Today we have a status report on the term “sustainability.” For a long time it’s carried implications of thrift, energy efficiency, clean air and water, and so on.
Lately the word has come under attack. Denizens of the Roanoke Tea Party have worked hard to turn it into something dirty and loathsome. They tried again before the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.
Ostensibly they were urging supervisors to drop the county’s $1,200 annual membership in an organization called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives – Local Governments for Sustainability. It’s an international group of 700 or so localities that share voluntary energy-saving and pollution-reducing tips and strategies.
The chief premise underlying ICLEI is that sustainability is good. But at the supervisors’ meeting, Tea Partyers ran down a litany of reasons why the concept is dangerous, contemptible and unconstitutional.
One speaker suggested it could lead to the United Nations spying on Americans through new-fangled “smart” electric meters. Another suggested it’s an insidious movement toward “Marxism from within” that would lead to all of us forcibly uprooted into Soviet-style high rises.
I kid you not.
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