When we wake up the first question we ask is Why? and the second one is How? We've talked about both here in the blog and on the site, but of course there's always more.
Money. Now that the economy has crashed, and that's not a passive thing but we'll discuss that another time, government is starving. When you got your property reassessed it meant that less money is available for your local government. Buying less? Less sales tax for your local government. Traveling less? Less tax available to keep government employees paid. Obvious, right? So your local and regional governments, and even your state government, is looking for money. And is finding it.
Grants. Public/private partnerships. These grants come with conditions and requirements. They include Agenda 21 goals. In fact you might say that they exist solely to push Agenda 21. Greenhouse gas reduction goals, targets for change, milestones. They might require your local city council to set a greenhouse gas emission goal at 10% below 1990 levels by the year 2015. Schools are given programs that teach children that the earth is dying and they are to blame.
So the local government hires grant-paid facilitators to Delphi you with meeting after meeting where you're told that you're addicted to oil, to energy, to water. They tell you that you should be ashamed to drive, that you should be growing your own food in your yard, but by the way, you're a greedy user if you have a yard and use water. You should be on your bike, since you're fat and lazy and costing too much in health care, and you're anti-social if you drive anyway. All of this is mandated by the grants the governments need to stay alive. You need to get poor quick, and this concept is glorified as a kind of new age sainthood for whites. The new poverty.
A bike helmet immediately says you're cool, you care, you're doing your part, you're hip, you count, you're the wave of the going forward. Because the bike movement is the wedge. Trans-form. You see, if you only ride a bike you won't notice that you can't afford a car. If you are in a condo because you lost your home you can feel superior to those with a yard. If you grow your food in a community garden it will be easier to accept the new poverty. It's fun!
Be part of the dominant group, the group that is empowered to watch and 'community police' you. The ones who will shame you if you have too many lights on, or drive your car, or take a vacation in a plane. Have you paid for your Carbon Offset credits yet? So what if you recycle---everyone does that. Big deal if you have fluorescent lightbulbs---it's not enough. My kid is volunteering 5 nights a week at the Bike Coalition, and my husband is coordinator for advocacy at the Lung Association, after work, and I am doing a neighborhood survey to map the community for Asset Based Community Development. What are you doing?