The Cost of Area Population Growth
The Feb. 2 Daily Progress reported that Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum (and no relation, familial or environmental, to me) believes that Albemarle’s rapidly growing population is a positive trend for the community and that the “…the added value of these new residents cannot be overestimated” (Area population increasing, UVa center says).
I suppose by “added value,” Williamson is referring to the dollars that will accrue to some in the development and other industries.
He neglects to mention, however, that this population increase comes with costs to the rest of us: increased traffic, crowding, the bit-by-bit obliteration of the functionality and beauty of our natural areas and either higher taxes or reduced services to meet the demand for additional infrastructure, fire, police, schools, etc.
Many of these services already are underfunded here.
In addition, repeated surveys of area residents consistently reveal their desire to see this community retain its small town character.
The elevation of economic gain as society’s primary and overarching value, coupled with the inability or unwillingness of too many of us to limit our numbers and to reduce the extraction and consumption of our natural resources, is creating a planet that is increasingly ugly, depleted and perhaps, in the not too distant future, if the climate and other scientists are to be believed, inhospitable to human life.
Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit