The above comments pretty well summarize it--except for the one who let fear guide their choice. Kelly is just too far out there for anyone with an IQ above room temperature to take seriously, and Barber is just another status quo stooge. Charlie actually understands the issues, and was proposing realistic alternatives which we desperately need as the globe heats up, the water runs out, and the infinite growth paradigm continues its self-destructive path.
I sent a shorter version of the following as a letter to the editor, which I've been told will appear in the next issue.
My relocalization platform is neo-hippie? Democracy, conservation, putting Main Street before Wall Street, requiring corporations to assume their responsibility to help maintain the amenities they benefit from and clean up their messes, funding an educational system that prepares our youth for rapidly changing times, and a practical, scientifically based plan to make Arizona a global leader in sustainability and the new economy instead of fodder for late-night comedians is neo-hippie?
The International Energy Agency says we're "running out of time" and "forecast a depleted energy supply in the next decade." They then connect the most obvious of the dots: "Energy availability underpins economic growth, and without the opportunity for future repayment of debt the financial system as we know it could stop working."
The recent Bundeswehr report by German military analysts acknowledges Peak Oil and points to a likely reduction in standard of living that might render societies less stable and make them more attracted to extremist political positions. Investment will decline and debt service will be challenged, leading to a crash in financial markets, accompanied by a loss of trust in currencies and a break-up of value and supply chains--because trade is no longer possible. This will lead to the collapse of economies, mass unemployment, government defaults and infrastructure breakdowns, ultimately followed by famines and total system collapse.
The Pentagon's Hirsch Report concludes that it will require at least two decades to put an alternative energy infrastructure in place IF we start before peak occurs. It is now generally accepted that peak in conventional liquid fuels occurred between 2005 and 2008. Supply is now 5% below demand, and the Obama administration predicts this gap will increase to 10% by 2015.
The world's top climate scientists say we no longer have the luxury of merely discussing whether or not we should make changes, but must start lowering greenhouse gas emissions TODAY. We must start immediately heading down toward 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide, not fervently pray that things will somehow be OK if we allow it to increase to 450 ppm, considering the calamities already occurring from allowing it to reach 390 ppm.
Does the Weekly consider all the above to be neo-hippie organizations and individuals? Are you aware of any other elected official or candidate that is offering ANY type of Plan B? The only "solutions" I've heard are minor attempts to mitigate the worst of the damage, doing even more of what created this mess, or pointless deck chair reshuffling.
It seems what you're really saying is that you know you can neither counter nor refute my arguments on issues or my pragmatic responses to them, so you're reduced to childish ad hominem attacks. What specific part of my platform do you consider to be unrealistic, other than the Powers That Be simply say, "We won't allow that"?
Oh, and it probably wouldn't be too wise to continue ignoring the increasing rate of biodiversity loss, increasing biospheric toxicity, our increasing body burden and disease rates, depletion of global fisheries, increasing desertification, dwindling fresh water supplies, topsoil loss, ocean acidification and growing dead zones, and the growing wealth gap as the middle class disappears.
Since the majority of Americans agree we must start addressing these critical issues now, the Weekly clearly demonstrates it is so far out of touch with reality it's difficult to find the words to adequately describe it. It seems that not only has critical analysis become a lost art, but so has the ability for independent thought. This is a clear dereliction in the duties of the Fourth Estate.
Is it really the Weekly's opinion that Arizonans don't deserve better, or just that they aren't capable of better? I disagree on both counts.
Beyond that, I'm really not sure what else to say, or a different way to frame it, that might make my platform more understandable, and why it is so urgently necessary. The alternative I'm proposing, relocalization, which includes steady-state economics and moving toward sustainability by using the same natural systems principles healthy, vibrant and resilient ecosystems have been successfully using for billions of years, presents a practical, affordable and comprehensive plan that addresses the roots of our current crises. While it may not be possible to totally stave off the coming collapse brought on by our failing system--considering how far down that path we already are--relocalization provides the only realistic plan I'm aware of that can provide, at the very least, a foundation for a democratic, equitable and sustainable future where coming generations at least have some positive possibilities to begin rebuilding.
Provided, of course, that we don't continue to make things worse by continuing to support the status quo, or remain content to think that slapping a band-aid on a symptom here and there will be good enough. People across the political spectrum agree we must become sustainable, and even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a speech on Oct. 4, 2010 to the Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, said the current trajectory of government finances is unsustainable and that the U.S. is on the brink of a financial disaster.
The best advice the Tucson Weekly can offer is to carry on with business as usual? Isn't the role of an alternative paper to provide information and views not covered in the corporate mainstream press? Well, at least we have the New Southwest to fill the void for an alternative paper in this town.
Freedom, democracy, conservation, justice, and fiscal responsibility. Yep, I'm a leftist :-)
Which begs the question, Where does that leave the right?
