Growth, smart growth, and sustainability
Every increment of added population, and every added increment of affluence invariably destroys an increment of the remaining environment.
We hear a lot today about 'smart growth,' as though 'smart growth' was the magic key to the achievement of sustainability. A central ingredient in 'smart growth' is regional planning; regional planning encourages more population growth, and population growth is unsustainable. It is thus clear that 'smart growth' can't solve the problems.
That in itself is a worthwhile goal, but one is still destroying the environment. It's like booking passage on the Titanic. If you are dumb, you go steerage. If you are 'smart' you go first class. But either way, the result is the same."
"Smart growth is a means of making unsustainability as pleasant as possible."
Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Is growth necessary?
In California, 95% of sprawl is directly correlated with population growth. The Urban Sprawl - NumbersUSA, shows the surprising relationship between population growth and sprawl.
We've heard the incessantly repeated mantras of the pro-growth community:
"We need to bring in business to bring down taxes."
"This development will give us jobs."
"Environmental protection will hurt the economy."
"Growth is good for us."
There is plenty of evidence that disproves these deeply held pro-growth beliefs. See Twelve Big Myths About Growth.
Mass immigration will be significantly responsible for U.S. population doubling this century - within the lifetimes of today's children. Allowing this immigration-driven doubling to occur is short-sighted and foolish. May future generations forgive us.