I have tried to encourage as many people as I could that, in order to forge this society to be a truly living one, and not a new feudal "ancien regime" the pltocrats want to turn us into, we have to forge change from the bottom up, and not the top down.
Attach yourself strongly, persistently, and creatively to your local and state governments. Go to town hall meetings, research ferociously every way you can to help your town, city, and county to become more economically independant and less dependant on this increasingly hostile Congress.
Despite being a late baby boomer, even I have a dim idea that the consumer lifestyle I grew up with is headed the way of the dodo. It is not even Survivable. Therefore I will do all I can to help clear the way for a real quality of life for the little ones after me. Last week I got a sight to fill me with true joy.
My own personal project, under the name The Charm City Starry Night Project, is an attempt to try to educate my city about LED streetlights. I saved up my limited money and purchased an actual model, which I have been carting around to festivals and tried to demonstrate to the citizens of Baltimore why saving money with LEDs is so much better than closing fire departments and recreation centers.
There are 80,000 streetlights in Charm City. By replacing all of them this would;
1. Save $24 million dollars a year in city operating costs, or a third of a billion dollars over the lives of the lights.
2. Cut down on light pollution to the point where we all get better sleep. You get better sleep you wake up less cranky. If people are less cranky, perhaps acts of random vandalism and nuisance crimes will go down, thus saving money from the Police Department.
3. These lights radiate less heat. You cannot fry an egg in them, unlike Cobraheads, which you can do in about an hour on a hot summer night. With less heat sizzling people all night, is it possible for whole cities to be able to cool down a degree or two, even in a heat wave? How will that affect your personal air conditioner use?
4. This could bring the birds back. Less light glare could mean changing the migratory patterns of many bird species into living and nesting in urban environments. For me, it could mean orioles coming back to Patterson Park.
Then, this happened last week. My neighbor woke me up and asked whether these were the lights I was talking about, because the workmen were taking the old ones down. One look and YES! That's them! The first couple thousand streetlights were being installed in select neighborhoods all over town. I'm combing every part of it trying to see how far we've come. I am so happy that my neighborhood was among the first to get them. I could hardly wait for the darkness.
The sight was amazing. Instaed of my neighborhood looking like a jerry built set for a second rate horror movie, I walked through a tranquil classic street bathed in a soft silver-blue gossamer sheen. (I am an artist and like to occassionally express myself this way.)
We are on track to save our first million dollars. We have started to cut electric use, which means preventing tons of coal CO2 from befouling the air, and hence a slice of profits from the coal industry. We could reduce minor crime. We could reduce health costs. Better sleep will help us be more productive. I can now see Mars from my house!
Of course, I will keep on at the City Council to finish the job. Plus there's the rest of Maryland to inform. I know streetlights aren't the only solution. I'm just so tickled poud my city has taken this step, whether my efforts had anything to do with it or not. If we just change where we're at without waiting for the federal government to catch up with us, we'll blindside every special interest plaguing us now. Pull the trapdoor on them!
Hope you like the good news.