- As small towns expand into big towns, the costs, the
pain, the results ain't so hot, innumerates and idiots share the same bed...
- This week, in the Denver Post, a journalist wrote a story
that celebrated the addition of 600,000 people to Denver area in the last
two years. Mind you, that Denver suffers 2.25 million residents and a
toxic Brown Cloud loaded with nastiness for everyone's lungs with every
breath. Denverites must endure endless gridlocked traffic, two dozen auto
crashes daily, more than a few 'flipped birds' thrown, road rage, potholes,
cracking and degrading bridges, and a host of other tensions created by
a large city.
- Nonetheless, the journalist reported a happy city council
member saying, ""It's exciting," said City Council woman
Judy Montero. "Hopefully, the growth will continue."
- That's like telling a 440 pound competitor on the TV
game show "Biggest Losers" to go out and eat an entire grocery
store full of food to help him or her win the contest and prize money!
Include, please, the cardiac unit with the eating program!
- Unfortunately, not one person enjoyed an interview to
expose the consequences of that 600,000 people added to Denver! The piece
'celebrated' growth as the Denver Post has for many decades. Not one mention
of severe air pollution, lung diseases, emphysema, water shortages building
along the front range, horrendous gridlock and environmental degradation.
- "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
in population, locally, nationally, or globally?" Prof. Al Bartlett
- Dr. Albert Bartlett, professor of Physics, emeritus,
University of Colorado, www.albartlett.org , wrote a most compelling article
in the Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado, February 3, 2008, "What part
of arithmetic does not hold in Boulder?" that needs to be read by
every governor, senator, House rep and city council member across the United
States. I consider it the most important thesis of the 21st century.
- Harvard researcher E.O. Wilson echoes Bartlett's words,
"The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence,
sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many
do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people but to poor
ideology and land-use management is sophistic."
- The question grows, "How can the Denver Post editors
celebrate growth that has brought so many problems to that city, and, if
it grows to its expected doubling to four million, how can they think anything
will be improved?"
- Dr. Bartlett answers that, "It's not clear why the
legislature would think that the people would want all these known consequences
of growth. However, innumeracy reigns. The promoters have demonstrated
great skill in using public innumeracy to get around minor details like
the "will of the people."
- "In the meantime, the innumerates act as though
gasoline, natural gas and water will always be with us at low cost and
in unlimited quantities. Crude oil prices have increased from $20 a barrel
in 2002 to $100 a barrel in 2008. This largely suggests that the world
production of conventional oil peaked and is starting its inevitable decline,
just as was predicted in 1956.
- "If this rate of increase continues, we would look
for oil to cost $500 a barrel in another in six years or 2014. [Read the
book, $20 a gallon, by Chris Steiner at Forbes Magazine] Natural gas production
in North America has peaked, and this accounts for the rapid rise in the
price of natural gas, which is already creating hardships for some who
like to have a warm home or comfortable workplace in winter.
- "Water shortages and talk of restrictions on water
use are frequently in the news. By their continued promotion of growth,
the innumerates are speeding the arrival of painful but predictable water
shortages and consequent rationing of gasoline, natural gas and water in
the Rocky Mountain area. These shortages and the accompanying high prices
will remake the urban landscape in ways that are probably not included
in current "long-range" planning efforts of the city, county
and state. These problems cannot be solved by a nickel's worth of "Smart
Growth" tacked onto billions of dollars worth of urban sprawl.
- "The arithmetic of population, resources and growth
is inexorable. The consequences of the arithmetic cannot be avoided by
believing that "wishing will make it so" (Walt Disney's First
- "Many years ago, an innumerate graduate of the University
of Colorado wrote to me saying, that he did not believe that this arithmetic
of growth holds in Boulder. What part of the arithmetic of growth is it
that innumerates don't understand."
- Dr. Bartlett has given his celebrated lecture, Arithmetic,
Population and Energy over 1,600 times. His collected writings have been
published in the book, "The Essential Exponential! For the Future
of Our Planet". www.albartlett.org
- Fellow citizens, we do not want to manifest what he demonstrates
in that lecture! Trust me, I have seen it all across Asia in my bicycle
travels. The results of 'innumeracy' prove quite incompatible with human
comfort and/or existence! Ask anyone from Bangladesh or Mexico City!
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
from the Arctic to the South Pole as well as six times across
the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from
the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming
Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic
clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring
about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He
is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million
Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715