Archive for May, 2008
Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Corrupt.org recently interviewed Michael E. Arth (New Urban Cowboy; Labors of Hercules) who has recently converted a Florida slum formerly known as ‘Cracktown’ to a new area now known as “The Garden District”. His New Pedestrianism ideas revolve around changing zoning laws in order to create a more pedestrian-friendly town where cars are thought of as secondary to walking. Additionally, businesses would always be in the center of town with houses & neighborhoods on the periphery, and with nature and bodies of water bordering these communities instead of concrete jungles and highways. I found his ideas to be a bit idealistic, but grounded in practical reality. The man definitely knows he has an uphill battle ahead to quite literally change the world, but he is up to the task and believes that we can change the way we live if we put forth the effort – from corrupt federal officials attempting to pacify 320 million-plus Americans to localized, mostly autonomous small communities.
Here are some links to check out:
Most cars can be eliminated within twenty years
Corrupt.org interview with Michael Arth
New Urban Cowboy
Michael Arth’s website
Golden Apples Media
Here’s a snippet that Corrupt.org recently published:
The world’s 800 million cars could be reduced by 90% or more with the application of pedestrian-oriented urban design, and two technologies that are already in their infancy. Urban designer and futurist, Michael E. Arth, presenting a paper on the future of urban design at the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) in Austin, Texas, on April 5th, and in various publications and interviews, says that self-driving public taxies, virtual reality, and the application of pedestrian-oriented urban design, could eliminate most cars within 20 years.* A newly released feature documentary, New Urban Cowboy: Toward a New Pedestrianism, tells the story of Arth’s revival of a former crack slum and demonstrates an idealistic form of urban design he calls New Pedestrianism.
Michael E. Arth writes: “Ninety percent of the time, cars are parked somewhere taking up resources. If we traded private cars for efficient, zero emission, self-driving public taxis, we can have any type of vehicle we want, when we want it, for a fraction of the cost of owning a vehicle, and we would take a huge step toward solving a wide range of problems, including global warming. Almost all of the world’s annual 1.2 million deaths** and 48 million injuries, resulting from motor vehicle accidents, are human-caused, so smart autonomous cars should be able to prevent most of those casualties too. Doubters need look no farther than existing car sharing programs, and GM’s 2008 Opel Vectra, which will have ‘Traffic Assist’ and will reportedly be capable of driving itself on the highway in heavy traffic. Insurance companies, automobile makers, lawmakers under control of industry lobbyists, and the minority of drivers not wanting to be chauffeured, may resist replacing so many private cars with so few self-driving public cars, but the environmental, safety, and economic reasons for doing so are utterly compelling.
“The third component of this reduction in cars is the imperative to make our physical world attractive, livable, safe, and sustainable. In order to build for the future, we should make our inner cities more pedestrian friendly—as is already happening in various town centers around the world. New developments should follow the tenets of New Pedestrianism to create vibrant, compact villages, where cars are kept on a separate network at the rear of all buildings, with pedestrians and cyclists traveling on a peaceful, tree-lined, front lane. This will further reduce automobile dependency and improve our environment. With more and more time spent in cyberspace, physical activity will become even more important for the health.”
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Countries thinking of joining the rush for biofuels run the risk of planting invasive plant species that could wreak environmental and economic havoc, biologists warned on Tuesday.
In a report issued on the sidelines of a major U.N. conference on biodiversity, an alliance of four expert groups urged governments to select low-risk species of crops for biofuels and impose new controls to manage invasive plants.
Wow, really? Who would have thought it could harm the environment to take plants from one continent after tens of thousands of years of evolution, and transplant them into a totally new environment? No one realized this might be a bad thing for native vegetation?
Goes to show again that as a society, we are not forward-thinking in the least, and care only about trends and immediate payoffs instead of the future.
Monday, May 19th, 2008
As a citizen of this planet, it only makes sense to ensure a bright future for as many of us as possible; ironically, this involves decreasing our numbers drastically. Talking about overpopulation doesn’t do most folks any good because there’s no money in decreasing overall consumption. Having as many consumers as possible around is best for government (taxes) and business (profit) in the short term, but in the long term, this will lead to resource wars (more money toward defense spending; again this is good for government). This is a common sense issues we don’t talk about because our politically correct society can’t admit that a planned population reduction would take away too many ‘freedoms’ (even though family planning is the intelligent and least invasive path to take). Government figures are mostly useless in that they feel if we are kept happy with TV and entertainment, we won’t squawk too much about the real problems; these are not the people who are going to lead us into a future of tough decisions and new cultural heights.
Per the above link, Corrupt.org asks and answers a few tough hypothetical questions from our politically correct society in regard to overpopulation:
Each individual is sacred and carries an intrinsic value. For this reason we should not attempt to reduce the overpopulation.
We don’t necessarily need to take any human life. Effective methods of reducing overpopulation include family planning, which is 100 % harmless to already existing individuals.
We have no moral right to limit the reproduction of individuals, as this violates basic human rights.
All human individuals are part of the world in which we live, and if we deplete the resources of this planet, many people will find themselves born into poverty. If we make the individual sacred, we defend a careless attitude towards the larger life, including other species that also have the right to exist. We’re not the only living creates on this planet; if we care about ourselves, we must also care about the environment that sustains our very existence.
We have more important problems to focus on, like social and economic inequalities.
Aside from the anthropocentric perspective that seems to place the human species above its environment, social and economic problems are closely linked to the problem of overpopulation.
Friday, May 16th, 2008
Apparently our government has decided to wake up and start throwing people in jail who don’t belong here.
Oops – wrong people! Our government wants nothing to do with jailing illegals, sending them out of the country, and building a border fence. But a guy from Calabria (Calabrese people stopped emigrating to America en masse about thirty years ago)? He must be a threat; lock him up and throw away the key!
This guy was here to see his girlfriend, so they lied to him, told him he couldn’t go back to Italy, and left him to rot in a jail cell. Good thing he wasn’t just here to sight-see on his own, or we likely never would have heard about him. And of course the government is not in the business of apologizing when they’ve made a mistake.
This is an example of a perfectly legal visit from a foreign national; our government is too busy locking up the wrong people to realize the true problem: illegal immigrants bring down our economy for citizens (who deserve better treatment), and this “they do the jobs that no one else wants” logic is backward. People would have been fine doing those jobs had illegal immigrants never been allowed to stay here and work in the first place; if you introduce a population of people who are willing to work for less and add the moral hazard of a welfare state for the formerly employed citizens, it’ll sure as hell seem like they don’t want to work. Why would they? They’re getting paid by your tax dollars to reproduce, shop, and build up credit card debt.
This is what happens when economy and industry run society. Mix in a little political correctness and you’ve got a backward system targeting sacrificial lambs to slaughter, while ignoring the real problem.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
A fairly well-respected government figure is trying to stimulate discussion on what many people already know: there are too many people on the planet, and since we continue to reproduce at insane rates along with a Chinese and Indian middle-class growing by the hundreds of millions, most of whom desire first-world lifestyles (read: access to clean water, electricity, and trash removal), there aren’t enough resources to come close to supporting everyone.
Only very recently has it been established that having one or two kids makes the most sense; even us Americans are coming around to this idea. Most of us are from large families and still don’t feel the need to start a very large family of our own. If only the rest of the world would follow suit.