Monday, January 30, 2012

"We Have Built America in a Way That is Fundamentally Unhealthy"

Opponents of climate action pointed to estimates that it may have slowed economic growth by 1 to 3.5% by 2050 as reason to maintain our status quo on energy, transportation & community design. But as a new PBS series details, the cost of sprawling communities that are unhealthy for either people or the planet may already be at least that high:
“We have built America in a way that is, I believe, is fundamentally unhealthy,” Dr. Richard Jackson says. “It prevents us from walking. It inhibits us from socializing. It removes trees and the things that make our air quality better. We could not have designed an environment that is more difficult for people’s well being at this point.”

He adds: “Two percent of the United States’ gross domestic product goes to the treatment of diabetes. This is a crushing economic impact.”
And that's only a fraction of the cost, from higher taxes to pay for more & wider roads, billions of dollars sent overseas to buy foreign oil for gas & home heating, and countless hours wasted in traffic that could've been spent at work or with family.

Here in the DC area, WETA will air the series in its entirety on Saturday (2/4) starting at 1pm. Learn more and find listings in your community at

Episode 1: Retrofitting Suburbia (preview all episodes here) from MPC on Vimeo.
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