energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

2.13.2008

Sustainability Really Isn't A Better Car

"Societal obsession with inventing a high-efficiency vehicle obscures the fact that using our land to live in suburbs instead of compact villages and cities may be not only a sustainable but a much more satisfying solution"
Alex Stefan, one of my favorite writers, and author of the quote at the top of this web page, shares her thoughts on the environment, going green and being real about it, in her most recent post at World Changing.

This quote started me thinking about the continued conversation (and lawsuits) about the "water wars" between Georgia on one side and Alabama/Florida on another. Georgia officials seem to have taken the position that we can build as much as we want and we'll find the water to sustain us. Oh, and if this negatively affects other humans, creatures and eco-systems down stream, as my teenager would say--it sucks for them. Florida is talking about the little mussel as the canary in the coal mine. When it dies, the entire eco-system is in deep trouble. Georgia replied that really it's all about jobs, not the environment. Other states are trying to steal Georgia's industry by some devious economic development-by-water ploy. It appears that Georgia does not have a growth management policy, or if it does, it is simply grow where ever you want, we'll fill in the infrastructure later. This is why Atlanta has been a nightmare to drive in ever since I began driving. It has never ending road construction that might be attributed to this non-policy?

Tom Pelham, Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs (again), spoke before the Tallahassee/Leon Council of Neighborhood Associations earlier this week. He said that although he was the author of the growth management laws in Florida, it hadn't quite turned out like he had anticipated. Thus, enough angry citizens to form the Hometown amendment petition drive.

In the Florida land-of-many-suburbs, we have seen growth that has been unsustainable in many areas including water. Alex is right to dream of a green city that is walkable, environmentally responsible, where neighbors know their neighbors. Yes, being green is about land use policies. Much more so than purchasing a bunch of products because they're labeled green.

By the way, if you haven't read the book,
Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century,
you can buy it at your locally owned bookstore.

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