The Myth of Sustainable Growth

Published on March 29th, 2016

You hear about “sustainable growth” at city council meetings all over America. You hear how community leaders hire developers to create romantic housing tracts that attract the very best of homeowners. You see graphic plans for growth in city after city in America.

In my own state of Colorado, Fort Collins city planners, pushed by developers, talked about jumping from 100,000 residents to 255,000 residents within 30 years. The local newspaper, owned by a developer, touted “a bright future with sustainable growth leading the way.” Never mind the fact that the city lacks enough water for the current population!

If you look at California, community after community grows and grows, but the Colorado River that supplies water doesn’t grow and grow. In fact, the Colorado doesn’t even reach the Pacific Ocean today because everyone sucks the water out of it.

Water scarcity looms in Georgia, but developers promise wonders for homebuyers. Across the country, this scenario occurs with greater and greater frequency, because we continue adding millions of immigrants that overload our stable population. Note that the American woman chose 2.03 children since 1970 – we chose a stable population.

Sustainable growth equates to an oxymoron. It cannot and will not work. It’s guaranteed to fail. It’s a form of “cognitive dissonance” also known as “intellectual denial of reality.”

Nonetheless, contractors and developers cannot wait to build the next high-rise, road, skyscraper or airport to make millions of dollars for the growth industry. Developers cannot wait for another 100 million immigrants to land in America to create a construction boom. Retailers cannot wait for more customers. But they miss the most important point: endless growth cannot be sustained as to water, energy and resources. Our environment won’t tolerate endless growth.

It’s a Hobson’s choice: by continuing along an unsustainable path, at some point you run out of water, energy and resources. You come to a point where you cannot obtain the resources to keep building to make you rich. At that point you enjoy two sobering choices, and you must make one of them: Choice behind door No. 1: you step over a cliff with no parachute. Door No. 2: you step into quicksand with no lifeguard.

The late Dr. Albert Bartlett, who taught physics at the University of Colorado, asked, “Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases of population, locally, nationally, or globally?”

As a citizen in a free society, you must ask yourself which choice do you want for your children. You must ask what you want for the future of your civilization. You must ask what kind of a planet you want future generations to inherit. Choices we make today carry into the future.

It’s time to get involved and create a national discussion on immigration-driven overpopulation in America. Take the lead in your community!

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