OUR CITIES TOO BIG FOR QUALITY OF LIFE
By Frosty Wooldridge
September 30, 2010
On my coast to coast bicycle trip across America this past summer, I discovered amazing dynamics that need addressing if Americans expect to lead productive, fulfilling and happy lives in the 21st century.
In my latest book, America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans, I discussed mega-cities around the world such as Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; Beijing, China; Hong Kong, China; New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; San Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France and many more. I’ve traveled through all of them.
What kind of quality of life do mega-cities present to their citizens? What qualities do they bring to parents and children? How do they address the spirit of humanity at the personal level?
From their inception, large sky-scraper-dominated and sprawling cities around the world represent the worst of humanity. Ayn Rand, in her bestselling book, Atlas Shrugged, praised sky-scrapers as humanity’s highest achievement.
But another author Itzhak Bentov wrote Stalking the Wild Pendulum, a book on how modern man, living in cities, cuts himself off from the natural vibrations of life. We humans walk on concrete instead of grass. We live in square, wooden or blocked homes and tiny apartments—totally alien to our animal heritage. We drive cars at 70 miles per hour and gaze through glass windows from steel encased prisons.
The rich may escape for a weekend camping trip to recalibrate their natural vibrations and refresh themselves, but the average city dwellers remain in the endless din, sirens, honking horns, televisions’ ubiquitous blaring and the many negative aspects of city life.
Thus, humans, when confronted with such aberrant surroundings respond with overeating such that two out of three Americas suffer obesity; heart disease, cancer and diabetes grow epidemic, smoking, drinking, drugs and coffee used as mind and body altering states, and for those that visit the drug stores—a million prescriptions of valium a week along with Prozac, Viagra and Excedrin.
On the violence side, look at the mayhem in cities! How about the killings, schools as victims for drug gangs and bullies, car accidents, breathing of toxic air and loss of community?
In other words, cities drive human beings completely out of their minds. Bentov said, “Cities create the most abnormal and aberrant living conditions on the planet…no wonder we’re methodically going crazy in the Western world.”
America’s first environmentalist, the eminent John Muir, who lived in Yosemite and the wilds most of his life, said, “Tell me what you will of the benefactions of city civilization, of the sweet security of streets—all as part of the natural upgrowth of man towards the high destiny we hear so much of. I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found. If the death exhalations that brood the broad towns in which we so fondly compact ourselves were made visible, we should flee as from a plague. All are more or less sick; there is not a perfectly sane man in all of San Francisco.” JM, Sept. 1874
George B. Leonard in his book Transformation, said, “This books shows how our present crippling and devastating character structure has come about, and how it rendered us only partially human and has made us deprived and discontent.”
Then, talk about an environmental crisis compounded by large cities! The United States add 100 million people within the past 40 years to create its own mega-cities---but it’s not done---as it adds another 100 million within 25 years, and on and on!
While Americans cognitively realize growth causes a growing global problem, we dance around it. From 1950 to 2010, humans escalated their numbers from 2.5 billion to 7 billion today. We outbreed our life support systems, food sources and destroy much of the natural world and other species sharing this planet with us.
While it may ‘look’ okay on the surface, every time we add another American, we must destroy 12.6 acres of land to support that person known as ‘ecological footprint’. When you tally another 100 million, that equals 1.26 billion acres of wilderness destroyed for human use. But then, what about the animals and their right to life, freedom, food and habitat? The bigger our cities, the more we destroy other life.
How can we move toward a balanced, sustainable future? Easy! Since the American female has averaged 2.03 children since 1970, it’s not us adding millions to our country. Our U.S. Congress forced this massive growth rate via immigration of 1.5 million legal immigrants annually—from a line that grows by 77 million every year. It’s time to reduce all immigration to a zero net gain of 100,000 a year since that’s how many egress the country annually.
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Would you rather live in a quiet, tree-filled town of 10,000 or a car-infested, forever-noisy, people-packed city like Los Angeles? I found small towns and cities much more fun, lively and people actually said, “Hi!”
If we continue on our current path, we doom future generations to an ugly mega-city living experience beyond anyone’s understanding.
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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