Saturday, December 1, 2007

Going Green - In Full Reverse

One of the sections of the paper last Sunday featured the new subdivisions sprouting up far west of Aurora - some forty six miles from Chicago. The structures of the farms into which these developments are encroaching are still visible beside the voluminous drafty boxes. The folks moving in are regarded as the new pioneers; the article made comparisons with the development of the western suburbs some fifty or more years ago. There were some similarities: the land around Schaumburg and so on was largely farmland. There are also substantial differences: the houses back then were about one third the size; the developments were also closer to mass transit.

I really want to know when it was, and how it was, that people were hood-winked into believing that they "needed" more space. A family with one small child "needs" a triple garage, a family room with cavernous ceilings and a master bathroom of such formidable dimension that the very private personal functions must be akin to doing them in a center of a shopping mall. Whatever happened to the concepts of intimacy and coziness, a quiet nook to read with dimensions on a human scale?

Well I suppose these new pioneers are all suckers for marketing ploys and getting "more" for your money. In the context of going green, reducing one's carbon footprint and so on, it is completely in the wrong direction. It is not a matter of rocket surgery (or brain science for that matter) to show that the costs of heating huge volumes of dead, wasted, unnecessary space are higher; that the costs of transportation from these rural ghettos are far higher (even for the simplest errand to find a grocers); that there are no alternatives of public transportation available nor likely to be any time soon.

Which brings me to my next point. While the odious Daley poses and preens and waxes lyrically (no he never does that - mumbles incoherently is better) about bicycles and green roofs and all the other myriad ways in which Chicago is a world leader in greenness, the public transportation system, already an embarrassment, is about to dive into the malebolge as funding for it falls apart. Is it not completely obvious that for any serious attempt on reducing carbon emissions to be successful, efficient and widespread public transportation must be a number one priority, regardless of alternative fuels, hydrogen cars and so on? Meanwhile, the already pathetic mess that is public transportation has priority zero. The bumbling Blago - oh how poorly we are served by elected men - learns of the funding demise while watching an ice hockey game.

We are having a town meeting next week at the COD on Global Warming Solutions for Illinois. Some politicos are going to be in attendance I think. It could be an interesting evening.


Snipper "Book Zeller" said...

Who needs scripture or sermons when they have the super savvy cyber prof? I get all my inspiration AND humour as well as updates on the political, social and economic realm all in one easy to read and vocabularisitically increasing site!

Aylwin Forbes said...


It makes it all worthwhile to know that I both entertain and educate you. You and maybe two others. Some of the letters in the Tribune today seem to echo my sentiments, with an additional perspective on the racial motivation for the flight to the suburbs from Chicago back in the day.

shirazgirl said...

Did the Global Warming meeting happen yet? If so, did you go? Do tell.