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Forty Years with Birds and Dogs 

6. The Look of the Steady State--Cities

In the steady state, which includes a stable population, hence a predictable, perhaps smaller population, the cities are compact with less ecological impact. Their buildings are more efficient, designed with solar exposure--heat and light-saving options trumping artistic considerations. Their location, even their roofs are enhanced with natural areas and gardens or solar panels, in neighborhoods supplying everyday needs from local and regional cooperatives and businesses supplying opportunities for employment. Long distance travel is handy but more efficient. (Metal rails are said to be 1000% more energy-saving than wheels.) Across-town travel could make use of short-term rentals of bikes, small vehicles or streetcars.

The look of cities could be much different, if equity were achieved. At one time, some ecological economists thought a 15% difference in income would be okay in order to provide incentive for doing difficult work. The % difference is now obscenely high. Not only a progressive tax, but huge serendipitous profits or lucky strikes providing popular sports or entertainment could provide a maintenance share for everyone. The impact would reflect in the cities' lack of slums. No one need be homeless or live without the basics. It just takes the will to see it done.

Sharing jobs and work hours would also impact the cities. Given more time for culture and leisure and an income similar to everyone else, arts, amateur sports and creative and educational support centers could flourish. The cities could once again come alive with people everywhere. Shared conveniences and large appliances could also add to community and save huge amounts of energy and resources.

Pie in the sky? Of course, and I take responsibility for those ideas not mentioned in the book Enough Is Enough. Dietz and O'Neill present a case for the steady state that reliably considers the fact that we have to get there from Here--where we are now. It just takes a little more thought--more thought than defensive posturing.

When it's cold, Bobbi Goose may not keep the other birds out of the Hen House--even though she is more equal (bigger) than they are. Even she knows when it's time to back off and let them in.
2FJF5T2BGYFZ (Excuse the interruption.This is to verify for Technorati that I write this blog.)
Don't miss the whole story.Dietz and Dan O'Neill Enough Is Enough.

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