a brand new Sustainability Commission has not seemed like the best way to address our "Sustainability Gap." Nonetheless, in light of the way "sustainability" was dismissed at the recent goal-setting session City Council held, it is perhaps wholly emblematic that our actual Earth Day celebration was at our smallest park.
Talk about diminished expectations!
|EOA-HNA draft Report - Jan 2015|
(graph added from CO2 Now)
A paradigm of small park ivy-pulls by individuals, or a greater commitment to blue-barrel recycling, doesn't scale up to meaningful action on Sustainability. We need also to knit sustainability and life-cycle analyses into nearly all other kinds of action. (Like the EOA-HNA, for example!)
|The plaque visible in 2012|
Steve Braden, 62, is another member of the coalition who helped remove ivy on Wednesday. While pulling vines from the soil, Braden uncovered a small plaque that said the giant sequoia had been planted by William Waldo, a former Marion County judge, in 1872. It looked to have been covered by the lush green ivy for years.On the one hand, this testifies to the noxious power of ivy to grow, conceal, and throttle. On the other hand, the sign hasn't been concealed for that long, and our ignorance of it is also a sign of our autoism: Too few walk by this historic site and just look and notice.
Walking isn't just for exercise; it's also great ally of local knowledge, local history, and fine-grained urban fabric!
Also interesting was a neo-temperance note.
Part of the problem is that we don't have a transportation system that makes it easy not to drive.
The problem gets framed up as: Because you must drive, don't drink.
It could instead be: Because enjoying a drink with friends is pleasant, don't drive.
Instead of talking about all the ways that driving is dangerous to health - "Mothers against Driving"! - the accent is on drinking and on drunk driving. And "drunk driving" then becomes differentiated in kind from normal driving rather than differentiated in degree of impairment.
What if we just assumed that zooming around in a car fundamentally impairs our ability to respond to the world safely? People out walking routinely trip over sidewalk gaps - if humans aren't wired 100% to avoid that simple problem, how is it we assume they are wired to drive safely a ton of sheet metal at much higher speeds?
Probably also if we managed our own worlds to have more walking and less driving, there would be less of the daily marinade of gloom for which a drink is sometimes the anodyne solvent.
Here too we don't want to try to squeeze too much high meaning out of a passing MADD reference. But both pieces indirectly show the background noise and bias we take for granted with our autoism.