THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT I-69 ( A NAFTA
from a HOOSIER-TOPICS discussion list which is
open to anyone. HOOSIER-TOPICS@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG
The Draft Environmental
Impact Statement displays an unacceptable preference for the transportation
aspects over the more important the environmental and cultural aspects.
Moreover, the Environmental Impact Statement treated the 3c corridor as a
wasteland that was better off with increased population.
To examine the costs appropriately we must have a cost benefit-analysis (current, if you insist). This CBA must, I feel, include the impacts on food production, the diverse and complex benefits of natural lands, and quality of life (which matters in the rural areas as well as in Evansville). My guess is that neither INDOT nor Bernadin, Lochmueller and Associates would do a new CBA and not because it is not required by law; nonetheless, I imagine that they have done plenty of things that are not required by law in order to push this highway down our throats. Avoidance of a CBA is advantageous to INDOT because a few years ago a professor at Indiana University ran a corrected INDOT cost-benefit analysis that reflected a ratio of 1 to .81 in roughly the route 3c area; INDOT did not challenge the results.
On the other hand, I prefer Robert Costanza's 1 to 100 return on investment in nature that results from global analysis of benefits such as eco-tourism, water purification, protection of pollinating insects and erosion prevention. The return is so high because we have depleted so much nature. Take care of the natural rather than convert it at a lower return or a loss on investment.
You can eat without a car, but there will be big problems with our food supply if we persist enough in contributing to the decline of pollinating insects, including by depriving them of habitat. I find it frustrating that sustainable ways to do economics (e.g., steady state, shrinkage, and taxes on the environmentally inappropriate to subsidize the appropriate) are available, and yet we usually persist with blind and frequently destructive ways of doing growth economics.
Moreover, I am frustrated that we have at our finger tips the potential to create sustainable cities, long distance transportation systems, and increase the amount of protected natural lands. However, our governments often insist in unsustainable short-sighted policies and projects that create more long-term problems, including by lengthening I-69.
Keep things in perspective. Don't confuse fact with opinion because then thought processes go right out the window, including the exploration of options in making things sustainably better in the short- and long-runs, including in Evansville.
The above was In response to (partial message):
If I-69 can in any way reverse the decline I have witnessed over my 50 years of life in southwestern Indiana, building the road would be worth its weight in gold.
There is also the issue of public safety which I have just described -- how does one quantify the value of one human life (in an era of 6 million abortions I suppose that is a rather academic question)?
Go ahead, you all, demonstrate against the road for Governor Kernan and all the TV cameras to see. It won't make a nickle's worth of difference in the long run. Although it may be 25 years late, and at a time when we ought to be exploring high-speed rail for all of our transportation corridors, the fact remains that we need I-69 to improve the lives of the people who live in this part of the state of Indiana and perhaps save a few in the bargain.
Sustainable Energy Institute attended two NAFTA watchdog conferences in Texas, 1999 and 2000, regarding environmental implementation of NAFTA. Our anti-road concerns were ignored despite the sincerity and passion of our representatives, Lia Alcantara (1999) and Valera Giarratano (2000).
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