Is there a misalignment from what we want from cities and what we get? Are cities on track for sustainability?
As we approach “Decade Zero” the need to change now or lose our chance becomes even more evident (Klein, Naomi). The problem is that luxury is a thing that some of us will have to give up to form a better future for others and that is something we struggle with, or simply don’t care to do so.
We want cities that provide equal opportunities such as mixed income housing arrangements and increased positive networking opportunities; instead we get divided cities focused on wealth and ignoring the poor areas where help is needed the most.
We want cities responsive to national and local scaled crisis; instead we get cities that are individually responsive.
British psychoanalyst, Sally Weinthrobe describes this as the the painful realization that our leaders are not looking after us (Klein, Naomi).
We want cities that are more sustainable, and have smaller carbon footprints; but instead we get increased costs of public transportation with little to no improvement, and increased carbon footprints as we choose to travel to different cities as comfortably as possible, with little regard to the amount of emissions being released in our wake.
“..the only thing rising faster than our emissions is the output of words pledging to lower them (Klein, Naomi).”
So, YES there is a misalignment occurring between what we want from our cities and what we are actually getting. As often as we talk about it, our cities are NOT on track for sustainability as they should be. The discussion for sustainability is strong (not as strong as it needs to be, but none the less, strong), and ideas of sustainable actions have formed; however, the goals we have set are not well enough to ensure a sustainable future for our cities. Greed and power desires have blurred our vision of sustainability.
“Our values are wrong (Klein, Naomi).”
Rather than living within our means, we are choosing to live as comfortably as we can in the moment. Rather than seeking new ways to help combat climate issues and harness renewable energy those in power (particularly within The Bahamas) are choosing to profit from disaster. In the Bahamas efforts to harness hydro and solar power are near impossible, as those in government own the electric company. Other, “poorer countries declare that they won’t give up their right to pollute as much as rich countries did on their way to wealth…(Klein, Naomi).” The struggle between us and them, city and environment, and greed verses values remains evident through our cities sustainable practices or lack thereof.
Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.