You are here: home   Issues   'Clinging Hopelessly to the Past'   It's the population, stupid

It's the population, stupid

Document Actions

"California, here we come," is replete with contradictions (HCN, 5/1/06: California, here we come). It praises California for "showing the rest of the West how to use water more efficiently through conservation" by "pioneering the transfer of water rights from rural areas to rapidly growing urban centers." But rural areas, with their ability to grow food, are more sustainable than the "growing urban centers." By driving agriculture farther away from the people in the cities, we are increasing our dependence on the petroleum needed to move the food to consumers.

The suggestion that the West "simply must innovate if it is going to accommodate a growing population without destroying its natural wealth" is a triumph of contradiction. There is no way "to accommodate a growing population" without destroying the natural wealth of the West.

In the long run, we can’t win unless we all recognize that the rapidly growing population is the source of essentially all of our resource and environmental problems. It is a disappointment that this absolute fact of life was not recognized in your editor’s note, which should have been subtitled: "California is coming rapidly to all of us."

Albert A. Bartlett
Boulder, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  5. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone