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Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

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Long Distance

"It's hard to destroy wilderness without roads." ó Jan Lundberg, founder, Alliance for a Paving Moratorium, 1991

Road fighting news
and NAFTA Superhighways

by Greg Buck 
May 23, 2004

from a HOOSIER-TOPICS discussion list which is open to anyone. HOOSIER-TOPICS@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG ------------------------------------------
As you know, at one time people in Europe thought the earth was flat. It was fact to them, not opinion. Consequently, that was the context that framed their world view. 

Bryan Nichol of Indiana Department of Transportation tries to create a world view by telling us that the I-69 project is a done deal.  If it were really so, no one would need to tell us, and I would not be replying.  No one denies potential benefits in the proposed highway.  However, the significance of the costs get downplayed. 

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.  

Do you sense plans for an infrastructures being laid for more urban sprawl?  What about the likelihood that governments that cannot keep up with the demands for services and infrastructure because everyone is all spread out by roads and the car - where what was once a quality place becomes more urban blight?  And where would these people come from? Many would gut Evansville and Indianapolis to flee for temporarily cheaper housing and services.  

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. 

Greg Buck 

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. 

David Scott Coker
Evansville, Indiana

Related discussion: 
and other Auto-Free Times articles
Alliance for a Paving Moratorium webpage

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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Articles of interest:
Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results.  WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California . Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)



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