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Baby-obsessed in California

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Dear HCN,

I note with particular sympathy the various articles in HCN that talk of the destruction of small Western towns due to the influx of us "city folk."

It reminds me of my early childhood growing up in the Santa Clara Valley, now Silicon Valley, when the majority of land use consisted of orchards rather than the current urban blight. All of the people now in the Santa Clara Valley came from somewhere, and the natives such as myself keenly felt the loss of a very special, almost magical place.

I belong to most every major environmental group. Only with great delicacy do any of these groups comment on the primary cause of the destruction of the West, or for that matter our world: overpopulation. Bozeman, Mont., is simply the victim of population pressures from other parts of our nation and the world. Of course, making pronouncements on the need for population control is the fastest way I know of to become a pariah.

Yet, someone needs to stand up and start talking seriously about population. All of our environmental ills trace back to this problem. It is too bad that our society is not only materialistic but baby-obsessed as well - a particularly deadly combination. I try to have hope for our future, but I know too many environmentalists here in California with four kids and patio decks made out of redwood.

Michael W. Mace

Rocklin, California

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