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Think Globally – Act Locally

This documentary takes a unique slant on sustainability by examining how public policies and superstitions at every level of government affect the sustainability of our behavior. I often ask, “How can we expect to achieve global sustainability if our planet is full of communities acting unsustainably?’

Of course I’ve been working on that very issue in my own community for years, trying to inject some prudent, rational, long-term thinking into what was rarely even a debate about my community’s addiction to growth.

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted in 2 months, it’s because I decided in January to kick it up a notch. I entered a local city council race. I decided to run because my city, like most cities and even the entire U.S., is facing a funding crisis. Instead of rampant consumption, citizens are now being very thrifty, diminishing sales tax revenue. Instead of enjoying the quick hit of sales tax revenue from new construction, the city is now stuck serving subdivisions that have never provided the tax revenue necessary to serve them.

The local Ponzi scheme has collapsed. And I was afraid our elected officials would want to solve the problem by repeating the mistakes that got us into this mess. Sure enough, they have a tax increase on the ballot – not to provide essential services, but to gamble on antiquated “economic development” schemes to steal employers from other communities and rev up growth. They believe growth will solve all the problems it actually created.

So my time has been completely consumed attempting to help my community understand: depending on physical expansion and population growth as a prosperity engine is an outdated strategy that no longer works. I’ve got a couple more weeks left in the campaign. If you’re at all curious, feel free to check out the campaign. I’m putting a few noteworthy links below.

We’ll see if the voters in my city are ready to embrace a more enlightened, sustainable approach to community prosperity, And in the process, we’re collecting some fascinating footage for the documentary!

I’ll be back in a few weeks with a report.

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