‘Build parking lots instead of dry rivers’ Why are political elites smarter than others?

At least in an ecologically oriented bubble, it is socially significant that České Budějovice mayor Jizzy Svoboda (ANO) answered a question in the weekly Respekt about what would happen if his city’s rivers dried up. It spread by word of mouth on the network. “When they are completely gone, the above problems are gone too, saving the budget and allowing the area to be used for much-needed parking,” the mayor wrote, among other things.And the rest of his answer. is nothing more than that. What planet do you live on that inspired the mayor to write something like that? But the stupidity of that kind of humor equals the stupidity of being serious, so it works.

What planet do you live on that made the mayor write something like that?

Unfortunately, not only in České Budějovice, the mayor is mainly a struggle for parking spaces. Citizens seem to be sending them to the administration of the town hall not to miss a gap in urban development that could eventually be concreted and turned into a parking lot. At least in the near-future fictional world (for now) we stay true to this task, building parking lots in fabled ecological dystopias. If an extraterrestrial civilization were to fly to Budějovice, the mayor would be interested in how they would solve parking in space.

As a politician, Jizzy Svoboda has consistently focused on driving around town. After being re-elected as mayor, when he had to list the city’s main priorities, he didn’t rest on his laurels. “For České Budějovice it is right, right and also right. This means the D3 highway, a building connected as a city bypass. And of course we also want to solve the parking problem in the city. I am,” he said in his 2018. And he remains true to his program when, in 2022, he writes in his aforementioned Respekt survey: ) is a rather costly traffic blockage. “

For Svoboda, the global climate crisis manifesting itself in Europe’s increasingly severe droughts seems like a blessing. With a little imagination, the desert is actually a huge natural parking lot. On the contrary, rivers, with their water, rapids and annoying blind shoulders, are understandably the nemesis of all parking lot builders. If the mayor fought purely for the interests of the car instead of the citizens, his policies would be great anyway. More space to build. The only risk of this policy is buying time. Automobile folks believe that human creators invented both self-driving and self-manufacturing before automobiles became extinct, driving around a planet where cars turned into parking lots even after all “non-automotive” species died. We must hope that we will be able to out.

But be careful. The mayor probably didn’t take it too seriously. At the end of his answer, he adds a confusing disclaimer: “It is purely hypothetical and a highly improbable consideration. Rivers, streams and ponds are inherent parts of České Budějovice.” After these words, everyone was relieved. At least the mayor of Svoboda won’t dry up the river to make room for himself. But otherwise his answer completely ignores what is happening in Europe. In Europe, one river after another is drying up this year. According to research by Divided by Climate, most Czechs are well aware of the risks associated with the climate crisis, with a large portion of the population feeling its effects firsthand. However, the political elite prefer parking spaces for a variety of reasons.

The author is the editor of Alarm.

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