Below is an opinion piece from a writer in Colorado.
Exponential population growth possibly a problem
By Glen Colton
Colorado, once known for uncrowded open spaces, scenic vistas, clean air and a high quality of life, is suffering from the negative impacts of our addiction to exponential population and economic growth. It’s projected that the North Front Range population will jump to 1.1 million by 2040, while the state adds 3 million people.
The warning signs that we’re bumping up against Northern Colorado’s growth limits include increasingly contentious water issues, massive sprawl, overloaded infrastructure, disappearing agricultural land and mounting pollution concerns. Will we demand changes or will we continue to delude ourselves into thinking we can or should continue to grow exponentially into the foreseeable future?
Sometimes it takes getting out of town for a while to get a clearer picture of what’s happening in your backyard. Recently, I’ve been away, keeping up on the local news online. Aside from the ongoing High Park Fire, many stories deal with the impact of current and future growth on our area as we attempt to meet its demands.
One ongoing theme is water and efforts to drain more water out of the Colorado and Poudre rivers through expensive, destructive projects like the Million Pipeline, Northern Integrated Supply Project and the Windy Gap firming project.
A second theme is the explosion in fracking for oil and natural gas in Weld and Larimer counties as the siren songs of economic growth and cheap, abundant energy overwhelm local health and habitat concerns.
A third is the impact of Colorado State University’s unprecedented growth agenda on Fort Collins, including multiple massive student housing projects and an on-campus football stadium, as it plans to add 10,000 students in a purported effort to enhance its financial well-being. Growth is viewed as a magical elixir that will solve its problems.
We need a new paradigm which will require stabilizing population levels and learning to live with a steady state economy. Unfortunately, with only a very few exceptions, politicians, business people, environmental organizations and other thought leaders lack the foresight, willingness or courage to call for an end to the destructive growth agenda.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20120623/COLUMNISTS14/306240020/Exponential-population-growth-possibly-problem?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s&nclick_check=1