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An Ecolife that has Proven to be Unliveable

Byron York has a piece at the Washington Examiner that is a must read. In it he exposes the lifestyle extreme environmentalists just like the ones meeting in Copenhagen want to force us to live. If the American people understood exactly what these environmentalists wanted for them they would run screaming from the environmental movement. Here's a portion of York's piece:

In the high desert of central Arizona, more than five thousand miles from the global-warming summit in Copenhagen, sits an aging and unfinished vision of the enviro-friendly, sustainable life that some climate change activists foresee for us all. It's called Arcosanti, created in 1970 by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri, and it is the prototype of a green community of the future.

The only problem is, it doesn't work. And it never did...

In a Soleri design, masses of people are packed into the small-footprint arcology so that the land surrounding the community can remain pristine, unpolluted by human touch. It was an idea much in fashion a few decades back. "As urban architecture, Arcosanti is probably the most important experiment undertaken in our lifetime," wrote Newsweek in 1976.

Soleri designed models of many futuristic communities, guided by his intense dislike of U.S.-style development. "The 'American Dream,' as physically embodied in the single-family house," he once wrote, "has to be scrapped and reinvented in terms which are coherent with the human and biospheric reality."

York mentions in his piece that Soleri fell out of favor because his design flopped but that he has received a bit of a boost recently because of the climate change fraud that Al Gore and others have semi-successfully foisted on the world.

Environmental communists have gathered in Copenhagen to discuss how they want to restructure our lives. It doesn't matter that we don't approve of their ideas because, as far as these weirdos are concerned, they feel they have the right to do with us what they want, including disposing of those people they consider to be undesirable. Even Canada's Financial Post has come out and demanded that every country follow China's lead and establish a world-wide one-child policy.

It's getting more that just a bit scary when a Western newspaper thinks it's a good idea for the rest of the world emulate China's one child policy rule. Already China has about 1.2 million more boys than girls, which is going to throw their culture and society out of whack. Imagine that taking place all over the world. Then imagine these out of whack societies being forced to live in tightly cramped eco-cities. The consequences would be catastrophic.

Update: Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot points out that the author of the Financial Post's article recommending that the world adopt a one-child policy is a mother of two. So, this article could have been entitled, "One child policy for thee but not for me."

Update II: Jonah Goldberg weighs in on Diane Francis' world-wide one-child policy rule at The Corner:

Imagine if someone wrote an op-ed saying that we need a planetary ban on abortion. Feminists would get their dresses over their heads in outrage about such a naked assault on "reproductive freedom." But here is a woman in a very prestigious Canadian newspaper arguing, in effect, that every country in the world should force women everywhere to have an abortion if they already have a child. Put aside, for a moment, the pro-life objections to this. Even if you think the unborn are really just a bunch of cells, mere "uterine contents" with no more moral import than fingernail clippings, how on earth can anyone believe in "reproductive freedom" and not be absolutely horrified by the police-state evil of such proposals?

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Comments (33)

Classic fear mongering. Wha... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Classic fear mongering. What a shame...

Vic

The article does not mentio... (Below threshold)
Matt:

The article does not mention the other great failure in experimental living, Biosphere 2. Just North of Tucson, AZ. I suppose it isn't a total complete failure since it is now a local tourist attraction. It sure failed as a livable, self-sustaining sealed community. After the trial run had been declared a "success" it slowly leaked out that the air had to be recharged and additional water pumped in and they never really got to the point of sustainable food production.

Plainly put: the ecocoms a... (Below threshold)
mag:

Plainly put: the ecocoms are full of shit. And the people who buy into this are even MORE full of shit.

Classic fear monge... (Below threshold)
Eric:
Classic fear mongering. What a shame...

The whole of Global Warming is fear mongering.

Matt - I've been ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Matt -

I've been to Biosphere 2 - it's really something... but as you point out it failed in the original intent as a self-contained world. And it's also not much of a tourist attraction, as least when we went there five years back. I believe it's starting to become more of a conference center thing - but maybe someone in the Tuscon area will give more info. It used to be run by Columbia University, but no more.

Yeah, it was a real tourist trap. No snack bar, a short rack of T-shirts, one postcard for sale - economically viable it wasn't.

