- Unending growth in humans equates to obesity, diabetes,
cancer, ill health; relentless growth in cities results in clogged highways,
toxic air, road rage, tension and compacted living.
- The United States finds itself in a devil of a predicament.
Yet, its citizens don't realize it. None of its national leaders acknowledge
it. The media avoids and ignores it at all costs. If you asked the average
citizen on the street what they thought about adding 100 million people
to this country in the next 25 years, you would receive a response like
this, "Really! Not my problem."
- Dr. Albert Bartlett, professor of Physics, emeritus,
University of Colorado, www.albartlett.com , wrote a most compelling article
in the Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado, February 3, 2008, "What part
of arithmetic does not hold in Boulder?" that needs to be read by
every governor, senator, House rep and city council member across the United
States. I consider it the most important thesis of the 21st century.
- EXPLODING SMALL TOWN AND BIG TOWN AMERICA BEYOND LIMITS
- This same phenomenon occurs to every small, medium and
large town in America as this country adds 3.1 million people, net gain
per year, on our way to adding 100 million by 2035, and 138 million by
- As a young math and science teacher, I moved to Boulder
in 1973 with 40,000 residents. Quiet town, no traffic, clean air, houses
at $35,000.00, nickel for one hour parking meters and peaceful vistas-and
great sunrises on the eastern plains dotted with cows! Nearly 40 years
later, over 100,000 residents, horribly costly homes, brown cloud, choked
highways, .25 gets you 10 minutes on parking meter, and you cannot see
bucolic sunrises because the plains suffer housing all the way to Brighton
25 miles away. Not to mention a monster of a mountain of trash from the
landfill that grows higher and fatter daily!
- One of the growth advocates in Boulder said, "So
our choice is not whether we grow, but how we grow."
- That's like a 5'10" 200 pound man saying, "Well,
I don't have a choice as to how fat I get, so I guess I'll keep eating
a gallon of ice cream every night before bed to find out what happens."
- Dr. Bartlett wrote the most profound response to such
idiocy, "It's time to try again to correct the educationally credentialed
but innumerate experts who say that growth is inevitable. Innumeracy is
the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy.
- "They fail to recognize that after maturity, continued
growth is either obesity or cancer. The arithmetic is clear. Steady growth
produces impossibly large numbers in modest periods of time. So, growth
will stop! Referring to Boulder, we have read the innumerate statement,
"so our choice is not whether we grow, but how we grow."
- "The authors of this statement would like us to
believe that the battle against growth is lost, so our only role is to
be the best possible losers. They write that we should give up the efforts
to achieve a quiet stability for our community, and in defeat, we should
embrace the principles of "Smart Growth." We can understand
this. That's the game in which they are all the big winners."
- SMART GROWTH, DUMB GROWTH, SLOW GROWTH, MANAGED GROWTH
ALL MEAN AN UNSUSTAINABLE FUTURE
- "We must remember that "Smart Growth"
and "Dumb Growth" both destroy the environment with good taste,"
- To which I answered, "Growth is not the answer;
it's the problem!"
- ""The central belief of the growth promotion
community seems to be that there is an "absolute need to create greater
population density and more efficient land use within the city" by
focusing on the "infill development within existing urban boundaries,"
said Bartlett. "When the promoters tried this tactic on the Washington
School neighborhood, all of Boulder fought back, saying that we're not
going to become losers in the city's effort to cram more people into Boulder.
The whole city is watching to see if the City Council will continue policies
that reflect innumeracy and unsustainability.
- "The innumerate theme of the promoters is, "The
Front Range is going to grow whether we like it or not." If this
is true, it is because so many Front Range leaders are active and successful
in promoting growth. The legislature and all manner of public and private
regional and local "civic groups" are promoting "economic
development," which is the politically correct name for "growth."
Predictably, this will produce more well-to-do people, more homeless,
more employed people, more unemployed people, higher average salaries,
more people living below the poverty line, more traffic congestion, higher
parking fees, more school crowding, more crime, more unhappy neighborhoods,
more expensive government, more tax revenue, higher taxes, more fiscal
problems for state and local governments, more air and water pollution,
higher utility costs, less reliable utility service, less democracy, more
congestion pricing on busy city streets and crowded highways, more unmanageable
costs of maintaining public infrastructure, higher food costs and more
destruction of the environment."
- Is this happening in your town? Probably! I moved out
of Boulder 20 years ago to Louisville a smaller town of 20,000 residents.
Why would anyone advocate for constant growth, knowing the consequences?
Again, innumerates reign supreme because they possess the money and thus
the power to be stupid!
- STUPIDITY, IN THE LONG TERM, WILL COST MORE THAN INTELLIGENT
- Another top thinker takes Bartlett's theme to the whole
of our civilization. Walter Youngquist said, "As we go from this happy
hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy,
which we must do in this century, will the "civil" part of civilization
survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources
can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for
the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going.
We are involved in a Faustian bargain-selling our economic souls for the
luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid."
- Next part: finishing Dr. Bartlett's thesis as to "growth".
- www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of:
America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available:
1 888 280 7715