Not Bedroom Communities
Always keenly interested in science, Winston Churchill published an article in 1931 offering speculations that in their day appeared beyond the pale of common reason. He foretold, for instance, an energy source one hundred million times more powerful than the coal stoking industrial production, anticipating nuclear fission. He predicted lab-grown (“cultured“) meat. Citing the advent of innovations in telecommunications that would allow business and affairs of state to be conducted remotely, he concluded: “The congregation of men in cities would become superfluous.”
Perhaps betraying a bias for country life over London, here Churchill missed the mark — so far.
From a climate perspective, reducing and eventually eliminating twice-daily, long-haul suburban commutes yields significant reductions in the flow of carbon into the atmosphere. While electric vehicles (EVs) eliminate tailpipe emissions, they are nonetheless charged by grids yet to be powered by renewable energy and are not a carbon-free alternative. As these first-generation EVs retire, a growing stockpile of lithium batteries presents new environmental challenges beyond their carbon price tag.
Rebuilding local economies makes long-haul commuting obsolete. Blighted lands regenerated through cost-efficient plant-based remedies provide affordable platforms for new business ventures in local production and green technologies, connected in the mobile information age of Churchill’s prescient vision.
Renewing the land helps rebuild cost-burdened economies, while deepening underground carbon reservoirs and significantly reducing transportation-related carbon emissions — local communities and our shared global climate win.
“Rebuilding local economies makes long-haul commuting obsolete.”
Most suburban communities send their talent out of town.