By Robert Shields
Technology, societies and the biosphere are always changing, fast in some periods and slow in others. Today we are experiencing rapid climate change and regardless of whether that change is natural or influenced by human behavior, it is changing. To ensure security, peace and generational prosperity for the people of Alaska, I believe it is time we changed too.
The FNSB is looking to revise the down development plan known as “Vision Fairbanks”. I propose we need a North Star Vision 2050 plan to include a Vision Fairbank, A Vision North Pole, a Vision Ester, a Vision Fox and one for all the rest of the communities in the FNSB boundaries while, idealistically, itself being a part of Vision Alaska 2050. Just as we apply our imagination and current knowledge to the development of the latest gadget to make our lives better, we can apply the same intellect to the economic, social, and political models that drive our world today. Like updating our computer software, the development of new paradigm models should be something considered a normal part of healthy growth for any maturing society.
The challenges of clean air, affordable energy, healthy food, progressive waste reclamation, lower taxes, decent jobs, safe clean communities, educational priorities for our children, even how the potholes are filled in the road will continue to plague us if we hold to the traditional models of capitalism and rampant consumption. One example to learn from; the Norwegian countries share a great deal of commonalities with Alaska and they are thriving, 1) because they see and plan beyond petroleum; 2) they invest in their people namely, health care and education, to provide a foundation of life long success; 3) the people are engaged. For anyone ready to engage, the tools provided by the Transition Town Network, a global community of individual communities sharing stories and resources on local self-reliance, is a good place to start.
Change is simply a matter of informed citizens engaging in the local process which allows us to transition from scarcity to abundance, from poverty to generational wealth. Please get engaged today.