By Galen Chadwick
(MISSOURI) Springfield’s draft 20-year strategic plan includes the “diverse interests” of bankers, financial experts, realtors, city employees, and advocates for low-income residents who created the housing plan [July 3rd, 2011].
Didn’t these same folks generate the Vision 2020 plan, equally memorable for lack of citizen euphoria? Also to be noted: the LEEDS standard has changed four times in five years, begging questions about message and direction.
While we’re at it, will somebody please define “sustainability”?
If the planners cannot, why should we get involved? Truth is, the urge to control the “sustainability franchise” by business and institutional elites is old hat. Springfield’s Partnership for Sustainability, to name one, seems created for the singular purpose of defining “green wash.” Two questions: How much of our money have they spent, and “where’s the beef?”
One of the oddities of “sustainability” planning is that people arrive already committed to protecting vested interests, wedded to bedrock assumptions of the Chamber of Commerce present. But globalism will fail when OPEC oil ends. Odds favor a major terrorist attack sooner than later. A minority perspective is essential to strategic thinking: “What if our normalcy bias is wrong?”
Journalistic skepticism, like the proverbial needle, seems missing in this haystack. Not to mention the elephant in the room. Springfield no longer grows or manufactures the bare minimum required to sustain civic cohesion. If we had to independently feed, house, clothe, and fuel ourselves again, using local and regional resources, what will it take? How long? How much? How many?
Quantifiable answers exist, suggesting the practicable mechanics of a true sustainability mission: “In 20 years, Springfield restores its food, energy, and economic self-reliance to its highest historic levels.”
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