Thursday, November 26, 2009

Veteran city manager challenges ideas of the "good life"

"We need courage, another spiritual gift. We need courage to stand up to the sacred cows of Western society--to challenge the idea that everyone has a right to a big car with an internal combustion engine so they can drive whenever or wherever they want, regardless of the environmental consequences. We need to challenge the idea that the best way to live is in a large, isolated home built on one-half an acre of good agricultural soil that we proceed to fill with grass that in turn is maintained with heavy applications of pesticides, herbicides, and a lawnmower with a two-stroke engine that puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in an afternoon than a car does in a month."

Gwendolyn Hallsmith, The Key to Sustainable Cities: Meeting Human Needs, Transforming Community Systems (Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2003), pp. 246-247.