Activism

Cool Ideas, Hot Solutions: Conference on Energy Poverty

By Ryan McGreal
Published June 13, 2007

Your humble editor has been invited to join a panel discussion at an upcoming conference that will explore ways to address energy poverty and media strategies to put energy poverty "on the front burner".

If the chance to see me wring my hands nervously and talk too fast isn't enough to bring you out, I should mention that the conference is free and lunch is provided.

It will be held on Wednesday, June 20 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the McMaster University Downtown Campus for Continuing Education (at Main and John). Spaces are limited so you need to register if you plan to attend.

This is an exciting opportunity for me. There seems to be a real disconnect between sustainability advocates and anti-poverty activists, and I'm interested in learning how the two movements can learn from each other and cooperate to find environmental solutions that meet the needs of people with limited financial means.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 13, 2007 at 22:44:20

take a lesson from the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia who declared safe cycling routes in their city of 8 million people to be a 'human rights issue'. They then proceeded in 3 years to lay down hundreds of km of bike lanes, the worlds largest bus rapid transit system and brand new (and wider) sidewalks complete with thousands of street trees to enhance life for pedestrians. Bogota is filled with traffic and jammed roadways. Yet he realized that much of their population couldn't afford a car. One very noticeable side effect of this 3 year development was how much cleaner the city's air was. I had no idea about their bus or bike plans upon arriving for my second visit 3 years after my first. My first thought was "what happened here?? all the black smoke and diesel smell is gone." It was on that trip that I read about the great initiatives pushed forward by their mayor....oh, and did I forget to mention - they did all that in 3 YEARS! Hamilton takes 4 times that long to put bike racks on buses. Then we wonder why so much of our population is below the poverty line...if you don't own a car or two, you're treated as second, or even third class in this city. So many folks spend thousands trying to buy and maintain a vehicle. All major streets should have bike lanes and we need to get rid of the mega highways downtown and turn some lanes into bike lanes, bus lanes and wider sidewalks with trees. Make Hamilton a fair and livable city for all. Not just those with 3 car garages.

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By farmer6re9 (registered) - website | Posted June 17, 2007 at 09:58:43

The Ethic of the Peddler Class By Frank Chodorov

http://www.mises.org/story/2498

Excerp...

"It never occurred to this middle class man that society owed him a living, or that he might apply to the government for help in the solution of his problems. The farmer is a particular class in point; the present day agriculturist, who must be included in our present day middle class in terms of income, holds it quite proper to demand of government, that is, the rest of society, a regularized subsidy, even a subsidy for not producing; the farmer of the early part of the century would hardly have thought of that."

"Yet, one cannot help speculating on the future. When the present generation, well inured to the Welfare State, shall have grown old, will it not also write books on the "good old days," even as this book speaks lovingly of the ethic of the peddler class? And what new ethic — every generation has its own — will these books decry? Maybe it will be the ethic of the totalitarian state. Who knows?"

Frank Chodorov (1887–1966) was a journalist of the Old Right. Murray Rothbard wrote, "The outstanding disciple of his beloved mentor, the great libertarian Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov, again unlike his 'libertarian' colleagues, never forgot for an instant that the State is the great predatory enemy of the human race, that the State is, in its very being, the organization and regularization of predation, exploitation, and robbery."

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