Steady State: A Sustainable Economy for the Southwest

April 21, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Steven Kotler for this article.

In 1991, George Bush Sr. was President, something called “grunge” was beginning to ooze out of the Pacific Northwest, and I had just moved to Phoenix, Arizona

Back then, the city was mostly empty space. There was a meager downtown, a few fringe settlements and nearby Scottsdale—which was the real boom town. But mainly the area was open desert: dry and bare and beautiful.

I flew into Phoenix not long ago. Seen from above, I couldn’t believe the change. The long stretches of sand and saguaro were gone, replaced by high-rises and housing developments. They went for miles and miles in every direction. Even at 30,000 feet I couldn’t see the edge.

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