Olympics Legacy - More carbon, more tower blocks

A ugly picture is beginning to emerge of what the LDA (London Development Authority) are planning as 'legacy' in the so called post-Olympic 'park'. Neo-con insanity necessitates the inevitability of yet another property development scam but on Monday (9/11) I discovered a detail that helps bring it all into perspective. In making various calculations about where to site wind turbines the busy Olympics brains have worked out that the NW corner of East Marsh is the only possible place, chiefly because regulations require it must be at least 250m from any housing. A combination of the illegal St. Teresa Terrace housing estate on Main Marsh, requiring its own 250m exclusion area, and air flow to the other turbine at Eton Manor make the NW corner of East Marsh the only place left. When I enquired why the turbine could not go elsewhere on the Olympic site (i.e. south of the A12) I was told there was so much housing planned for the site there is NOWHERE that will be 250m from a flat! So the sustainable, green, games and legacy park just means another massive residential development. Hackney will apparently get back a modest park (the size of London Fields, says LBH 2012 officer) for the destruction of Arena Field, White Heart Field, St Theresa Terrace and other encroachments. Whilst the vast bulk of the Olympics site will be more concrete boxes of unsustainable housing. Sure there will be some greenwash, e.g. better than average energy efficiency, and it will all be sold (in every sense of the word) as essential to meet the demand for housing. But the same dishonest greed that gave us the sub-prime banking catastrophe is feeding this whole game. The real housing crisis is in over crowded B&Bs, privatised council stock and increasingly on the streets. None of those people will be re-housed in the profit led orgy that will be the Olympic legacy. What is more none of the well paid LDA/ODA/LBH engineers, bureaucrats and consultants or the aspiring politicians bother to analyse anything long enough to realise they are stoking the boiler of another berserk carbon frenzy. The Olympic games will cost 4m tonnes of CO2 and that excludes the legacy development. People need to believe there is some hope so after the great New Labour fraud of 1997 and 30 years of corrupt, free market, capitalist ideology even the propaganda can be out sourced. Atomised individuals lying to themselves, constructing personalised justifications for whatever they can get, desperate to believe its OK. So if you want some hope amidst the reality of environmental mass suicide, don't construct threadbare rationalisations to fill the gaping holes in the lies they keep telling you. Get out and do something positive. Plant a tree, feed a bird or hug a friend in need. We are our only hope but only when we start thinking and acting for ourselves, our communities and our planet is there any chance of avoiding climate disaster. Trust me, it may be a painful journey but you will feel much better.

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