As the world continues to globalize, we will continue to localize.
Resources will be polarized as community gardens and farmers markets will start to appear in your neighborhoods and exotics will become more scarce. The cost of moving goods around the globe is unsustainable as the reliance on oil becomes more of a burden. We will eventually create communities seeking sustainable solutions even if oil becomes cheap. We now have a better understanding of climate change, sustainability and green technologies. We better understand the individual choice and impacts we can make and the incentives are starting to line up for a huge green movement. From hydro solutions to solar farms to wind farms, community gardens we are enabling innovation and basic sustainable solutions. Alternative solutions from public transportation, Zipcars and tele-commuting workforces move us in the right direction. Grid-lock will be freed by self-sustained master planned communities with energy and food being by products of a community. The world can green and rebuild the inner cities and suburbs with cooperative and sustainable living.
From Escape from Suburbia, Beyond the American Dream:
- Power down industrial system, removing CO2 emissions from production
- Relocalizing economies, work/live/play
- Reducing transportation, Zipcars, Public Transportations and new communication tools
- Living closer to work or tele-commuting will become more and more the norm (virtual-enterprises)
- Using less energy in agriculture production
- Eating food grown closer to where we live, community farms and farmers markets
The problems we have are enormous, yet we have the innovation and now many reasons to take action on our future. Action creates optimism, look at the “We can change” climate campaign led by Al Gore.
What does a sustainable localized economy need?
A Sustainable community has the capability to provide food, water, energy, shelter, healthcare, education and transportation for its citizens. Localization is happening in smart communities. The local citizens need to get the City Government, School Board, Chamber and its members and even Local News involved in the movement. Participatory democracy – people interact with the experts and let the people make the decision. The alternatives of sharing resources, bicycling, providing free public transportation and Zipcars (my new favorite company). The power can be created from solar, wind, tidal, geo, bio and hydro. We are able to upload and download energy to the local grid, this creates less leakage. Wifi for entire cities and communities, connecting alternative fuels and the entire grid together to communicate. The distributive grid creates homes using 90% less energy and create sustainable solutions for local communities (not reliant on oil from around the world).
So in my mind sustainability has to start with your community. It is really the only way you can make an impact. So reduce, recycle and reuse the resources.