This anti-sustainability backlash seems to be responding to a perceived conspiracy with a counter conspiracy. Tea Partiers talk a big game about olden times, Founding principles, traditions, etc., but fail to observe that life during those agrarian times-and the social context in which our great Nation’s founders conceived our Republic – bore a striking resemblance to the sustainability “Agenda.” It takes only a very brief look at rural and urban life, agriculture, energy and what we would call environmental stewardship in the 18th and 19th Centuries to see that our righteous forebears in fact did “live, work, and play” (as well as worship, learn, and even govern!) together in ways We cannot fathom in our McSuburban condition. The Chinese Reds didn’t invent these ideas; they are basic human needs and activities, and they must be done together, and we DO them together, even if it requires an insane amount of energy and vehicle miles to do so.
Ironically, there has never been a settlement pattern more dependent on the State than automobile-oriented Suburbia. It was invented by Modernists, the kissing cousins of Marxists, and fomented only by a Federal project that was shot through with the command-and-control policies that Tea Partiers rightly find so problematic.
As evidence, I offer the fact that such a pattern never existed before 1900, the age of Marx et al, and that the urban/agrarian settlement patterns touted as sustainable today were the worldwide norm until then.