Autonomous Communities, Not Centralized Megalopolises

The successful wave of the future may well be found in what Jeremy Rifkin calls ‘Autonomous Communities’. Such communities are self-sustaining. Hydro Quebec’s Plan Nord is an example of an outdated, archaic, centralized system of a huge corporation that subjects masses of people to a scheme that makes the corporation rich on the backs of customers they control. In this case, through control of electrical power. 

Canada’s Sierra Club Director, John Bennett, in his presentation at PSU, said that many Canadians aren’t happy with Hydro Quebec’s destruction of the environment. HQ has flooded an area in Quebec the size of Belgium. 10,000 caribou drowned when HQ opened the floodgates on a river crossing as part of their project. When Hydro Quebec tells Canadians they’ll have cheap power because the US market they are targeting will be footing the big bill, this doesn’t give Canadians back their environment, nor does it give the native peoples back their culture and livelihood. And it will never bring cheap energy to Northeastern US. 

Europe is clearly struggling to come up with a better plan. Understandably, big corporations don’t like Europe’s plans. Germany already has legislation in place that new buildings have to be self-sustaining. Germany has tired of centuries of war and is proactively getting it’s act together, a courageous task amidst a world that has not quite awakened to the fact that war has not brought peace, much less robust health to the world.

 Germany is taking new risks with their attention to a sustainable energy makeover and is providing needed education to meet future challenges. Here in the US, we continue to watch our government steal education funds and stir up wars that have nothing to do with defense. We’ve become the biggest threat to the world, destroying countries and sending in corporations to bleed those same countries even more with ‘restoration’ projects, and GMO seeds, pesticides and fertilizers that poison what’s left of the land.

 We don’t have to continue on this tack; we can decide to pull together to make health a priority. Autonomous communities are health promoting communities. Instead of complaining that our young people aren’t prepared for technological jobs, we need to put money back into education so that our people can use new technologies to make our communities sustainable without leaving our youngest and brightest drowning in debt. We need to respect the diversity of the web of life that nature itself provides checks and balances for.

 These are heavy thoughts that also contain the possibility of a brighter future for the generations to come. Hopefully, they will be proud of the efforts we make now on their behalf.


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