Poor little Vic -

It goes to show what happens when people are given a CHOICE, instead of being forced to exist as some 'visionary' would have them.

Arcosanti was heralded as an amazing, sustainable community - and it's not. People aren't exactly clamoring to move into it.

And the big cultural initiatives in China - as he points out, the 'one child per couple' program - has really screwed their demographics.

Look at North Korea - the ultimate command economy. Doesn't it function well?

Poor little Vic. We've got an elected aristocracy, that knows what's best for us and will FORCE it into implementation whether we want it or not. Rational persuasion and debate aren't even thought of any more - why debate when 'victory is ours'? They've got party-line votes that've racked up one hell of a bill already, with more to come. And Vic thinks that's not something to be afraid of?

No, he's just a sorry little thief who believes he's entitled to other people's money, because he 'deserves it'. Call it theft or call it 'social justice' - he's still a thief.

He apparently thinks he should be able to force people to live the way HE want them to, do what HE thinks is right on every issue, with no dissent or discussion allowed.

Poor little Vic. The people have seen what the left's got in mind for 'em. The programs that sounded good as ideas are getting less and less support as more and more details come out. They can add up the numbers and they don't like it. The smarter Dems are 'retiring' - they're reading the writing on the wall and getting out before the tar and feathers are deployed.

2010's going to be REAL interesting, and I think Vic's going to be a disappointed little syncophant.

2010 is going to make littl... (Below threshold)
Michael:

2010 is going to make little Vic's pinhead explode.

The lesson is: if at first... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The lesson is: if at first you don't succeed, give up!

Good thing Wilbur and Orville Wright weren't Wizbang! readers.

BTW:
Acrosanti is still there and people still live there and as the article would indicate, some people are still learning from it.

"Acrosanti is still ther... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Acrosanti is still there and people still live there and as the article would indicate, some people are still learning from it."

You forgot to mention one niggling little variable there. People living there are there by CHOICE. How long after they work out all the bugs before choice doesn't even come into the matter? Funny how so many lefties only think of the word "choice" when promoting one issue.

Just as rediculous as that ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Just as rediculous as that BIPHOSHEAR 2 idea back a few years ago some cracked urns staying isolated in the enclouser And one i read from P.J. OROURICK about some eco-wackos who were showing off a silly model of a future city they called ECOPOLOUS which was discriped as a hula hoop on sawhorse suspended over a untuached rainforests. These eco-wackos come up with the most rediculous ideas

You moving there, Adrian? <... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

You moving there, Adrian?

What people are learning from it is that central planning for an environmental nirvana is just what it sounds like: a aristocratic dream for somebody else to have to live in.

If the idea had any merit, it would have spread, certainly at least among the tree humpers with stars in their eyes. I guess what's needed is more government regulation to force people to live there. A few billion dollars ought to get it started and help save our planet. It's for the children.

Bullshit.

"You forgot to mention one ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"You forgot to mention one niggling little variable there. People living there are there by CHOICE."

I didn't forget it but it's inherent in my point (obviously).

"How long after they work out all the bugs before choice doesn't even come into the matter?"

You mean like Nazi concentration camps because OBAMA IS JUST LIKE HITLER!!! ?

Excellent example of grade ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Excellent example of grade school play yard dramatics, Adrian. Which is about all you are up to.

I live in Phoenix and one o... (Below threshold)
Meiji_man:

I live in Phoenix and one of the first things I did when I moved here was touring Arcosanti. What a complete dump. They had electric fans going everywhere to try and keep the place cool. Everything was half completed. Later after talking to people who tried to work there. The place is run by crazies who argue with the engineers about the engineer's Oppressive "Fascist Rules" like the law of gravity and thermodynamics...
Too bad, I rather like the concept but...

"If the American people und... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"If the American people understood exactly what these environmentalists wanted for them they would run screaming from the environmental movement."

More likely, they would run screaming AT the enviromental movement, bayonets fixed.

Ah, dream on Les, you little dreamer, dream on....

Arcosanti's had 40 years to... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Arcosanti's had 40 years to get it right, Adrian.

But today, after nearly 40 years, just a few buildings of the common space have been built, and those are gray, leaky and crumbling. On the chilly December day when I visited recently, there were maybe 50 people there, and there are never, even in good weather, more than 100 or 150 inhabitants, mostly students who come to learn about Soleri's radical environmental and architectural ideas.

In one of the common areas, there were piles of empty cardboard boxes, an empty Mountain Dew carton, a couple of children's bikes with training wheels, and pools of water from the previous day's rain. When I took a look at the "Sky Suite," a spare and minimally furnished apartment with a lovely view of the canyon, the man staying there had put a towel under the door in an attempt to keep the water out. It didn't work; on the floor was a soaked towel and a little pool of water. Everyone was cold, despite Arcosanti's vaunted solar heating system.

There's no half-dome, no honeycomb of apartments, no nothing. Soleri never had enough money to build his dream, and the project never made sense to any investors who could have made it happen. Instead, Arcosanti supports itself largely from the sale of bronze and ceramic wind chimes, made here, and from the student tuition. It's enough to keep a bare-bones operation going, but nowhere near what would be needed to construct an arcology, even a tiny, prototype arcology.
Sounds like a wonderful future doesn't it, Adrian? Who WOULDN'T want to live there?

Lot of things sound good in theory, Adrian. The reality, however - is something else.

Adrian,good work t... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Adrian,

good work troll ...

interesting to see a liberal attempt to make that comparison ...

"How long after they work out all the bugs before choice doesn't even come into the matter?"

maybe we mean like health insurance mandates ... you, know the ones that Reid and Pelosi are trying to impose right now ...

"You mean like Nazi conc... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"You mean like Nazi concentration camps because OBAMA IS JUST LIKE HITLER!!! ?"

No. That's not what I mean. That's a pretty lousy Oyster impression you got going there. I've never made such a comparison. Not even remotely. In fact, hyperbole seems to be your specialty, not mine.

What I mean, Adrian - and i... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

What I mean, Adrian - and it's inherent in my point (obviously) - is there are far too many lawmakers in Congress and the Senate whose idea of choice is, "You can do it voluntarily or we'll make a law forcing you to do it."

*Sigh*I hate junk ... (Below threshold)
James H:

*Sigh*

I hate junk like this Arcosanti crap. In terms of environmentalism, there's some very simple, very good stuff to do that's good for the environment and doesn't involve beating your cars into bicycles.

But these ridiculous types get all the limelight. Blech.

VIC and Adrian obviously vi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

VIC and Adrian obviously view themselves as part of the 'aristocracy' that will make decisions for the rest of us.

Of course, once they find themselves in the same shit hole with the rest of us, they'll change their tune.

That seems to be the way of... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

That seems to be the way of the left, Oyster. It doesn't matter what REALITY is, what matters is how they can shape the perceptions of it.

So Obama is the best thing ever. Unemployment at 5% was terrible under Bush. Unemployment at 10% is a sign Obama's plans are working. Money squandered with no jobs resulting is an economic stimulus unparalled in history. (Well, they at least have THAT right - nobody would have been stupid enough to spend money like that before!)

The truth doesn't matter. What matters is the objective - and any means to the end is justifiable.

GarandFan -No, the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

GarandFan -

No, they'll likely be first up against the wall, since they're expendable. Or shoved into a meaningless little job somewhere, with a ration card that's double what the proles would usually get.

And they'll think themselves massively fortunate for such government largess!

Actually, from what you say... (Below threshold)

Actually, from what you say about the project, it never actually got started, nor did it even attempt to do what it was supposed to do. Had they actually tried to build a proof of concept (and I mean thiat literally) in order to see what could be done for something that could be used for undersea habitats, colonies on the moon, etc. then it might have worked. However, once it is run by "crazies who argue with the engineers about the engineer's Oppressive "Fascist Rules" like the law of gravity and thermodynamics" or engineers who are so enamored by technological wizardry that they forget about making it livable, the failure is inevitable.

Of course, the point about the Chinese "1 child rule" is interesting and would only work if

a. the gender balance is enforced as well

b. there were a society with a sufficient surplus of females to offset the surplus of males

c. the nature of the society changed so that the "family unit" was redefined so the disparity in numbers did not cause a "surplus".

