Freedom Cannot Exist In an Administrative Form of Government – “All of the aspects of central planning are scary, but the carbon neutral addition is really scary.”
by Kathleen Marquardt
Freedom cannot exist in an administrative form of government. -H. Lamb
Because so many of us who are trying to stop the theft of our private property and the destruction of local control of our communities have been in this battle for so long, we forget that it is only recently that many American citizens have begun learning of some of the tactics being used just for that.
A few months ago, I took over answering phone and email questions on policy for APC. One of the first emails I responded to was from a couple in Hermosa Beach, California. Hermosa Beach is in the process of finalizing their so-called unique community plan for 2031. I just skimmed over it at first because I am sick of looking at these ‘unique’ community plans that have all the same details, other than maybe one has a beach, one has mountains, and one is pretty much urban. But then I saw the words ‘carbon neutral.’ This is new, but should not have been unexpected.
You can read for yourself both about the new addition of carbon neutrality and also note that, while the Hermosa Beach plan is not a carbon copy (no pun intended) of every other ‘visioning plan’ across the nation, you’d have a hard time telling them apart if they didn’t put in the little idiosyncrasies of the local terrain.
Some of the goals:
Goal 2. Hermosa Beach is a Carbon Neutral Community by 2040. Climate change, often cited as the environmental crisis of our generation, poses a threat to the safety, health and welfare of the community. The City of Hermosa Beach is committed to being a leader of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has engaged in a number of innovative efforts to move toward carbon neutrality.
Policies 2.1 State targets and goals. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with State targets and goals, and achieve carbon neutrality as a community no later than 2040.
2.3 Diversify GHG reduction strategies. Pursue a diverse mixture of greenhouse gas reduction strategies across the transportation, energy, waste sectors, commensurate with their share of the community’s greenhouse gas emissions.
2.4 Land use and transportation investments. Promote land use and transportation investments that support greater transportation choice, greater local economic opportunity, and reduced number and length of automobile trips.
2.5 Carbon offsets as needed. When necessary, purchase carbon offsets to achieve the community carbon neutral goal.
2.7 Discretionary projects. Require discretionary projects to substantially mitigate all feasible greenhouse gas emissions, and offset the remainder of greenhouse gas emissions produced to meet annual thresholds.
2.8 Ministerial projects. Encourage ministerial projects to directly offset potential greenhouse gas emissions generated.
The City Council accepted the Municipal Carbon Neutral Plan and adopted a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020 for municipal facilities and operations. The Plan identifies a pathway to achieve this goal through a combination of implementation measures and offset purchases.
PLAN Hermosa will set the city on a trajectory for a more sustainable future. To do so, this Plan informs and is implemented by the City’s various ordinances, specific plans, programs, and ongoing activities. It sets the City’s overall policies and priorities for how to use and manage its physical, social, and economic resources.
…Hermosa Beach residents will utilize the Plan to understand the predominant community consensus regarding how, when, and where the City should develop and change as a place to live, to work, and to invest. Current and potential business owners can utilize the Plan to understand economic development priorities and available resources, while developers use it to understand the City’s development needs, preferences, and desired physical parameters. P 9
This is pretty much the same in every consensus plan devised today:
The community’s desire to advance sustainability, enhance economic vitality, and preserve the eclectic beach character, was further reinforced through the Community Dialogue process in 2013 and 2014. The community engaged in setting the vision and defining the unique qualities for Hermosa Beach.
The Community Dialogue process culminated in the creation of a Decision-Making tool that aims to: 1. Enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of our government. 2. Identify and optimize opportunities for residents and businesses to improve our quality of life in Hermosa Beach. 3. Create a culture of innovation, so that our challenges become our opportunities and our opportunities enhance our community brand. 4. Ensure the values and priorities of all residents and business owners are considered during the analysis and deliberation of actions. 5. Deliver transparency to the decision-making process so that the public can make informed decisions.
Thus, PLAN Hermosa was developed under a broad sustainability framework that aims to: • Link environmental performance with economic vitality; • Enhance coastal protection and sea level rise best practices; • Leverage collaborative partnerships; and • Advance implementation of sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction legislation. Once adopted by the City Council, PLAN Hermosa will form the City’s overarching framework for decisionmaking, with subsequent plans, programs, and activities designed to carry out the community’s vision, goals and policies.
The updated Plan will guide how the City should develop and change, and where funds and resources for infrastructure, services and programs should be directed in a manner that most effectively achieves the community vision. P 16
I used the Hermosa Beach plan as an example because it has the added carbon neutral aspect. All of the aspects of central planning are scary, but the carbon neutral addition is really scary. You cannot legislate invention, yet government keeps trying. What Hermosa Beach is doing is getting rid of gas before there are viable, economical replacements. This is insane. Given time, this might work; when this is feasible, communities can move forward with this kind of planning.
An important thing to understand about these ‘visioning’ plans for our communities is that they encompass numerous counties in the plan. Perhaps, like here in Knoxville, TN (planET), they started out with a small number of counties, here 5 Counties, One Vision. After the plan was presented and then supposedly it went away, the powers that be added 11 counties that never had a say-so in the visioning (perhaps I should say, they never had a ‘blue smoke and mirrors’ audition). This is the precursor to declaring the regional planning in the area. What’s wrong with regional planning? Wouldn’t it save money and add benefits to areas?
Let the late Henry Lamb explain it succinctly:
So what’s wrong with regional governance? Nothing – unless you value the republican form of government and individual freedom – and detest autocracy in all its forms. Regional governance evolved as a way to get around the obstacles presented by multiple local governments, all of which may have a stake in the region, but often disagree on what the region needs.
Regional governments, and their initiatives, are driven by government, not by the people. Government, by its very nature, seeks to increase its power and overcome any obstacle of disagreement. Once successful method is Regional Governance, which diminishes the power of local governments by conferring increasing levels of authority on the executive branch, which implements its authority through appointed bureaucrats.
In very short order, it is the unelected bureaucrats who wield the power; elected officials become little more than a rubber stamp whose approval provides “official” respectability to the bureaucracy.
(Citizens) . . . across the nation, should realize that once these regional (plans) are in place, there will be no way to return to the republican form of government that allows citizens to expect their city councilman or county commissioner to consider their wishes. The consent of the governed will no longer be a factor in public policy. Virtually all human activity will be subject to the approval of a professional bureaucracy that first creates a plan it thinks is a utopian community, and then requires every person to live when the plan dictates; to travel in a vehicle approved by the plan, to a job allowed by the plan – whether you like it or not. From Sustainable Development Manual (DeWeese).
To watch an enjoyable and elucidating video on how Hermosa Beach residents responded and how other communities might want to respond: https://youtu.be/Isa5HyLiHwk