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Re: E-M:/ MI holds the ingredients for its own success

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>

Amy Spray wrote:


> The blueprint is there. 
> It began to take shape with the Final Report of the Michigan Land
> Use Leadership Council (MLULC) in August of 2003. The Council 
> outlined more than 160 recommendations, including policy change 
> to support sustainable, more livable communities, and to preserve
> open space, farmland and forestland.

Rustem has it right -- the solutions have been documented repeatedly. 
They're based on respect for legitimate public interests in natural
resources and sustainability _FIRST_.  Everything else must be secondary.

Economic development doesn't even merit mention in the same breath.  In
its conventional form, economic development is the _opposite_ of what
Michigan requires.  Thus, day after day, Michigan moves further from a
sustainable economy.

I've spent the last ten years in the guts of the internet.  I've worked
on projects with technical gurus in a dozen countries; spent hours
poking around network centers with stock-option zillionaires on both
coasts; hobbed and nobbed and bought and sold technology with the folks
who thought up and built out that entire model.

Sometimes, I mention routine resource abuses in Michigan -- what our
business community expects to get away with; what MDEQ, MDNR, and so
many county and local agencies permit.  As I describe common practices
in Michigan, these entrepreneurs' jaws drop open.  They say, "Man, if
somebody did that in (California/Oregon/Massachusetts) they'd be in jail!"

None of these geeks started a business in San Francisco for its tax
structure!  They didn't set up shop in Boston because it was building
new roads!  They found really smart people (not incidentally, most of
whom have strongly liberal beliefs) who wanted to do something cool and
different.  They settled into communities where the surroundings were
beautiful, historic, and diverse AND protected by aggressive advocates,
both in and out of government.  Then, these smart, liberal folks built a
trillion dollar industry from scratch in a decade.

Name the one city in Michigan where Google was willing to do business.

Most of the folks who wrote the reports Rustem mentions are considerably
smarter (go ahead, mock if you feel threatened, but it's true) and have
far more knowledge of how the world _works_ than the so-called
"leadership" in our Legislature.

The fact that our legislators have largely ignored the advice of the
MLULC, for example -- or implemented superficial measures that ignore
its real intent -- is evidence of what fools most of our elected
officials really are.  They're buffoons, posturing for constituencies
who, astonishingly, are even _more_ ignorant!  Michigan is, both
literally and figuratively, the most insular state in America.

Every time we fill a wetland, subdivide unique farmland, extend a new
road to nowhere -- every day with new CAFO's and CSO's and toxic dumps
dominating the riparian landscape, the word goes out again, still
clearer:  Michigan has contempt for the natural world, for diverse
values, and for smart people.  

Oh, by the way, we're cutting budgets for "non-essential" enforcement.

How's your economic development working now?


Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
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