If you suspect paranormal activity in your neighborhood, call the Ghostbusters. But what if the kind of activity disturbing your peace is growth mania? Who can you call?
World Population Day (today, July 11, 2016) seems a fitting date to launch our new podcast, Paving Paradise: Tales from the Front Lines of GrowthBusting. On a somewhat regular basis I intend to share news, information and commentary to help you stomp out growth addiction in your community.
You can find today’s episode here on SoundCloud. Or click play right here:
Today’s episode features some revealing observations from Eben Fodor, the community planning consultant who penned the excellent book, Better, Not Bigger. You probably always suspected the game is rigged in your own community – real estate developers pull all the strings. This comes up as I unpack the insanity of economic developers recruiting new businesses (and the population growth that follows) in places like Arizona and Nevada, as the water level in Lake Mead drops to levels not seen in over 30 years.
Today is World Environment Day. The United Nations established the day and informs us it’s the most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. It strikes me as odd the theme for this year’s World Environment Day is the illegal trade in wildlife. Themes like this are woefully inadequate in the face of today’s pressing crises, amounting to little more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Yes, our world’s biodiversity is critical, but illegal trade is a tiny fraction of even that problem. The real problem is the juggernaut of never-ending expansion in the scale of the human footprint. We are laying siege, not just to wildlife, but to the entirety of our “environment.”
Sunday is Mothers Day, but troubling economic news makes it difficult to celebrate motherhood this holiday. There are too few mothers! The most recent alarming news: Teen birth rates in the U.S. are dropping precipitously.
“Fewer Babies Having Babies” proclaimed the Newsweek headline last week. According to the Center for Disease Control, teen births declined over 40% from 2006 to 2014. Some might think this is good news. Teens, and their parents, come to mind. After all, teens are ill prepared to become parents, and unplanned pregnancies often lead to an unexpected round two of parenthood for ambushed grandparents. For teens, parenthood interferes with attending submarine races, prom night, and finishing school, not to mention Spring break in Fort Lauderdale.
By Suzanne York, www.howmany.org.
It’s shocking, but a mainstream media outlet has actually mentioned the idea of limits to growth and limits of nature. The New York Times, no less, has run a front-page story on the drought in California, invoking the concept of limits, in an article titled “California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth.”
The drought, now in its fourth year, has prompted the state government to announce measures to reduce water consumption. That in itself isn’t shocking, given the increasing severity of California’s water situation, but what is surprising is that it took this long to enact serious measures.