The river runs deep.  The topic is “sustainability,” and how it is being foisted on Lafayette, Louisiana by a “deep state” of government bureaucrats, and a growing number of power players in our fine city who are accepting what they are told as the gospel truth.  Sustainability is the basis for “smart cities,” and sustainability is largely predicated on a belief in “climate change.”  So why, you may ask, am I opposed to Lafayette becoming a smart city, and implementing sustainable policies to achieve this seemingly innocuous status. I’ve read the 200-page “Plan Lafayette,” and it is loaded with government overreach and intrusion into the private decisions of its citizenry.  Just last week, LCG announced that they will be rezoning the Oil Center as “mixed-use” – yes, a sustainability measure – and also last week; UL released its sustainability plan.

 

Mixed use means the government wants Oil Center property owners to “build up” – a business on the first floor and people living above on the second and third floors.  They call it “high-density” living. We can walk and bicycle everywhere, who needs cars, besides they just destroy the environment.   Why do you think more bike paths are popping up around Lafayette?  And who pays for the “pack-‘em and stack-‘em” of mixed-use buildings?  Property owners of course.  Sixty-year-old, single-story buildings cannot simply be built up. So you demolish the building and start from the base up. Consider the statement below from the UL sustainability plan:

 

GOAL: Educate, inspire, and foster students’ development into change agents [emphasis added] who are informed and capable of implementing thoughtful, effective solutions to the environmental, social, and economic challenges we face at the local, national, and global scales.

 

Now on to climate change: the alarmists attribute man-made climate change to one main factor – CO2 in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.  Consider the numerous other factors which contribute to the Earth’s ever-so-slight increase in temperature – 1.5 degrees over 150 years – which are conveniently left out.

 

For example, water vapor in the atmosphere is left out in the alarmists’ “computer modeling” theories of climate change.  The Earth’s axial tilt in relation to the Sun is omitted in the scientific discussion.  Deep ocean currents – which profoundly impact the climate – are omitted.  Mention of the Earth’s magnetic field is also omitted.  The Earth’s magnetic field shields the planet from harmful solar blasts, and it is steadily weakening.  Scientists tell us that the Earth’s magnetic field has changed, even reversed, hundreds of times over the last three billion years.  The Earth is also past due for a planetary magnetic reversal, which occurs every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The changing magnetic field seems to be allowing more harmful solar radiation to reach the Earth.

 

So leave out the facts and considerations above, and you dumb down the climate change formula – Climate Change for Dummies . . . just what the alarmists and our local deep state bureaucrats want.  The Earth’s climate has changed – drastically at times – for the entire 4.6 billion years that the planet has existed.  Six hundred million to 800 million years ago, the Earth underwent its first major Ice Age.  Ice sheets extended all the way to sea level near the Equator, which is currently the hottest place on Earth.  Fifty-six million years ago, the Earth thawed and the average temperature of the planet was 73 degrees.  Today, the average temperature of the planet is 60 degrees.  There is no pattern to climate change experienced on the Earth because we live on an ever-changing, dynamic planet.

 

The scheming and planning to turn Lafayette into a smart city has been going on behind the scenes for years.  It’s nothing but group-think – everybody else is doing it, so let’s get on board. That, my friends, is not Lafayette, Louisiana.   Smart cities and sustainability is a political issue, not one based on science.  We should improve roads, drainage, and focus on important matters such as conserving water.  Backlash is now coming from European citizens, where smart city development has existed for many years.  It’s too expensive, with minimal return on investment, and Europeans are growing weary of the ever-increasing intrusion into their lives from the technology which monitors their every move – along with bureaucratic overreach – all in the name of progress. In a future column, we will dissect and define sustainability.  Our local government leaders are providing us with a less than transparent definition of what they’re trying to achieve.

 

 

-Mark Pope