Whenever I write about why we have to stop needless and stupid waste like, say, patio heaters in Miami, someone will write "focus on the big issues first, and avoid nitpicking on these kind of trivial subjects that will do nothing to promote a stronger eco-movement." I don't think that these issues are trivial at all, but I never had a good answer until I heard Worldchanging's Alex Steffen at the Ryerson University School of Interior Design in Toronto, courtesy of Steelcase. He noted that everyone in the world wants to be rich, and Baywatch is the role model. Instead, we have to create a different model to emulate.
We have to develop a model of prosperity that 4.5 billion people can share and we don't know how to do it.
Perhaps this is why we get so worked up about people having a good time with ATVs and patio heaters. There just isn't enough fuel and propane to go around.
Read my favorite post on Alex Steffen:
"Our efforts to build a one-planet prosperity may involve an astonishing variety of new approaches, but in the U.S., we most need to adopt one solution that leverages almost all the others: stop sprawl and build well-designed compact communities. That's because the land-use patterns in our communities dictate not only how much we drive, but how sustainable we're able to be on all sort of fronts."
My Other Car is a Bright Green City
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