Will Your Town/City Exist In 2030?

35 Questions | Total Attempts: 118

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Will Your Town/City Exist In 2030? - Quiz

Do you fret about the future of your town? Do you wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you might soon be living in a ghost town of yore, tumbleweeds rolling through your athletic stadiums, your streets corroded into asphalt chunks, your nail salons and KFC's completely stripped of equipment? Lo, be ye not afraid of zombies. They are the least of your worries. It is the tumultuous forces of finance, environment, population, economics and energy that will bounce and jostle our fair burgs, sifting the sustainable wheat from the unsustainable chaff. How will your town fare? Take the quiz!(photo: Mike LoCascio, wikicommons)


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    (photo: Bobjgalindo, Wikicommons)Since I live in California, the first predictive factor I'll bring up is the big kahuna:  water. Can your town come up with at least 35 gallons of water/person/day sustainably over the next decade? Is it already have trouble doing so? (With stringent conservation, greywater systems and rain catchment, people can live pretty well on this amount.)
    • A. 

      Yes, we have plenty of the source of life. We luxuriate in it. We have lawns, and we don't feel the slightest bit guilty about a ten minute shower.

    • B. 

      No, we face droughts and/or aquifer/groundwater depletion. It's a drag.

  • 2. 
    (photo: Leaflet, Wikicommons) Now we look at energy. Some states are already on the path to energy resilience and produce a substantial amount of the electricity that they consume from renewables + hydroelectricity. How is your state doing? Find it below.90 - 100% Amazing! Washington, Montana and Oregon60-70% Excellent! Maine, South Dakota50 - 60% Really very good. North Dakota and Idaho30 - 40% Getting there! New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, Wyoming20 - 30% On the Path. Alaska, California, Kansas, New York, Oklahoma0 - 20% Much work to do. All the rest of the states.
    • A. 

      My state is above 20% renewables plus hydro. Or: my state might not be there, but my town has a municipal utility that gets over 20% of its electricity from renewables + hydro and that should give us some sustainability cred.

    • B. 

      My state's been putting in renewables. I can't believe we're not up to 20% yet. (NV, MN, CO, NE, HI, NM, AZ, TX)

    • C. 

      My state doesn't believe in renewables.

    • D. 

      My state has no sun or wind.

    • E. 

      Seriously, not every state can be as glorious as Idaho.

  • 3. 
    Does your town have fewer than 30 days a year of high heat (over 105 degrees) and fewer than ten days a year of extreme heat (over 110 degrees)?
    • A. 

      Yes (most of the country)

    • B. 

      No, you can fry an egg on our streets in the summer. (I live in a place as hot as Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Palm Springs)

  • 4. 
    Does your town have any of its energy sources brought in by truck, rail, or ship? (Besides gasoline, let's say.)
    • A. 

      Yes, we get wood or propane delivered, or our power plant gets coal by train, or we live on an island and we get more than half our energy sources delivered by ship.

    • B. 

      No, we get electrons via wires, natural gas via pipes, and if we use wood, we get it from real close by.

  • 5. 
    What is the winter heating situation like for your town?
    • A. 

      We don't really have winter, or we have serious winter but we've insulated and sealed our homes insanely well, use air-sourced or ground-sourced heat pumps, passive solar, or high-efficiency wood stoves, so our heating bills are low.

    • B. 

      We have bitter cold and/or our housing stock is poorly insulated. Our winter propane/natural gas/fuel oil/electricity bills run more than $150/month. (Sometimes way more.)

  • 6. 
    (photo: AlexiusHoratius, Wikicommons)On to economics. Did your town exist a hundred years ago? (Does it have an historic reason for existence?)
    • A. 

      Yep, we were here.

    • B. 

      No, we sprang up post-WWII and our development patterns sure show it.

  • 7. 
    Now, let's look at how energy intensive your state's overall way of life is, another predictor of long-term viability. Let's examine total energy use per person from all sources (oil, gas, coal, renewables, et al) for all uses (residential, commerce, industry, transportation) expressed in the equivalent kilowatt hours/person/day. Find your state below. (2012 EIA data)
    • A. 

      Our way of life is reasonable in terms of energy (under 200 kwh/person/day.) (CT, MA, NH, RI, VT, NY, FL, MD, AZ, NV, CA, HI) Or it's just a little above that (200--230 kwh/person/day), so cut us some slack. (ME, NJ, PA, MI, DC, GA, NC, VA, CO, UT, OR)

    • B. 

      We consume double the energy of most Europeans, but we'll always have unlimited cheap energy, won't we? (230-300 kwh/person/day) (IL, OH, WI, MN, MO, DE, TN, AR, ID, NM)

    • C. 

      We are the Sumo wrestlers of per capita world energy consumption. We slurp up huge amounts. (300-400 kwh/person/day) (IN, IA, KS, NE, SD, WV, AL, KY, MS, OK, TX, MT)

    • D. 

