Feb 16, 2009

Prepare for the Best and thriving in new green future.

PREPARE FOR THE BEST - In his post hippy prospective , Paul Glover gets a little 'side tracked' and lost me with the 'free love and drugs crap'... but, he makes some valid and insightful points on building communities and prosperity. 
VIA Rachel's  ...through the terrible Depression years without jobs or dollars, while crime and hunger rose. Some districts here never escaped that Depression -- they're still choosing between heating and eating.
As usual, the future will be different... responses to global warming and market cooling, high fuel and food prices, health insurance, mortgages, student debt and war will decide whether our future here becomes vastly better or vastly worse.  But to hell with tragedy. Let's quit dreading news.
Imagine instead that, 20 years from now,  green economy enables everyone to work a few hours creatively daily, then relax with family and friends to enjoy top-quality local, healthy food. To enjoy clean low-cost warm housing, clean and safe transport, high-quality handcrafted clothes and household goods. To enjoy creating and playing together, growing up and growing old in supportive neighborhoods where everyone is valuable. And to do this while replenishing rather than depleting the planet. Pretty wild, right?
From Hope to Nonviolent Revolution
A few ideas from Paul Glover
FOOD: Grow it here
Build urban food army using vacant lots for growing fruits, berries and veggies... abandoned factories for vertical and roof farms, hydroponics, aquaculture, mushrooms. Plant the parks, too. Greenhouses extend seasons. Land breathes again when abandoned parking lots are depaved. Edible landscaping blooms meals. Edible community centers process neighborhood yields. Fallen leaves stay in neighborhoods to become new soil. Feeding kitchen scraps to worms (vermiculture) builds the food of food.
FUEL: Establish independent neighborhood utilities with wind, passive solar and micro-geothermal. Employ thousands to build and install these. Employ multitudes more to manufacture and install insulation made with newsprint and fly ash (a residue of coal combustion). We'll get free winter warmth from 500,000 solar windowbox heaters. District heating and cogeneration reduce fuel need. Municipal utilities reduce grid costs. Tree shade reduces cooling costs: Plant a million.
WATER: Amend code to permit filtered graywater use and waterless compost toilets. Install watersaving devices. Collect rainwater in rooftop tanks, barrels and swales. Plant xeriscapes. Depave driveways and abandoned parking lots. Start Progressive Street Reclamation, converting least-used streets and alleys to playgrounds and gardens.
Big picture: Clean water is becoming more valuable than gold. Nobody shits on gold.
Some of the proposals sketched here can be easily ridiculed, because they disturb comfortable work habits, ancient traditions and sacred hierarchies. Yet they open more doors than are closing. They help us get ready for the green economy, and get there first. Big changes are coming so we might as well enjoy the ride. You have good ideas, too -- bring 'em on.
Entirely realistic? Not a pipe dream? And more practical than cynical?
Read more of this giddy and optimist essay By Paul Glover focuses via Rachel's