The future is not what it used to be. Our Utopian imagination has atrophied in the stifling atmosphere of apocalyptic predictions: a climate catastrophe, energy shortages, mass extinctions, economic meltdowns, resource wars and intensifying social injustice.
In the language of urbanism, “greenfields” usually means rural land at the metropolitan edge, where suburbia metastasizes. “Brownfields” are former industrial sites that could be redeveloped once they are cleaned of pollution. “Greyfields” — picture vast empty parking lots — refer to moribund shopping centers. Recently another such locution was coined: “redfields,” as in red ink, for underperforming, underwater and foreclosed commercial real estate.
Redfields describe a financial condition, not a development type. So brownfields and greyfields are often redfields, as are other distressed, outmoded or undesirable built places: failed office and apartment complexes, vacant retail strips and big-box stores, newly platted subdivisions that died aborning in the crash.
The last 70 years of modern warfare have been filled with atrocities, from the first bomb that exploded the tranquility of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 to the advent of large-scale saturation bombing of civilian centers culminating in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Source: IPS News
Few in Washington want to talk much about Iraq these days.
Eager to avoid refighting the intense political battles over Iraq during the George W. Bush administration, both Democrats and Republicans seem to have tacitly agreed on a set of lowest-common-denominator premises: the initial decision to invade may have been questionable, but the 2007 surge worked, and Iraq is now on a slow-but-sure path to recovery.
Stability and prosperity will gradually improve, or maybe they won’t, but in any case Iraqis will have to sort out their problems for themselves.
Another American factory closes. Thousands of union laborers lose their jobs. The host city, in this case Detroit, spirals further into debt. The automobile parts will be coming from an obscure Mexican town, shipped into the United States across a national border.