Thursday, November 26, 2009

They are coming after your lifestyle

Here they come: the planners want to change how you live. Everything from what you eat to how warm or cool you keep your home to how you get to work. And they aren't even trying to hide it.

It's all right here in Multnomah County's "Climate Action Plan." The Portland Tribune today does a good job of summarizing its elements (but predictably, there isn't a whisper in the article that some of this stuff might be a tad controversial, or any discussion whatsover from any contrary viewpoint. Isn't it great living in a one party state?)

Pretty scary stuff:

"Actions suggested in the plan aren’t “just a wish list,” says Susan Anderson, director of the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Rather, they will be used to forge new policies, ordinances, incentives and public spending designed to meet the stringent emissions targets."

Go read the plan. It is just breathtaking, the power that the plan contemplates handing over to government. Not to mention the economic devastation if we actually met the goals these folks have in mind.

This is just lunacy!

The document itself is an orgasm of central planning passions that if implemented would without question put the finishing touches on the devastation of the Multnomah County economy. You really have to read the whole thing to appreciate the sweeping breadth of what the planners want to control, and the utter disregard for whether all their arbitrary targets, goals and objectives have any basis in reality.

They want to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by the year 2050, with an interim goal of 40% by 2030. To get started toward these goals, the document develops 18 objectives and "accompanying actions" which are to be pursued in the next three years. These "actions," they are quick to point out, are not an exhaustive list. They are just the "highest priority" stuff, "all of which must be pursued by the end of 2012."

And off they go. Remember - they plan to use coercion to make this stuff happen: taxes, bulding code changes, ordinances, regulations.

I'll just list a few of the things they want to require, so you get a sense of their detachment from any question of viability.

1) They want to reduce the energy consumption of all existing buildings by 25%. First, why? What if energy prices fell because we found a cheap, non-carbon form of energy? Second, what do the planners know about the feasibility of achieving this level of energy reduction? Answer: nothing at all. They just chose a number without regard to what might have to be done to meet this arbitrary goal. It would be easy enough, actually. Just turn the thermostat off. No heat, no cooling. And no occupants!

2) They want all new buildings to achieve "zero net greenhouse emissions." They will use the building code to mandate this. No discussion at all of how this might raise the cost of homes and commercial buildings.

The document gets worse still when it deals with transportation. They want to reduce vehicle miles per person by 30%! They themselves admit that between 1990 and 2008, VMT per capita went up by about 6% (this while they spent the bulk of transportation dollars on light rail.) Just imagine what they are going to have to do to achieve this goal!

Oh - we don't have to imagine! They lay it all out for us.

Objective 5 says they want 80% of all Multco residents to live in an area where they can easily walk or bicycle to meet all their basic non-working needs. Read: ultra-high density. One action plan is to force all neighborhoods into their "20 minute neighborhood" model. They flesh out this model, and claim all sorts of Portlanders are "interested." Yeah, I have been to some of those "Charettes."

In order to reduce vehicle miles traveled, they want only 30% of us to drive alone to work. Their target is that 25% will use mass transit, and another 25% will bike to work!

Sure.

I could go on, but you get the point. The kind of place these planners envision would be one of the least economically productive places in the country. You think there are few jobs now? Implement this plan. You think housing is expensive now? Implement this plan.

What is infuriating to me is that these ivory tower planners and the political structure that enables them have are cranking this crap out as if we are in a robust economy. People everywhere are struggling, and our city and county officials are actually paying people to devise schemes for how to make housing, energy, transportation and food MORE EXPENSIVE!

Happy Thanksgiving!


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Freaking ridiculous. Full steam ahead on this BS, even though the AGW hypothesis is falling apart more every day, and the scientists are being revealed for the charlatans they are.

Oh but politicians and bureaucrats smell power.

MAX Redline said...

These sorts of standards are absolutely necessary if emissions are to be significantly reduced, and the planners fully understand that - which is why they are planning (not proposing) such drastic steps. If it is necessary to curtail emissions in the PDX area in order to Save Our Planet, then as Bill Clinton might say, "Ah feel your pain."

It is axiomatic among planners that the environmental damage caused by human activities must be minimized to the greatest degree possible. This goal can only be realized through the use of regulations and fees, as other forms of exercising restraint over human behavior are presently unfeasible.

Routinely left unaddressed by planners are analyses of cost/benefit; the assumption is that benefit is in all cases worth the cost. They neglect to consider, for example, exactly how significant their efforts - if successful - would be in terms of their goal of Saving Our Planet.

Does reduction or elimination of all emissions in the PDX area exert any effect upon the environment or upon planetary climate? It's an important question; one which they steadfastly refuse to entertain, and with good reason: clearly, the answer to that question is "no". Asking and answering that inconvenient question would logically lead to another inconvenient question: as the effect would be nil, why bother with implementing such plans? After all, only some 2% of land in Oregon is currently populated by humans. If planning could reduce that to 1.5% while exerting no beneficial impact upon the environment, then what's the point?

Ultimately, it comes to this: planners have worked hard in college to get their planning degrees. The only way they can earn a living is by planning. And the vast majority of planning jobs are to be found in government. It is therefore important to plan for governmental expansion and further entrenchment of its associated agencies.

Herein lies the problem with every form of government ever established: it is growth-oriented, and consumes increasing amounts of the wealth of the populace. No form of government, whether it be empire, communist, fascist, pariamentary, or monarchy of the sort which our Founders overthrew from colonial shores, has ever remained limited. It's why revolt is necessary, as a counter to government's genetic predisposition toward unfettered growth.

Periodically, governments must be completely and utterly destroyed, in order that a more limited form of organization may be briefly established. By signing our Declaration of Independence, our Founders simply identified themselves as people to be hanged or shot when captured by the monarchy. They, and their associates, literally laid their lives on the line, and as George Washington remarked in a departing letter to the States, (paraphrasing): we have safeguarded your liberty. Happiness is up to you.

Roadrunner said...

Here they come: the planners want to change how you live.

Okay, this is just silly. Lots of people want to change how we live: Ministers, CEOs, talk-show hosts, politicians of all stripes.

In fact, much of how we live today has been shaped by various decisions made in the past, such as the decisions that put use of the automobile above mass transit.

Rob Kremer said...

RR
The difference being, ministers, talk-show hosts, and CEO's have to use the power of persuasion. Politicians have one tool: coercion.

Surely you see the difference?

Roadrunner said...

Oh, gee, Rob, CEOs never use coercion, no sirree bob!

They never do things like say (or have their minions say) things like "do this or I'm moving my operations somewhere else!"

They never fire employees (or close or move an operation) for daring to organize a union.

They never okay the sale of products that they know to be dangerous.

They never allow their companies to pollute the environments in which the operate.

Yep, Tinkerbe, er, Rob, CEOs never use coercion as a tool.

Rob Kremer said...

RR:
Odd, isn't it that not a single one of your examples is actually coercion. Do you understand what the word means?

The only one that is even close is the pollution example, which could very well be a tort. But it is not coercion.

Four strikes in a single post! Impressive!

Roadrunner said...

Coercion: use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.

My first two examples are coercion. Yes, my second two examples are more along the lines of CEOs just doing what they want without caring about the consequences to others. Notice, though, that there's no "persuasion" involved in those.

Again, you have a rose-colored-glasses view of how corporations operate.

Roadrunner said...

Rob, I'm sure that the people of Woburn, Massachusetts weren't persuaded to drink water contaminated by W.R. Grace and Company.

I'm sure that the people who lived in Valsetz weren't persuaded to move away when Boise Cascade Corporation closed the town down.

I know I wasn't persuaded to walk around with lead in my system--were you?

So, you see, CEOs and there minions change people's lives without persuading them.

Anonymous said...

Roadyawn.

Roadrunner said...

That's right, anon, facts that counter your world view are just so boring.

Rob Kremer said...

RR:
Another interesting basket of examples.

Last I looked, Boise Cascade owned all the structures that they bulldozed and burned in Valsetz. It was their property.

WR Grace: Hey I am against corporate polluters. I argue for government intervention in the case of externalities of this sort all the time. So I am not sure what your point is.

And while I think corporate polluters should be made to pay for their transgressions, I will even grant you that it can be viewed as a form of coercion in that the cost of production is unwittingly forced on folks who were unaware.

And I am against it.

Since you are so opposed to coercion, then I will assume you also oppose schemes such as the Climate Action Plan?

Anonymous said...

Unions are worse than the most oppressive corporations that are H8ted so much in Oregon. Just look at Andy Stern's SEIU, beating up fellow unionists last year in Dearborn, they hate-crime beat down of Kenneth Gladney outside a St. Louis town hall meeting in August, beating up Ken Hamidi of the California Franchise Tax Board last month, threatening and intimidating NUHW nurses in California. Oh and using ballot fraud to boot in that deal. And what about putting the smackdown on that Boy Scout volunteeer in Pennsylvania? And guess what? The rank and file workers don't have a choice. Pay SEIU to do all this stuff or you're fired. And that's just SEIU, the purple people beaters. Let's not get started with the Teamsters, AFSCME, LIUNA, or the NEA and AFT affiliates.

No since you won't read about this in The Funny Paper it couldn't be happening. So it just wouldn't jive with your world view.

With Andy Stern the most-frequent visitor to The White House, no wonder the left hand doesn't know what the extreme left hand is doing anymore. Welcome to the New Progressive Era. That's spelled f-a-s-c-i-s-m.

Roadrunner said...

Since you are so opposed to coercion

Coercion is sometimes warranted.

The police use coercion at times, and there are times when it's appropriate. Necessary, even.

It seems like you would consider zoning laws to be "coercion". Should your neighbor be allowed to put in a large factory? How about a pig farm? Porn shop?

The problem is that "conservatives" use absolute language that really don't hold much water.

MAX Redline said...

RR,

Did you bother to actually read the material in the links provided?

As I noted earlier: Routinely left unaddressed by planners are analyses of cost/benefit; the assumption is that benefit is in all cases worth the cost. They neglect to consider, for example, exactly how significant their efforts - if successful - would be in terms of their goal of Saving Our Planet.

Does reduction or elimination of all emissions in the PDX area exert any effect upon the environment or upon planetary climate? It's an important question; one which they steadfastly refuse to entertain, and with good reason: clearly, the answer to that question is "no". Asking and answering that inconvenient question would logically lead to another inconvenient question: as the effect would be nil, why bother with implementing such plans? After all, only some 2% of land in Oregon is currently populated by humans. If planning could reduce that to 1.5% while exerting no beneficial impact upon the environment, then what's the point?


Do you believe that PDX can Save Our Planet?

Or is cost/benefit analysis too much for you to wrap your head around?

Anonymous said...

Why did they stop there? They forgot to regulate how many children you can have, how much you can exhale and offer tax credits for living in caves.

Add to that, now I have to feel bad about eating a banana?! WHAT THE FREAKING HECK?! No way! I ABSOLUTELY REJECT this kind of government.

They are going to fail at this, and even if they succeeded the result will be economic failure. If I was a business in Multnomah County, I would be taking serious looks at where to move. Commercial real estate developer - I'm running for the border.

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