It doesn’t matter where one travels in the world to hear the solution for global warming: MOVE TO A BIG, GREEN CITY and CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR.
Eager eco-“experts” march to the same dangerous drummer. Freedom is dangerous. Individuals and societies must conform as required. We all must happily move to a mega eco-friendly “human habitat.”
CFACT is at the three day ECOCITY 2017 conference in Melbourne, Australia. Some 600 people from all over the world beefed up their carbon footprint to “collaborate and dialogue” Down Under.
ECOCITY attendees include city planners, architects, “local authorities”, elected officials, chambers of commerce, universities, renewable energy grant recipients, a 12 year old “Junior Lord Mayor”, and on one crispy cold Australian winter day, Al Gore.
Summiteers seek to address “the way humanity builds its home” and focus on “key actions that cities and citizens can take to rebuild our human habitat in balance with living systems.” Concerns include slowing down and reversing “global heating, biodiversity collapse, loss of wilderness habitat, agricultural lands and open space, and social and environmental injustices.”
With over 80 different speakers and over 100 different sessions, discussions throughout the conference ranged from “Challenges and Key Opportunities to Imagining and Creating Sustainable and Resilient Cities”, “Legal and Financial Instruments to Drive Change,” “Food Systems,” “Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future,” to “Women Leading Sustainable and Resilient Cities.
Leave it to Al Gore to speak on the chilliest day of the conference. The Al Gore effect, unseasonable cold where warming is plugged, defies scientific explanation yet never ceases to amuse.
Gore laid out a litany of planet earth’s latest climate crises; record highs, record lows, floods, fires and mitigation of carbon emissions by using solar and wind. Gore received an audience well beyond the actual number of ECOCITY 2017 conference registrants. They brought in outside media and stacked the house with pre-screened teachers and others who did not have to pay. They physically stopped audience and ECOSUMMIT registrants from taking pictures and did not allow any questions.
Back to a warmer day (the day before Gore arrived), the ECOCITY 2017 conference opened with speakers like Lily D’Ambrosio (the Honorable Minister for Energy Environment, Sustainable Development, Suburban Development, and Climate Change), who praised the “20-minute neighborhood concept” as necessary for sustainable living to save planet earth. In addition to using solar and wind as the leading energy sources, a 20-minute neighborhood provides dwellers with the “ideal” opportunity of eco-friendly, high-density living situations where working, shopping, eating, and playing are all within 20 minutes of one another. Of course this 21 century “voluntary” obligation involves using environment-friendly modes of transportation (walking, biking, and public transportation). As one might imagine, this all helps the world combat man-made climate change while making planet earth more equitable, just, resilient and sustainable for current and future generations. Ms. D’Ambrosio pushed Plan Melbourne as a model ECOCITY plan – a comprehensive, regional, smart growth plan awfully similar to popular plans in the USA such as Plan Bay Area and Thrive 2055.
At the ECOCITY session “Priorities and strategies for mobilizing the finance needed to create zero-carbon ECOCITIES” solutions included things like a vehicle mile travel tax, carbon tax, government subsidies, and dipping into pensions. This is eerily similar to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI.org) where retirement system investors use Environmental Social Governance (ESG) as their “fiduciary responsibility” excuse to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and force industrial and societal behavior change.
What is an ECOCITY? According to those gathered in Melbourne:
An ECOCITY is a human settlement modeled on the self sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems. The ecocity provides healthy abundance to its inhabitants without consuming more (renewable) resources than it produces, without producing more waste than it can assimilate, and without being toxic to itself or neighboring ecosystems. Its inhabitants’ ecological impact reflect planetary supportive lifestyles; its social order reflects fundamental principles of fairness, justice and reasonable equity.
If Al Gore and his ECOCITY 2017 friends have their way, an ECOCITY will be your future. There you can “harmonize” with mother earth, change your consumeristic behaviors to match that of the “eco” enthusiasts and happily call the “built world” your “human habitat” or “human settlement” while “voluntarily” waving good-bye to your carbon emitting cars and life as you know it.
When this crowd starts talking about “voluntarism” they mean coercion. They mean the power of the state. Individual freedom, sadly, doesn’t enter into it.
From Sundance to Australia, on to the next huge carbon footprint UN-related gathering.
Reporting from Down Under,