      We are the King Kongs of energy consumption. Our use is off-the-charts insane, although our mining, drilling and refining industries have a lot to do with it. (650-760 kwh/person/day) (ND, LA, WY, AK)

  • 8. 
    (photo: Joe Mabel, Wikicommons)Is your town traditionally a fishing town, a farming town (and still surrounded by farms), a regional market/trade town or a port of any kind?
    • A. 

      Yes, fishing, farming, regional commerce or trade via shipping has been in our past and will likely be in our future.

    • B. 

      No, none of these are economic contributors for us.

  • 9. 
    (photo: Walter Siegmund, Wikicommons) Does more than 20% of your state's economy (tax revenue and/or jobs) rely on extracting,shipping, processing or refining coal, oil or natural gas?
    • A. 

      Yes, I live in Alaska, Wyoming, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, or West Virginia

    • B. 

      No, my state's economy is diverse and will not be devastated by reduced fossil fuel use.

  • 10. 
    Roads are expensive to maintain, especially when it's likely in the future states and localities will have to shoulder 100% of the burden of their roads themselves. How many lane-miles of road per person does your state have?
    • A. 

      Less than 200 feet/capita. We can afford the roads we have as long as we don't build many more. We'll spend less than 10% of our state tax revenue maintaining them. (CT, MA, RI, NJ, NY, DE, DC, FL, MD, CA, HI, NH, PA, IL, IN, MI, OH, GA, NC, SC, VA, TN, LA, TX, AZ, CO, NV, UT, OR, WA)

    • B. 

      200-300 feet/capita. We will probably turn some roads back to gravel or toll them. (ME, VT, WI, MN, MO, WV, AL, MS, AK)

    • C. 

      300-500 feet/ capita. It's lucky we like gravel roads because we'll have a lot of them. (IA, AR, OK, ID, NM)

    • D. 

      500-1300 feet/capita. We are in for a world of hurt road-wise. (KS, NE, SD, ND, MT, WY)

  • 11. 
    (photo: Carole J Buckwalter, Wikicommons) Does more than twenty percent of your town's economy rely on tourism, medical tourism, skiing, snowbirds, gambling, producing the latest expensive electronic toy, or the sale of knickknacks, jewelry or home decor (all of which are luxuries that may well disappear or at least become scarce)? Or, if your town is a college town, is the college already struggling financially?
    • A. 

      Yes. Gosh, next you'll say we can't have an economy built on fast food either.

    • B. 

      No, but we're counting on one of the above to revive our currently struggling economy. (Come gamble at our new casino!)

    • C. 

      No, we get our garden gnomes and beanie babies from abandoned storage lockers and play on-line poker.

    • D. 

      No, our economy doesn't depend on fluctuating consumption of luxury items, luxury experiences or on a college that is about to go under.

  • 12. 
    Amazing stat 1--In the US, for people between the ages of 20 and 65, alcohol is responsible for one death in ten. (Via car crashes, violence, breast cancer, liver disease, heart disease. 70% of those deaths happen to men.)Amazing stat 2--Americans make up 5% of the world's population and consume 75% of the world's pharmaceuticals.Amazing stat 3--30% of American women take tranquilizers.Amazing stat 4--having fellow citizens who are by and large clear-headed, healthy, responsible, and used to pulling their weight and contributing to the greater good (either via their family or their community) is going to the make the probability of your town surviving much higher.Do you live in one of these "top" states? (Check all that apply.)
    • A. 

      Top meth lab states--MO, TN, IN, MI, IL, OH, NC, KY

    • B. 

      Top number of incarcerated persons/capita--LA, MS, OK, AL, TX, AZ, FL, AR, MO

    • C. 

      States where more than 31% of citizens are obese--LA, MS, AL, WV, OK, IA, SC, TN, KY, IN, ND, MI, DE

    • D. 

      Top death-by-alcohol states--NM, AK, MT, WY, AZ, OK, NV, MI, DC, CO, WV

    • E. 

      States where more than 17% of citizens live in poverty--MI, MS, AZ, NM, AR, GA, DC, TX, KY, NC

    • F. 

      States where more than 13% of children are diagnosed with ADHD--AL, AR, DE, IN, IA, KY, LA, NC, OH, RI, SC, TN

    • G. 

      States with more than 96 opiod prescriptions per year for every 100 people--LA, MS, AL, AR, OK, SC, NC, TN, KY, WV, OH, IN, MI

    • H. 

      By some miracle my state is not listed in any of the options above. Our men are not drinking themselves to death, our women are not popping chill pills, our kids don't need to take amphetamines to sit still, and our prisons aren't major state employers.

  • 13. 
    Does your town have any of the following symptoms of lack of social cohesion?--You personally know someone in your town who has been mugged.--Women feel uncomfortable walking alone at 9pm.--People with matted hair and missing teeth wander the streets shouting obscenities.--On Sunday mornings parents have to clear playgrounds of needles and/or beer bottles before their children can play.--You have seen emaciated meth addicts in your town.--Prostitutes hang out on corners you routinely pass by.--You know of someone (first or secondhand) in your town who has died of a heroin overdose.--Your town has issues with gangs, vandalism or graffiti--Your town has higher rates of domestic violence or child abuse than the national average. 
    • A. 

