Friday, July 4, 2014

A Modest Proposal for September 20-21: "It's the cars, stupid!"

James Carville and the team that brought about Bill Clinton's election in 1992 famously boiled down their campaign message to a simple proposition: "It's the economy, stupid!" It helped them transcend analysis paralysis and start communicating with their supporters.

People in Chicago need to start planning to be part of the national (and global) climate mobilization for September 20-21, 2014, per the call by Bill McKibben and  Everyone's welcome to put their ideas forward. Here's mine:

Chicago and its cars

"It's the cars, stupid!"

Chicago and its surrounding region have so much going for it . . . but it's a dinosaur when it comes to moving beyond automobile transportation.

We have decent mass transit within the city itself, but the mass transit in the Northern Illinois region needs to be much better managed. (See Final State Task Force Report Dives Into Transit Reform Details and Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force Report, March 31, 2014)

Task Force Report: "Metropolitan Chicago lags its peers in system expansion."

And our role as the center of the Midwest and the Midwestern economy has been hampered by the absence of any kind of decent Midwest regional public transportation. (See "The Cross-Rail Chicago Project and Midwest HSR")

Midwest Regional Rail Plan

So there it is, Chicago: a place to focus our attention on September 20-21.

What's your vision for a climate mobilization?

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There's nothing better than Zabriskie Point for commentary on student radicalism, dissent, capitalism, consumerism, patrimony, the environment ... plus some of the the most beautiful cinematography ever and a historic soundtrack. And (spoiler alert) an apocalyptic ending that transcends language.

(See Obama and Xi: Get to the Point! on the Scarry Thoughts blog)

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As explained in the report "Transit Deserts in Cook County," "The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts."