      compassion and sympathy in your dictionaries and practice a lot of
      both to your new neighbors. You might find you have more in common
      with them than you think.......
      Report Content

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      March 11, 2009 at 7:38pm by Laura Olesen
      Sure - there is too much gloom and doom out there. No doubt it taints
      the markets. But this article raises issues of which we should all be
      aware. One, way-out suburbs can be a gamble. Try reselling a house
      when buyers can get a brand-new one with tons of upgrades for the same
      price. Outskirts mean plenty of room for future competition/
      development. If your city keeps growing and growing, great! All of a
      sudden, you'll be in the center of it all. But if you're really out
      there and future growth is uncertain/unlikely, be careful. Two, the
      U.S. belief in suburbs is based on faith in cars. Gas prices are OK
      right now, but what about in the future? Should we be relying on an
      hour-long auto commute to get to work? That can be costly. Three, the
      American dream is a goal I most certainly believe in (I wouldn't be a
      Realtor otherwise!), but we should all approach it knowing our own
      limitations (just because you want 2000 SF doesn't mean it's the right
      thing) and the risks. Best of luck to everyone!
      Report Content

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      March 12, 2009 at 8:47am by Tom Sachdeva
      What a story to depress more of the already dead (sorry depressed
      souls) I think the article writer should use some ingenuity to see the
      glass as half full ,not empty . Give everybody some hope ,some light.
      Enough of this recession to sell your articles. http://www.TheTorontoRealEstate.com
      Report Content
      March 13, 2009 at 4:51am by Morgan Whitehead
      Before we get too up in arms, let's look at who's being quoted in this
      article: New York Times, The Brookings Institution, Virginia Tech. All
      with an arguably left/liberal agenda to one degree or another. There's
      certainly no doubt that high fuel prices will put pressure on suburban
      appeal, but to proclaim it's outright death seems rather ridiculous.
      Hasn't Fast Company (along with legions of others) been championing
      the concept of telecommuting for years now? Companies large and small
      will surely look to expand this concept in these tough times, because
      it saves them money. More telecommuting = less real commuting. Less
      real commuting = less fuel expense. Less fuel expense = more money for
      suburban housing.

      =========================================================

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada



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