Steppin’ Out of Babylon: Podcast-Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano

“Babylon” is the “isms” and “schisms” not only within the system but within ourselves. Let's organize, unify and step out of Babylon.

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Sue Supriano’s Steppin’ Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today’s world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site!

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Richard Register

Head of Ecocities Builders, co-organizer of the Ecocity World Summit & Conference and author of Ecocity Berkeley.

Play Audio.
TRT: 27:54
Date: 2008-06-25

There is no clearly accepted definition of a city. The U.N. goes by whatever individual nation-states use, which can vary widely. The pertinent fact to keep in mind is that 85-90% of people live in cities, towns and villages, in other words, the built infrastructure. The ecological health of our infrastructure is Register's focus in both his business and conference organizing efforts. The way we currently design, all the way down to the village scale, is unhealthy. One of the biggest problems is that we design for the automobile and gasoline. People ask is it possible to have cities without cars? “Sure," he says,"we’ve had cities for 4,500 years without cars and they were healthier than our current cities. Cities we design now are a major cause of climate change, collapse of species diversity and the end of cheap energy. We’ve burned it all up building the most short sighted, thrill seeking, ego gratifying structure we could think of to live in. It’s an ongoing disaster.”

One of many ideas Register offers, which may seem radical to most, is to give free concrete and steel to developers of ecological cities for the benefit of the city’s residents. Currently we give free concrete and steel to the construction of freeways for the benefit of drivers and developers of urban sprawl. They can count on the government subsidizing them with the entire highway system along with the defense of oil supplies via foreign wars. Register feels we are overly mobile and should shift to a more place centered perspective, put some roots down and build decent communities.

The interview is rich with other ideas and examples of how this can and is beginning to happen around the globe. But we must act quickly. We need to utilize a large amount of the remaining fossil fuels we have to build the diffuse, renewable energy systems of solar and wind. If we don’t invest in this type of energy base before much more fossil fuel burns, we might lose our opportunity and be stuck with infrastructure that can’t be supported. In fact, Register points to some initial negative economic impacts from this that are currently occurring.

Recorded at Ecocity World Summit, San Francisco, April 2008.

Website: www.ecocityworldsummit.org

Link: http://www.ecocitybuilders.org

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December 26, 2015

In memory:

Sue, who lived an amazing life from 1938 - 2015.