Frosty Wooldridge: Endless growth cannot continue in Colorado
May 22, 2012
To the Editor:
Re: “History in the making” by Tonya Bina, May 16, “Water agreement a game changer”:
The recent water agreement solved nothing for the future. It kicked the can down the road.
As a condo owner in Fraser for the past 35 years, I have witnessed unbridled and endless growth from development. It changed our once bucolic valley into a cash cow. Rich people built mega homes in the wilderness and the sides of the mountains feature more buildings than trees. But with all of this development and destruction of the Fraser River, no one understands or addresses the ramifications of exceeding the carrying capacity of the Fraser Valley. As Edward Abbey said, “Endless growth is the modus operandi of a cancer cell until it kills the host.”
Colorado expects to add 5 million more people within 38 years. The U.S. expects another 138 million people in that time period. Denver alone will add more than 2 million people. All of them need extreme amounts of water. Any water agreement signed in the past month does not address and will not solve such mindless human growth. Why are we doing this to ourselves?
When will we come to terms with finite water, resources and energy? When will we create a population stabilization policy for Colorado in order to preserve our overrun wilderness and resources?
As we add more people, we heat up the planet, cause water scarcity, deplete arable land for growing food, consume dwindling energy and rape the planet of resources.
“Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.” – Dr. Albert Bartlett, http://www.albartlett.org, University of Colorado.
At some point, we must heed Bartlett’s brilliant quote. We need to come to terms with ourselves as a species and stabilize our numbers. I have offered Golden City Council members the first of its kind ordinance: Golden Stabilized Population Policy. They have heard the facts for over 15 presentations over the past year – and yet won’t budge past their endless growth paradigm. Where has it gotten them and Denver? Toxic air pollution, gridlocked traffic, growing carbon footprint, expanding ecological footprint at over 100,000 destroyed acres annually for the past 20 years of growth, lowered quality of life and declining standard of living.
Instead of “downstream” reporting of consequences and downstream solutions, how about “upstream” reporting by thinking and acting ahead. Let’s stop kicking the can to future residents of Colorado. Interview those of us who understand the final destination of endless growth is collapse, degraded living and ultimate destruction of our rivers, lakes and environment.
Let’s begin the discussion in Colorado that our state cannot sustain endless human growth. Let’s become the most proactive state in America. Let’s create a real discussion about our future and bring the debate to the entire country if not the world. Continued growth toward the projected doubling of U.S. population to 600 million by 2070 or so cannot be a viable future for our kids. I have traveled through China and India. They never started the discussion. It’s not pretty. Let’s change course.