And, to clarify again, I wasn't "kicked out" of the forum. Since I arrived at the PCIC accountability session properly attired in shirt and tie, instead of a wrinkled t-shirt with my name blazoned across it, I was allowed inside and went to the candidate table to sign in, and inquire as to why my name wasn't on the schedule and why the organizers couldn't show the courtesy of returning the calls from myself or my campaign staff. We were told weeks ago that no final decision had been made as to which candidates would be on the program, and wouldn't know until the final week.
After a quick hallway conference with Republican candidate Greg Krino, who agreed to make a statement--in the very short time alloted to candidates to say anything meaningful regarding their stand on issues--about the lack of respect shown to legitimate and qualified candidates by PCIC, I left to go see what all the commotion was about outside. Since it was much more entertaining than what was going on inside the hall, I decided to stay out there.
Good article overall, Hank. This _is_ shaping up to be a very interesting race.
There are a couple of subtle points I'd like to make. The first is that I'm not "challenging" Senator Aboud. I'm running "for" a sustainable future, which can be implemented through a practical, affordable process known as relocalization. I just happen to have spent the past couple of decades drawing on my background as a systems scientist to see how we got into our current mess, connecting the dots in how the mess maintains itself, and working at the community and personal levels to implement solutions. If we're going to have the systemic change required to deal with the root causes of our crises, it's going to require someone who has a background in change and its realistic possibilities.
I don't lean left. But I don't lean right, either. I'm out in front. That's probably the main reason I'm running as an Independent. While I would be inclined to vote for Paula if I wasn't running, it's because she exhibits the highest degree of common sense among the other candidates, not that she's a Democrat.
Plus, it's a myth that the Green Party is the left wing of the Democrats. There are as many of the Green Party's Ten Key Values the embody traditional conservative values, such as democracy, decentralization, conservation, responsibility, and local autonomy as those that tend to be narrowly associated with liberal values, such as justice, equity, non-violence, diversity, and sustainability.
However, most _real_ Republicans I know agree that all those latter values would be a good idea as well if we're to have any hope of passing on a planet and society our children can prosper in. If the media should decide to start presenting fair and honest coverage of candidate platforms, I'd expect to pull more Republican votes than Greg, the vast majority of the Independents, and a good chunk of the Democrats. Relocalization is both a necessary and a winning platform. See www.daveforarizona.org for details.
But I'm not running as a Green, and haven't been associated with the Green Party for almost a year now, because their main interest is in building a party and they're not using their values to propose solutions to our rapidly converging crises. They seem to be following the Democrats to the mythical "center" in trying to stimulate an economic recovery with "green" jobs and other band-aids, and they seem to have lost their passion for challenging the status quo. While jobs in a sustainable future must be green, they are not going to return us to the "normal" that got us into our current mess.
Which brings up the other main reason I'm running. Most candidates today believe that you can't challenge the status quo, or that there isn't any alternative, or that doing even more of what got us into this mess will somehow get us out, or that we just need to rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic called Corporatism--or throw half the chairs overboard. Not only do we deserve better than that, we're actually capable of better than that.
Hi Zookeeper... My problem, if it can be called that, is that my feet are _too_ firmly planted in the ground. I don't want to reduce the population of Tucson to 50,000. But if people want to talk honestly about sustainability, within which the concept of carrying capacity is deeply embedded, there are some realities that can't be ignored. The facts on the ground are that we're running out of water, and that we don't, in fact, really even have enough to _sustain_ the current population. If the Colorado goes functionally dry (below the intake pipes), our *assured* water supply is 30 days. The latest widely accepted studies are predicting this could happen between 2011-12 and 2020-25. One of the things that worries me is the way the worst-case scenarios from climate models of five years ago, that weren't expected to occur until 2050-85, keep happening now.
When I was a Boy Scout, being prepared was one of the concepts we had drilled into us.
So, the question becomes how do we, as a community, protect and preserve a dwindling natural resource, for which there is no replacement except in pipe dreams (being blunt in the interest of space here) which are actually sustainable, and for how many people is this possible at what standard of living for what quality of life? And these can all be fairly objectively measured, even within subjective boundaries.
It's also a fact that 10,000 or more people voluntarily leave the Tucson area every year. Considering the current budget, maybe we should save the tens of millions we're spending on PR to entice 20,000 or more to take their place.
Now, if you can refute any of that on ecologically sound grounds that obey the laws of physics and doesn't turn our one and only life support system into a smouldering waste heap, I'd like to hear it.
Better yet, come up with a process, that people can actually do today, better than relocalization which would systemically address the root causes of our personal, social, and environmental ills. I'll support _you_ as a candidate. The thing is, when relocalization is coupled with the principles of steady-state economics, we could have a technologically advanced society that could actually improve overall quality of life and benefit from the long withheld _promise_ of technology--increased leisure time.
This is not the wishful thinking of an academic or '60s idealist. This is being put in place in hundreds of communities around the world today, about 50 in the US. My platform is pretty firmly based in science. It's not my fault a growing number of fields in modern science keep validating ancient indigenous wisdom. What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
What I'm offering is a pragmatic, viable alternative. Don't believe Margaret Thatcher.
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