Recently, local societies began to feel too uncomfortable about their infrastructures in Europe, the USA, and Canada. Their flood protection systems can’t protect them. Their electricity networks are iffy. Their roads and bridges are crumbling. Our pipes and sewers desperately need repair, along with the outdated bus and rail networks, whose maintenance and safety systems have already deteriorated. High crime rates and terrorist acts make citizens want to get out of town and head for the hills with their survival gear. A trip that took one and a half hours ten years ago will now take you three. Traffic congestion costs the governments on both sides of the Atlantic billions of USD yearly, making major urban areas like the Greater New York or Toronto Areas increasingly unlivable. Living in these areas has become depressing and difficult for the citizens unless they don’t want to go anywhere and stay around the domain of their household. Today, New York, Toronto, Paris, London, and Athens visitors marvel at the traffic jams, the crummy transit system, and the decrepit parks. It would be nice to expand our pathetically inadequate subway lines, but we can barely operate the ones we have.
Although many cities are masquerading as 21st-century cities, much of the glitter is just shiny caps on rotten teeth. In Montreal, the auditor general warns that without massive new spending, the city risks “major disruptive effects for the public.” The fundamental infrastructures need repair, but our leaders prefer to paint the party room. When the sewer backs up into the basement and the ceilings cave in, they tell us not to blame them. Instead, we should condemn acts of God, or the next best thing, global warming, which seems to be turning 100-year weather events into every-other-year ones. Or maybe they’ve chosen to ignore the warnings. That’s natural. It’s hard to get elected by telling people they must spend another $100 million to upgrade the sewers. Yet, negligence and willful blindness also play a role. Very soon, western societies will experience rolling blackouts on every severe flooding. Governments prefer to spend hundreds of millions on trendy but useless wind and solar power instead of shorting up the weak links in the existing system.
In conclusion, our grandparents’ generation-built stuff to last. Instead of fixing and replacing them, our parent’s generation and mine made party rooms and spent money on unnecessary things. Some people blame the baby boomers, while others blame the New World Order’s evil plans. Yet, I know that our world and our children’s world are falling apart.
Georgios Ardavanis 18/01/2023