Thursday, December 27, 2007

Turn Around. Go Home.

[Overpopulation] Somehow, stories like this always show up in the mainstream media underscored by a breathless quality. It's like, "hey we're first in something, right here in Utah! We're really somebody!"

To the contrary, every story about Utah gaining new population depresses the hell out of me. It's partly that I know our leaders throw their arms around this growth without ever really planning for it. Beyond that, though, there's an unsettling mirage at work here. We're always fooling ourselves into thinking the space in Utah--in the whole West for that matter--is endless. It's because we haven't yet devised a way to sweat every inch of land into development (Check out this Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance update to see how hard we're trying).

We have too many people here, and we live in a desert. We don't have enough water to accommodate all this growth. Never will. It's fascinating that the other two states with the biggest population gains are Arizona and Nevada. They don't have any water either. Let's see how breathless and excited these growth stories sound a month from now, when pea-soup pollution has enveloped the Wasatch Front. And when the state Legislature is tightening its fists against adequate funding for booming growth in public schools and the higher ed system. (Holly Mullen)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, Holly, though I think that it'll take a bit longer than a month for most people to realise that we're screwing up the very thing that made the west so attractive in the first place - space, real leg-room, lack of conjestion (traffic and otherwise) and a certain quirkiness, for lack of a better word. For myself, I hate seeing all these people come in, because, like any "true" westerner, I don't much care for people; especially in great numbers. Where's a guy like me supposed to go once every scrap of useable land is covered with ugly, monstrous, track-home disasters? Wyoming, anyone?


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