EDITORíS DESK: Plus, it could cure the common cold

       I've written about this before. Not everybody was happy about it. I heard I came close to getting a critical letter from someone dismayed that my skepticism about the sustainability movement was making me too (oh, shudder at the thought) conservative. Maybe I'll get that letter this time. And maybe it'll be for the best - at least if it opens the door to discussion on this subject. So far, as evidenced by the wording of the PPACG survey, the attitude seems to be that smart people put this together as the primo dream for the region, and either you go along with the plan, or you get called the "C" word. Check the survey out for yourself. The key statement on every topic is not open to ranking, only its substatements.
       Councilmember Jan Martin even gave me the either/or question during our occasionally heated interview this week. "Are you saying we shouldn't do anything?" she asked. That's not the point. I think we should be doing it differently. For example, when a major new transportation project is proposed (say, Highway 24), engineers prepare options (think fast, faster, fastest) for people to pick from. Traffic counts are provided, safety and other impacts are looked at. But this? Everyone will be prosperous and healthy because of the sustainability plan? Where did that come from? Nobody knows. But such results are sure to happen, proponents say, because sustainability is wonderful. You see the circles that argument goes in?
       And then there's the car thing. To help us all be susta (I'm getting tired of the whole word), 50 percent of us can't drive anymore. Which 50 percent? Who decides? Why, no one. It will just happen because it's part of the beautiful dream. But oh, no, there's nothing coercive about this.
       A big part of the effort, I'm told, is to qualify the region for federal grants. So I've just got one more question: With the feds $13 trillion in debt, what kind of sustainability is that?

- K.J.