Life Imitates The Third VIII

From Forbes, California Wages War On Single-Family Homes:

In recent years, homeowners have been made to feel a bit like villains rather than the victims of hard times, Wall Street shenanigans and inept regulators.  Instead of being praised for braving the elements, suburban homeowners have been made to feel responsible for everything from the Great Recession to obesity to global warming.

In California, the assault on the house has gained official sanction. Once the heartland of the American dream, the Golden State has begun implementing new planning laws designed to combat global warming. These draconian measures could lead to a ban on the construction of private residences, particularly on the suburban fringe. The new legislation’s goal is to cram future generations of Californians into multi-family apartment buildings, turning them from car-driving suburbanites into strap-hanging urbanistas.


Ultimately the density agenda reflects less a credible strategy to reduce GHG [greenhouse gases] than a push among planners to “force” Californians, as one explained to me, out of their homes and into apartments. In pursuit of their “cramming” agenda planners have  also    have enlisted powerful allies – or perhaps better understood as ” useful idiots” —  developers and speculators who see profit in  the eradication of the single family  by forcibly boosting the value of urban core  properties.

From The Third, Chapter 2

[Ransom] stopped in what had once been a bedroom. The walls were painted pink with big brown polka dots. The color combination was not to his liking. Still, he stood in the middle of the room and wondered who had lived in the house over the last hundred years. He wondered whether the home had seemed small and cramped or large and spacious to its occupants. He felt a twinge of jealously. This home was easily twice as large as his apartment. It probably boasted eighteen hundred square feet. Granted, he had recycled homes twice this size, but still, he’d love to be able to give his boys their own rooms and paint the walls their favorite colors.
Ransom headed to the backyard. . . . Ransom stood up and looked around the yard. It was about a quarter acre in size. He found his mind drifting back to his two boys and wondered how they’d enjoy having this much space to run around. The play area next to their apartment building was crowded with kids, and there was always a fight for the swings or other playground equipment. But if they lived in this house, his two boys would have their own place to play. He stood for a minute and imagined them running around the yard, chasing each other and playing on the swings. The thought of his boys made him smile.

From Chapter 11

[Ransom speaking]

“Sometimes I feel this whole city is on the brink of chaos. We live cramped together, stacked on top of one another like rats in a lab. We spend most of our weekends standing in line to buy half-rotten food. People treat each other like animals in a survival-of-the-fittest contest. Sometimes I wish we lived in one of those homes I recycle—one with more living space and a yard.” He turned so he was looking at Teya. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra bedroom, a fruit tree or two, and maybe a little garden? There’s a huge cherry tree at the house I’m taking down now. I don’t think I’ve had a cherry since James was born. I want a giant orchard with enough peaches, cherries, and apples to feed our family and share with others. Doesn’t that sound good to you?”


Hat Tip: HitCoffee

Life Imitates The Third IV

Back in 2008 when I first sent copies of The Third around to some writer friends to review, several of them greeted the concept of forced population control for the sake of the planet with skepticism.

So I’d like to thank Ted Turner, father of five children, for not only doubling down on the plot of The Third but backing up my idea of reselling population credits.

Climate change and population control can make for a politically explosive mix, as media mogul Ted Turner demonstrated Sunday when he urged world leaders to institute a global one-child policy to save the Earth’s environment. …

Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.

Still think it's just about clean air and water?

Read the entire article here.

Life Imitates The Third III

Looks like I should have moved up the timeline in The Third 20 or 30 years.

From  The Third

Chapter 6

“The cooler’s not working,” Ransom said as he fished around in his wallet for the right change and his ration card.

“It needs coolant,” the clerk answered as he rang up the soda and the bottle deposit and punched Ransom’s ration card with perfunctory motions. “Ordered some a month ago. Has to come all the way from Reno. No telling when it will arrive.”

Chapter 12

Harden stood in the entrance of the bakery to watch the boys, but the crowd moved forward. He had to apologize for running late and shut the door again. Then he hurried back to the counter and retrieved a loaf of bread from the shelf. He set it in front of Ransom, but put his hand over it before Ransom could touch it.

“Sorry, but I can only give you one loaf,” he said. “My flour ration was cut last week, so I’m only able to make half of what we usually make.”

Article from The Telegraph (UK) Monday, November 29, 2010

Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world

Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.

[Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research], said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.

Life Imitates The Third: Chinese Woman Forced to Abort 8-month-old Fetus

The following story from the Associated Press is a scene straight from a chapter of The Third.

A pregnant woman in south China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country's one-child limit, her husband said Thursday.

Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on Oct. 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.

Family planning officials told the couple they weren't allowed to have the child because they already have a 9-year-old daughter, Luo said.

For the last 30 years, China has limited most urban couples to just one child in a bid to curb population growth and conserve its limited resources. China has the world's largest population, with more than 1.3 billion people. Couples that flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.

Read the rest of the article here.

On a lighter note, the publisher's given me an official release date for The Third. Check back on Monday for the official announcement.