While nary a week goes by that we don’t get a new report of the destruction we’re wreaking on our home planet, the news has been particularly bad over the last few weeks. Plus: Bill Maher, usually praised by us for speaking the truth, needs to get there on the benefits of a shrinking economy.
Posts Tagged ‘urban growth’
If you haven’t yet committed to avoid purchasing or drinking factory-bottled water, a recent study offers one more reason. Learn more on the podcast. Although I do encourage you to, as I’ve done, commit to avoid bottled water at all costs, let me be the first to tell you:
It will NOT save the planet.
Having grown world population WAY beyond a sustainable level of 2 billion and having continued to grow the global economy after we first exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity in the mid-1970s, we are so far into overshoot that “being green” – while important – is not nearly enough. Unless by “being green” you mean conceiving no more than one child, living as simply as you can, and telling politicians that promising economic growth will NOT earn your vote. Still…skip the bottled water. More about “why” on the podcast.
Also on the podcast:
A proposed California law will require communities to ignore zoning and allow high-rise buildings even in single-family residential neighborhoods near transit stops. Sounds like smart growth to me (oxymoron). I have mixed emotions about this, and share my perspective – related to our last episode about the sacrifices we must accept because we refuse to end population and economic growth.
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Is reducing child-tax credits to encourage smaller families a good idea? Can a city “win” the Amazon Headquarters Sweepstakes? Do undiscovered joys grace your life when you begin stepping up to trim your footprint on the planet?
The GrowthBusters team tackles these questions in the 6th episode of our GrowthBusters podcast. Tax reform bills on capitol hill today contemplate increasing the child tax credit. On on overpopulated planet, why would we want to create a greater financial incentive to have bigger families? We also consider why hundreds of cities salivate at the prospect of having the new, second Amazon headquarters in their community. The truth is most of the 50,000 jobs will go to NEW residents who move to town chasing the jobs. And the truth is that growth will cost the community much more than it will gain in tax revenue.
Podcast co-host Kaitlyn Hickmann invited her dad to join us in this discussion of how cities manage population growth. Bend Oregon’s director of engineering and infrastructure planning,Tom Hickmann shares the fast-growing city’s somewhat unique approach to city planning, and discusses Oregon’s requirement that cities accommodate growth. According to Tom, cities get challenged if they have a “pattern and practice of rejecting growth.”
So, even though Oregon has some progressive laws, policies and thinking about protecting its beautiful natural environment, the growth industry has still wielded considerable power in the formation of growth management policy. A city’s approach to growth is complicated, and Tom gets into some of the interesting nuance.
He also shares the newest infrastructure planning tool, genetic algorithms, explaining how it allows cities to plan better and grow more efficiently. Planners can put the values of the environmental, development, engineering and general residential communities into this planning model to guide a community’s decisions. It sounds pretty fascinating.
In the podcast I propose that perhaps unaffordable housing can be a good thing – ultimately influencing couples to limit the number of children they conceive. Tom’s not really buying it. Kaitlyn, Ben and I also share some of our own methods of shrinking our footprints – related to showers, wardrobe and coffee. Check out my disappointing story about airport coffee shops.
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Also: Living with your parents is green. So is patronizing restaurants that source locally, and skipping the plastic bags offered in the produce department.
Links of Interest:
Subscribe to the GrowthBusters podcast on iTunes
Learn more about the documentary Dave directed