Author: Billy

The Small Solution Is What Citizens Should Do

The Small Solution Is What Citizens Should Do

Op-Ed: Climate change is a big problem. Citizens must demand many small solutions

I recently ran into a friend who was telling me about a small solution she had found for one of her friends. She asked whether, as a citizen-led group, we could approach the municipality to find out whether there is funding available for that small solution.

I thought the idea was brilliant. This is exactly what citizens should be doing. The money for these small solutions has a way of trickling all the way down. That’s not so for the massive solutions we need. The municipality, or the government, will not look at our problems this way. Instead, they consider ‘big’ solutions: building pipelines, building new dams, building more roads. Our solutions could be the small one, which is what we should be doing.

The first problem is we do not have the money for these small-but-big solutions. Our municipal coffers are empty. Our tax returns don’t contain any money for programs that would benefit citizens. We have not found any federal agencies that would fund our small solutions. The only way we could find the money is to start taking our own money out of the system.

Now let’s say you have started taking your own money out of the system. You’re not in a position to do that, because you live in a small rural town with a good economy. You’re in a different situation now. The problem is, as a small town grows, the government begins to take over part of the town. That means you will have to spend more on the municipality. You have less to cut back on. After your tax returns are audited, you will be asked to show that you have a net increase in income. You will find out that you don’t have a net increase.

Then, your small town starts struggling against other small towns around it. The other small towns want to build their own public water systems. They want to take your water. You can’t build a modern new water system without water. You can’t go further without a new reservoir.

Then you start thinking about the problem in terms of the town. You realize that the problem you can’t solve is the other small towns

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