Revolution! The 10-year transition plan

Written by Robert Shields

By Robert Shields
“You say you have a real solution, well you know, we’d
all love to see the plan”. This popular line from the Beatles
song, Revolution, is a question on everyone’s mind
after reading the recent letter of support for my borough
mayor campaign from long standing Green Party
member, Bill Bartee of Anchorage. It’s a design plan
that strings together theories and global insights. Successful
programs throughout the world to ultimately
give people choices on how to lower the cost of living
and improve the quality of life. Most importantly, it’s a
plan that any public official, at any level, can adopt, and
from it draw progressive policy to steer the community
forward. Although I would like to believe I am the most
qualified to implement this plan, as that future is uncertain,
I hope community interest will ensure its’ pursuit.
I believe the highest honor we can bestow on veterans
of past wars is the work of peace to prevent them
in the future. This is that work. The “10-year plan”, Mr.
Bartee mentioned, is a formula for public policy that
creates opportunities for attracting new businesses to
the area to help us overcome our short falls and reach
our potential to thrive. It’s a SMART goal, engineered
to stimulate the courageous conversations about how
we can locally benefit from the success of others and
voluntarily adapt measures for our own use. I present
it now because regardless of who the next mayor is, I
believe we all have some responsibility for what comes
next and a role to play.
First, I need to profile the type of companies that
could help us meet our goals and build a solid future
for all of Alaska. This profile is important because to
avoid taxation and bond debt we need to attract the
right type of investors (capitalists with a conscious) to
believe in us. The poster child for this portrait would
have to be Mike Craft. The time and money he invested
in this community and its future is far more than most
rational business men would do, but he loves it here
and we fight to save what we love. Sadly, short-sighted,
greedy corporate interest has largely pushed him, and
many others, to take money, jobs, and resources away
from the borough. Another mistreated corporate ally is
Siemens. On their own dime, they have come in to offer
some clarity and common sense to the issue of reliable
affordable energy and cleaner air. Only to be bullied
and told the same thing countless entrepreneurs have
been told, regarding practical proven solutions, over
the years by experienced leaders. “it’s just not economical”
while they pour millions of tax payer money into
anchoring the community to the past.
We know how to create an attractive business environment,
based on the cozy ride the dinosaurs receive.
However, if we are to diversify our economy then we
need to start painting a brighter landscape to attract
new industry partners. We need to have a plan to
do, working with the end in mind of what that would
accomplish in the long-run. Aerospace is an inspirational
industry that can enhance the appreciation of diversity
in culture, promote stewardship of the environment,
repurpose much of the mining equipment and current
expertise in place. All so humanity can begin our trek
into the stars.
The clean tech industries hallmark
the template for new business interest
in Alaska that moves us beyond
the carbon economy.
Utilizing our most precious resource, the people of
Alaska, in building for ourselves, and our children, a
bright, clean and clear future.
Some believe 10-years is far too long for us to act on
the local response plan we have for long-term supply
disruptions, ecological calamity or just addressing the
backlog of hard choices that have been kicked down
the road for the last 10-years. We don’t know how much
time we have and can only work as fast as we can to
make use of what we have, just like life. I, furthermore,
preface this disclosure with the understanding things
change and with new information these plans could
too. In that case, the principles are the foundation for
determining the course we take and seen as just as
valuable to that discussion.
Without further ado, I present the Green Party 10-
years transition plan to move the state beyond the carbon
economy. The plan is outlined by the introduction
to the working applications of 5 separate organizations
described herein as the milestones (steps) of progress.
Their work can be adapted to serve the needs of Alaskans
as public policy, economic incentive programs and
the framework for social health-the ultimate profit of
industrious activities.
• Every journey begins with the first step, and
like most journeys, is very personal. The Leap Manifesto,
developed in Canada, is an individual pledge
to a series of principles that support human decenty,
promote global health and leave an enduring legacy of
an enlightened planetary civilization. If there are elements
you don’t like, lets talk and come up with a way
to embody the manifestation of our own future. It’s a
personal choice to predict the future as an active participant
in its creation. Step one is to take the leap and
make the commitment to planetary stewardship and a
carbon neutral industrial future.
• In developing a toolbox to tackle the job,
research indicates the Eco-district protocols developed
in Portland, Oregon provide a great framework for the
discussion of urban planning which is more critical in
rural areas because of the opportunity to be the change
we want to see in the world. Voluntary metrics used to
measure the cost of poor systems management and
the profits generated from empowered, educated and
enriched individuals. Step two is to use these tools to
create the framework of a comprehensive 10-year vision
for the entire borough, not just the city core.
• If Alcoholics Anonymous has taught us anything,
it’s the power of sharing our stories. The strength
from learning that others struggle the same way to.
While not everything will apply, we take what we can
use and one day at a time find new successes to share.
The Transition Network is a global family who grows by
sharing stories and strategies that worked for them. No
judgement, no demands, just the collective experience
of people who want to see us all thrive together. Step
three is to share our stories with others and become
wiser in the process.
• Policy provides the guidelines for corporate
activities while protecting the liberties of the citizens
who cannot, through consumer choice alone, influence
reckless behavior. Ecological economics is a
physics-based approach to systems thinking. It’s using
the scientific over the simple calculator to crunch the
numbers and show a profitable investment on a triple
bottom line. The Partnership for Environmental Management
for the Seas of East Asia has developed a “blue”
economy model to keep the eye on the prize of maximizing
the health and wellness of all life on Earth for
as long as we can sustain it. Step four is setting policy
where these factors are considered ensures good stewardship,
cultural diversity and a foundation for sound
industrial development.
• I wish CBS would reconcile with Paramount and
bring in Seth Macfarlane, Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse
Tyson to collaborate on the next generation of Star Trek
productions. Furthermore, that a lot of the work done is
based in Alaska. This pop culture icon inspires humanity
to be our best, is the foundation of technical innovation,
and focused revenue compares to that of the pipeline
days. Similarly, the center for a Resource Based Economy
promotes the discussion of a generational approach
to moving us beyond war and poverty as we move
beyond money, which is step five. Like with taking the
Leap, these are all suggested as a starting point for conversations
and not some draconian New World Order
looking to enslave another generation of people.
Careful examination will reveal how these principles,
developed as policy, can impact everything from the
police to potholes. The opportunities they create are
linked to reduce drug addiction, crime and provide
much needed revenue for mental health services. They
are solutions to air, soil and water quality that rely on
healthy ecosystems to nurture heathy citizens. The
money to fund improvements, services and maintenance
issues exists and can be captured, some with
minimal effort. Most importantly, a vision and path
forward feed hope and give us strength to overcome
In a single moment, all of creation can end, and in a
tremendous bang, begin again. In a day, algae can grow
from a colony of a few into a wave beyond measure. In
the span of a decade, the whole world can change forever.
That future will depend on the choices we make in
the next couple of weeks and may be the most important
ones in our lives. Regardless who is mayor, we must
work together and move everyone forward, leaving no
one behind

About the author

Robert Shields

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