Maricopa County Hops on the Agenda 2030 Bandwagon: Electric Fire Trucks and Ghost-Driven Cars Will be the New Normal
Agenda 2030's blueprint for utopian ideals is unfolding in Maricopa County, Arizona, setting the stage for a futuristic vision, whether we like it or not.
Maricopa County in Arizona recently had two significant events that showcase its commitment to the principles of the United Nations' Agenda 2030. First, the deployment of Waymo's driverless cars on its freeways represents a leap forward in embracing autonomous vehicle technology. Second, Mesa has taken a pioneering step by introducing the nation's first electric fire truck. These developments are reflective of Maricopa’s dedicated pursuit of the UN's global vision. This commitment, irrespective of one's stance on the UN initiative, positions Maricopa at the forefront of embracing the ideals of a utopian society as envisioned in Agenda 2030.
WHAT IS ADENDA 2030?
Agenda 2030, formally known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is a global initiative adopted by United Nations member states in 2015, aiming to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, peace, and social justice.
Sounds like a utopian dream, right? Briefly here are the goals:
1. No Poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
2. Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
3. Good Health and Well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
4. Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
5. Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
10. Reduced Inequalities: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
13. Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
14. Life Below Water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
15. Life on Land: Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
17. Partnerships for the Goals: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
HAS MARICOPA COUNTY TAKEN THE PLEDGE FOR AGENDA 2030?
Maricopa County, in Arizona, is one of the nation's largest counties, includes key cities like Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, and Glendale, and is known for its dynamic blend of urban growth, cultural diversity, and significant economic development. Maricopa County's Vision 2030 plan, adopted in January 2016, encompasses various key areas essential for the region's future development. The plan addresses important topics like land use, transportation, environment, economic growth, future growth areas, open space, water resources, energy, and fiscal impacts. It aims to create vibrant and strong communities through orderly development, focusing on a healthy environment and economy. By directing growth to sustainable areas, the plan seeks to conserve resources and build communities based on efficient transportation, protected environmental resources, and a diversified economy. Maricopa’s goals are essentially giving a nod to the United Nations' global agenda.
Looking through the lens of Agenda 2030 means critically evaluating the actual effectiveness and motives, questioning whether they truly address the root problems or are more about appearances and political posturing.
WAYMO THE ROBOTAXI
Waymo vehicles in Phoenix, Arizona, are part of Waymo's autonomous driving project. These vehicles are equipped with advanced self-driving technology, including sensors, cameras, and radar, to navigate roads without a human driving. Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (Google's parent company), has been testing and operating these self-driving cars, aiming to provide safe and efficient autonomous transportation options. In Phoenix, Waymo has been particularly active, offering services like robotaxis to the public. They launched a self-driving taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona in December 2018. This marked a significant milestone as it was one of the first public commercial autonomous ride-hailing services. Initially, the service was available to a limited group of participants in the early rider program, and it gradually expanded to offer rides to the general public. Waymo's launch in Phoenix was a key step in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology for everyday use.
Feeling brave? Users in select areas of Phoenix can conveniently request a ride using the Waymo One app, which functions similarly to popular ride-sharing services. This app allows users to easily hail one of Waymo's autonomous vehicles for a self-driving travel experience. This week Waymo announced they were expanding to freeway driving, while a notable progression, raises certain questions and concerns. Freeway driving introduces complex challenges, such as high-speed maneuvering, dealing with various road conditions, and responding to unpredictable behaviors of other drivers. Waymo’s move to freeway driving is a big step. Their technology has adapted in the city, but freeways are tougher, with higher speeds and more complex driving situations.
There is no doubt that Waymo is a push toward the Agenda 2030 agenda.
Waymo's development and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology are closely aligned with several goals outlined in the United Nations' Agenda 2030, particularly in areas such as sustainable cities and communities, climate action, innovation, and more. First, Waymo's autonomous vehicles contribute significantly to Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) by potentially reducing traffic congestion and the need for extensive parking spaces. Second, in terms of Climate Action (SDG 13), these electric self-driving cars, are billed to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and reduce fuel consumption.
Moreover, pairing autonomous vehicles with electric technology aligns with Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), which promotes cleaner transportation. Waymo's autonomous driving also checks the box in Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (SDG 9), potentially advancing smart city technologies and the digital economy. Additionally, the improvement in road safety offered by these vehicles can significantly contribute to Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) by minimizing accidents caused by human error.
Furthermore, the development of this technology can stimulate economic growth (Decent Work and Economic Growth, (SDG 8) by creating new job opportunities in technology and related sectors.
However, it's essential to consider the broader implications of integrating autonomous vehicles into society, which involves addressing ethical issues, cost, data privacy concerns, risk of hacking, and the potential impact on employment in traditional driving sectors. We should take a sober look and realize that autonomous vehicle technology is in line with the United Nations' sustainable development goal of reducing our reliance on our personal vehicles.
It appears Agenda 2030 is developing whether we support the United Nations Utopian initiative or not.
NATION’S FIRST SUSTAINABLE FULLY ELECTRIC FIRE TRUCK
Mesa, Arizona, a major city in Maricopa County, has unveiled the nation’s first all-electric fire truck, a significant step towards the stated goal of sustainable public safety infrastructure and aligning with the goals of Agenda 2030. This state-of-the-art pumper truck, stationed at Fire Station 221 in southeast Mesa, has been introduced to reduce toxin exposure for firefighters and support the City of Mesa's Climate Action Plan. This initiative is part of Mesa's broader commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
The truck, named "Vector" showcases several innovative features. It boasts low to no carbon emissions, promising to reduce environmental impact. Additionally, it is billed to produce “less noise pollution,” which improves communication among firefighters during operations. The truck claims that it can pump four hose lines at 750 gallons per minute for four hours on a single charge.
The introduction of this electric fire truck aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Agenda 2030, particularly those related to sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13). By claiming to reduce emissions and toxin exposure, the truck aligns with the SDGs' focus on sustainable innovation in public services.
Funding for this initiative came from 2018 bonds approved by voters and the City's General Fund. Additionally, a $30,000 rebate is expected from SRP to help offset the cost of the fire truck and the installation of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The charger system, suspended from the firehouse ceiling, can fully charge the fire truck in about two hours.
This first-in-the-nation, all-electric fire truck is a significant shift towards the principles of Agenda 2030. What could go wrong with an all-electric fire truck is left to be determined.
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