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On Election Day: Balance in Contentious Times
November 2008


Terry Mock
Executive Director

In what surely will be noted as one of the most remarkable stretches in history, we have had a collapse in the housing market, which triggered a meltdown in our financial systems, which has now created a slowdown in economies around the world -- all in short order. With all these financial woes weighing on investor confidence, I couldn’t help thinking of what President Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Fast forward to 2008, specifically to former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s recent testimony to a House Oversight Committee hearing on the roles and responsibilities of federal regulators in the current financial crisis. He acknowledged to the hostile panel of questioners that the crisis exposed flaws in his thinking about the working of the free market system, telling the Committee that his belief that the banks would be more prudent in their lending practices because of the need to protect their shareholders had been proven wrong by the crisis.

This “once-in-a-century credit tsunami” has come to a head just weeks before the electorate goes to the polls to pick both local candidates for office and a new president. Whichever party wins will make history as well. The barrage of extraordinary events makes for fascinating times and presents a rare opportunity for strategic long term investment, according to seasoned experts such as Warren Buffett. But politically, it can be treacherous sledding, as personal angst and partisan fervor are unleashed full blast. In his Farewell Address, George Washington was particularly adamant in warning the nation that this “spirit of party” was “not to be encouraged” because it was - “A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”

T. Boone Pickens, Al Gore and the Sierra Club are creating strange bedfellows and setting an example of non-partisan collaboration by discussing the combination of domestic wind power and natural gas in an aggressive US domestic energy plan. In a related effort to provide a bridge from the current inefficient, carbon-heavy electric grid toward more sustainable development, SLDI-member HBH Gas Systems is partnering with land developers nationwide to provide central community propane gas systems - bringing clean-burning gas fuel to communities where it was otherwise not available.

Innovative collaboration is the answer. See the featured article below on the SLDI Pilot Sustainable Land Development Best Practices Model.

Your participation and comments are welcome.

Terry Mock
Executive Director
Sustainable Land Development International

Sustainable Land Development International

Promoting land development worldwide that balances the needs of people, planet & profit, for today and future generations.

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    In the November/December issue of Sustainable Land Development Today...

    • 2008 Visionary Award Project of the Year: Tallyn’s Reach
    • Heads Up on Green Building Rating Guarantees
    • Marketing Tips from Industry Experts
    • Stormwater, Wastewater and Erosion Control
    • And so much more!


      Check out the October issue!

    In land development, height really does matter – and Intermap's precise 3D elevation maps ensure that your projects are done right. You can depend on Intermap’s accurate elevation maps to help make your business decisions, whether you're designing a new road or planning an entirely new community.


    Click here for more information about our 3D elevation maps.

    • George Washington – The Father of Modern Land Development
      (December 2005) George Washington’s leadership and visionary perspectives make him second to none in the history of our industry. He possessed the land development experience, vision, and leadership that would ultimately make not only him the richest American of his time, but also a sustainability practitioner whose land development professional life provides important lessons from which to learn even today.
      Source: Sustainable Land Development Today
    • Pilot Sustainable Land Development Best Practices Model
      (October 2008) SLDI is now developing a set of sustainable development best practices designed to meet all stakeholder demands that can be used as a decision model for land development project teams, and is seeking feedback from industry professionals and stakeholders for the development of its initial draft outline.
      Source: Sustainable Land Development Today


    Headlines

    • Deflation Lurks as Global Demand Declines
      (November 3, 2008) As dozens of countries slip deeper into financial distress in alarming unison, a new threat may be gathering force: the prospect that goods will pile up without buyers and prices will steadily fall, suffocating fresh investment and worsening joblessness for many months or even years.
      Source: International Herald Tribune
    • Recession Fears Stall Credit
      (October 23, 2008) Banks maintain a tight grip on money, as fears that the global economy is entering a prolonged recession spook lenders.
      Source: CNNMoney.com
    • A Unique Residential Green Roof
      (October 25, 2008) The Star-News of Wilmington reported that the Fortuna family is the first in Wilmington to sprout a residential green roof, which soaks up some of the rainwater and keeps their roof a lot cooler than tar tops.
      Source: Wilmington Star-News
    • Morgan Shows Off its High-Tech Capability
      (October 16, 2008) When we think of Morgan automobiles, we don't usually associate them with alternative-fuel, low-emission technology. But, utilizing sports-car technology in the pursuit of environmentally friendly, emission-free mode of transport isn't that over the top.
      Source: Toronto Globe and Mail
    • Conservation Advisory Committees Can Help Towns and Villages
      (September 23, 2008) Conservation advisory committees, sometimes called environmental review boards, belong to a vast network of county and state agencies that provide helpful services to towns and villages.
      Source: Warwick Advertiser
    • San Jose Makes Progress on Mayor's Ambitious Green Vision
      (October 6, 2008) One year ago, Chuck Reed unveiled one of his boldest initiatives as San Jose mayor, a 'green vision' to turn the city into 'the center of innovation in clean technology.' A year later, there are early signs of success.
      Source: San Jose Mercury News
    • Capitalism to the Rescue
      (October 4, 2008) In the heart of Silicone Valley, venture capitalists are spending their working hours imagining the future and betting on innovation as green technologies expand into the markets more rapidly than any energy technology has done before.
      Source: New York Times [Registration Required]
    • Using Plants Instead of Petroleum to Make Jet Fuel
      (October 4, 2008) New aviation biofuel made from soybeans and other crops proves identical to oil-based kerosene.
      Source: Scientific American
    • UN Launches Green New Deal for sustainable investment
      (October 22, 2008) The United Nations is backing a global Green New Deal, which it says could be a ‘historical’ opportunity to rebuild economies debilitated by the credit crisis and target future investment for environmentally friendly markets.
      Source: Colorado Responsible Investor

    Editor's Note: SLDI News Service may feature press releases submitted directly by organizations in SLDI's network. This content is not specifically endorsed or supported by SLDI and is not subject to SLDI's editorial process.

     

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