Consider a society in which the ratios of males to females was 1:5. How would it differ from our own? Consider 1:20. I remember a science fiction story in which males were powerless chattel with a scarcity value. In the story, the ruling family was about to be overthrown because it had no living males in it even though the male would have no power.

Re: the Chinese population.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Re: the Chinese population. Ever get the impression that the Chinese are raising a new army?

Re: the Chinese populati... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Re: the Chinese population. Ever get the impression that the Chinese are raising a new army?

That might not be their intent, but when you wind up with several million young men with no means to find a wife, what do you do with them? Traditionally they form an army and go take wives from some area that is percieved as having an excess, or unwilling to defend the woman they have.

Hey Sabba It's started, It'... (Below threshold)
Meiji_man:

Hey Sabba It's started, It's there, It didn't work. Realty sort of sucks like that...
Come on down, we'll ride out, you can make all the excuses for it you want and I'll video tape it for youtube...

AS for the rest of your post... Ok I considered it, now what?

Next year the Senate will b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Next year the Senate will be considering Carbon cap and tax in a naive attempt to combat global warming. If that passes then you'll see Child cap and tax legislation introduced in a few year. Right now families get an exemption for each child, but under Child cap and tax, families will lose those tax exemptions if they have more than one or maybe two children. Of course the American people will demand a stop to most immigration if their own reproduction is effectively limited by taxation. Leberals take notice.

Of course, if the public wakes up before Obama and the Senate bind the US with some irreversible treaty, then we can go back and do the science right with fully published data and metadata and a real peer review process. Next year the Senate will be considering Carbon cap and tax in a naive attempt to combat global warming. If that passes then you'll see Child cap and tax legislation introduced in a few year. Right now families get an exemption for each child, but under Child cap and tax families will lose those tax exemptions if they have more than one or maybe two children. Of course the American people will demand a stop to most immigration if their own reproduction is effectively limited taxation.

Of course if the public wakes up before Obama and the Senate bind the US with some irreversible treaty, then we can go back and do the science right with fully published data and metadata and a real peer review process. Then we'll know what needs to be done and the public support will be there to do it.

1.2 million more boys than ... (Below threshold)
astonerii:

1.2 million more boys than girls? That is why the progressives MUST get gay marriage passed. Promote sexual promiscuity, especially among women. Those 1.2M boys will grow to be men who will need their fix, and if they do not get it, you can rest assured there will be WAR, as in real war.

Crap, another double post (... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Crap, another double post (27), but this time I somehow got it all in one comment.

Its all about control and y... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Its all about control and you living a substandard lifestyle on FedCo's dime at their convenience.

Sorry, its not my lifestyle but if its your choice feel free, just don't get all soiled when I decline your invitation to join the march towards the "Endarkenment".

Update: Jim Geraghty at ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Update: Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot points out that the author of the Financial Post's article recommending that the world adopt a one-child policy is a mother of two. So, this article could have been entitled, "One child policy for thee but not for me."

Quelle surprise. So, which child will she be smothering in order to conform to the new policy?

Classic fear mongering. ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Classic fear mongering. What a shame...

Vic

Classic VICesque non-sequitur.

Hey Sabba It's sta... (Below threshold)
Hey Sabba It's started, It's there, It didn't work. Realty sort of sucks like that... Come on down, we'll ride out, you can make all the excuses for it you want and I'll video tape it for youtube...

AS for the rest of your post... Ok I considered it, now what?

26. Posted by Meiji_man | December 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)

What I meant was that as described it appears not to have been built as an actual attempt to determine how a self contained (by necessity) area could be set up. Instead, it was actually set up as something that would "work" because it was a "good idea". Sounds like some of the "communes" of the sixties set up by people who did not know how to run a farm, how to actually build something, or had the energy to even try. Instead they sat around talking about how the world should run and expected it to change to conform to their dreams magically. That is why what actually happened does not reflect the Soleri theories or even come up to the status of a prototype or model.

As far as the science fiction concepts that I mentioned, I was pointing out that the Chinese 1 child rule cannot work unless a great many other factors are taken into account.




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