Soon the Greyburgers were back home, and after their week in Greendale, they were shocked by how deeply gloomy Greyburg really was. Everything fun was still closed because of empty City coffers – still no libraries, ski lifts, skating rinks – and now even the Zoo, Planetarium and Museums were closed most of the time.
Ms. Merryweather and the 4 children immediately told everyone who would listen, about the wonders they had seen in Greendale, how much fun it was, how beautiful it all was, and how living that way saved so much money and caused near-zero pollution and other harm. People became increasingly interested, and soon wondered how they could transform Greyburg to become like Greendale.They invited a group of Greendale consultants to come help them formulate a plan: - first of all they wanted to intervene in the planning for the expansion of the North Greenburg School – they wanted to stop the design for a standard polluting fossil/nuclear-fueled building, and replace it with a SolarGreen design, the standard in Greendale.
Here is the special meeting they called for, packed with voters, by now well informed about the pros and cons of various options. The Greyburg architects are on stage right, promoting their standard Greyburg design, while on stage left are Ms.Merriweather and her whole 4th grade, backed up by the 3 Greendale consultants. It did not take long for the voters to choose the obviously better option.“But how shall we fund it??” “Look – the City of Greyburg is broke, because of the high price of heating, electricity, sewage treatment, clean-up of oilspills and toxins, dredging of mucked up waterways – the City of Greyburg is broke, the State is broke, and the Federal government is broke – so where on Earth may we find the funding for such costly projects?” A 5th-grader raised her hand: “Well, I’ve heard that some people have much more money than they need …”
The Mayor stood up, held his chin for a moment, and then said: “That is so true. We all agree that this is an Essential Project for the good of our city – if this works, then many more will follow, until we have SolarGreened our entire city, and then our whole land - we now understand that we must do this, and that we can do it. It will save money, but first it will cost money – a lot of money. It is true that all branches of Government are broke, and any funding from there would come from loans to be paid off with heavy taxes levied upon our children and grandchildren, for decades to come. It is also true, yes, that some people do have more money than they need – we can ask them to invest a tiny % of their money into this Essential Project we can even offer them 2-3% Return on Investment, plus the tax deduction - much better than the banks. The City will be able to pay that annual dividend and tax-break out of just part of the money that will be saved by paying near-zero for heating oil, gas and electricity. Let’s start a group to plan for inviting our 1%er citizens to fund this Great SolarGreen Project with some of their surplus $Greens – most likely some of them already know that a Halo is more valuable than Money, and they will welcome the chance to fund a Great Project for the Good of the City. This is the best investment they can make for their grandchildren“.
Very soon, the people with more money than most gathered together to invest the total amount for the project – and then the construction began, with teams of professional crews of builders, plumbers and electricians working in shifts 11 hours/day, 7 days/week, and they were joined by both skilled and unskilled volunteers. Every weekend, rain or shine, volunteers of all ages joined for Community Work Days, directed by professional crews, including gardeners and landscapers. Food was brought, prepared, eaten and cleaned up all day long – to the sound of music, singing and laughter. A great time was had by all, and the construction of the new school proceeded with amazing speed, and costing far less money than had been budgeted for the previously planned “normal” expansion project for the North Greyburg School.The finished school turned out to be even better than highest hopes and expectations, powered by solar, wind, SuperPower Playground, and by wood chips made from the energy forest serving as Greenfilter for the school’s wastewater (that system alone shaved $100,000 off the school construction budget). As soon the Greendale designs had a chance to prove themselves excellent, they were quickly applied to all new construction, and also to retrofit existing buildings, both municipal and private.
Yes, Greyburg was transformed with SolarGreen designs and methods, saving many billions of dollars by not building a new nuclear power plant or a new sewage treatment facility, by not burning millions of tons of fossil fuels, and thereby preventing millions of tons of co2 and other pollution. And the 1%ers who invested in all this new infrastructure were pleased with the decent and totally secure return on their investments, and with the knowledge that, with their excess money, they had done something truly good for society.
So – what do you think?