      None of the above. My town is squeaky clean.

    • B. 

      Ok, I've got to check off one or two of these, but it was a one-time thing and no indication of a real problem.

    • C. 

      Welcome to America. Everyone has these problems, so it's not surprising we do, too.

    • D. 

      Our town didn't used to have these problems, and now it does. It's a sad business indeed.

  • 14. 
    If your town is unable to sustainably provide water to its population right now, is it within 20 miles of a large body of salt water and wealthy enough to desalinate?
    • A. 

      Yes, it will be expensive but we could do it. (Also check this box if question is irrelevant because your town has enough water, you lucky fools.)

    • B. 

      No, but why can't we desalinate and then pump water 200 miles up hill?

    • C. 

      No. Depopulation is in our future.

    • D. 

      I want to divert the entire Columbia or Mississippi River to flow to my town. Start digging now.

  • 15. 
    Is it possible to live in your town year around without air conditioning?
    • A. 

      Either we don't have an air conditioner, or living without one would be possible with shade trees, ceiling fans, whole house fans, etc.

    • B. 

      No freaking way.

  • 16. 
    Does your town have any of these signs/generators of social cohesion?--field sports leagues for adults as well as youth?--a community newspaper of website with local news that is widely read?--community murals/artwork by local residents?--a public library?--a community college within town limits?--community bulletin boards?--auctions, pancake breakfasts or other fundraisers for non-profits?--performances by local musicians?--weekly farmer's markets or annual public festivals?--If you live in a very small town, do you at least have Fourth of July parades with kids riding decorated bikes? 
    • A. 

      We've got at least three of these.

    • B. 

      Only one or two. We could do better.

    • C. 

      None of the above. I live in a real hell-hole.

  • 17. 
    Another sign/generator of social cohesion:  Do any largely volunteer organizations exist in your town that provide the following:--food pantries/soup kitchens--crisis help lines/crisis counseling--services to youth--services to elderly--community gardens/farms--home building/home repair(Note: they can have some professional staff, but most of the labor is provided by volunteers. It's the volunteering that creates the social cohesion.)
    • A. 

      Yes, people do this sort of thing in my town.

    • B. 

      No, there is little or no sense of community here in this way.

  • 18. 
    Do you know the first names of at least four of your neighbors?
    • A. 

      Yes, you're kidding, right?

    • B. 

      No, you're kidding right?

  • 19. 
    Are at least half the businesses in your town small businesses run by someone who lives in the town? (Take a guess.)
    • A. 

      It's possible. We have a lot of small shops and service providers.

    • B. 

      Unlikely. All the stores are big boxes and even many of the services are provided by chains.

  • 20. 
    What best describes the center/core of your town. (One might call it the heart of your town. Its psychological center.)
    • A. 

      There is no center. It is completely diffuse residential with maybe a few malls scattered about.

    • B. 

      Two arterials meet with some strip malls, chain restaurants, big box stores, gas stations, fast food on the corners.

    • C. 

      Our large city has an extensive business-centered downtown and the neighborhoods have vibrant shopping districts that act as secondary cores; or, our smaller town/city has between one and ten downtown blocks with shops, services, restaurants and coffee shops.

  • 21. 
    (photo: streetsblog.org)Look at an overhead Google Earth view of your town core. Is more space dedicated to buildings or to surface parking lots?
    • A. 

      Buildings

    • B. 

      Parking, parking, parking

  • 22. 
    Are there dead malls or dead strip malls within your town's incorporated limits?
    • A. 

      Yes. That's just the way America is now.

    • B. 

      No dead ones. They're either active, been torn down, creatively repurposed to other uses, or we never had any to begin with.

    • C. 

      Does being filled with squatters count as repurposing?

    • D. 

      Does standing as a decaying monument to American consumerism count as repurposing?

  • 23. 
    Is the Federal Government the largest industry in your state?
    • A. 

      Yes, I live in DC, Alaska, Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico or Oklahoma.

    • B. 

      No, how is it possible for the Federal Government to be a state's largest industry?

  • 24. 
    Do you know of local small businesses in your town that have received crowdfunding in order to start up?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      What is crowdfunding?

  • 25. 
    In the last thirty years, has nature struck your town in a way that damaged more than a thousand homes/buildings? Or, over the next ten years, is there at least a 50% probability that such an event will occur due to (check all that apply):
    • A. 

      Storm surge? (answer yes if you live in southern Florida)

    • B. 

      River flood?

    • C. 

      Tornado?

    • D. 

      Earthquake?

    • E. 

      Hurricane?

    • F. 

      None of the above. We're either not vulnerable to these things or we've engineered our buildings or our rivers or built seawalls to keep us damage-free.

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