CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- Following a trail blazed by Indians and pioneers in covered wagons, electric car drivers hit the road Friday to inaugurate the first major section of a West Coast "Electric Highway" dotted with stations where they can charge...
Nora, a woman in her fifties in a wealthy North American suburb, has all the trappings of an enviable life: a devoted husband, two successful children, a beautiful house and the many options that come with financial success. Yet, when we spoke, Nora was despondent. I visited her to learn about her experiences adjusting to a recent diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes. Her story, however, focused less on her reaction to the illness itself, and more on her feelings of disappointment and betrayal. As the conversation expanded, it became clear that much of her pain arose from the sense that her diabetes was assaulting everything she held dear as part of the good life: an ability to consume what she wanted when she wanted, the promise of spontaneity, leisure defined by activities such as relaxing in front of the TV. Her life, she felt, was now one characterized by “work”: the requirement to exercise, the annoyance of having to cook rather than eat whatever she chose and perpetual self-consciousness about her body.
With a landmark announcement this week, New York City has officially joined a growing number of cities around the country in embracing a smarter--and paradigm-shifting--approach to reducing water pollution. Using a suite of techniques like strategically located street plantings, porous pavements, and green roofs, collectively known as green infrastructure, New York is turning the problem of excess stormwater into a solution that will improve the health and livability of its neighborhoods, while cleaning up the waterways that course through and around the city.
It's hard to overstate what a dramatic shift in thinking this represents. Instead of viewing stormwater as waste, New York is turning it into a resource. With this move, New York is showing the rest of the country that if the largest city in the U.S. can finally tackle its chronic water pollution problems with green infrastructure--they can, too.
Annie Leonard is one of the most articulate, effective champions of the commons today. Her webfilm The Story of Stuff has been seen more than 15 million times by viewers. She also adapted it into a book.
Supporters of transportation alternatives talk about the inequity between highway and transit funding in the US, but what they’re missing is that the transit funding bucket includes a lot of things that are manifestly not about transit.
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