The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

June 24, 2012

Seek true sustainability over growth

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

My opinion is that the current global recession will not end until human societies change.  Very difficult, given the nature of political systems and the human condition. 

Global human population tripled during the 20th century and is currently near 7 billion.  Human population diminishes the planetary resource base, increases demand and prices, and is a cause of the present global recession.  Nevertheless, global human population is presently increasing by about 80 million annually. Norman and the United States as a whole have contributed.  The U.S. human population quadrupled during the 20th century and continues to increase today.  Norman’s population was about 27,000 in 1950, 52,000 in 1970, 97,000 in 2000, and was 111,000 in 2010. 

None of this population increase seems enough for Chambers of Commerce in Norman, in Oklahoma, and across our land.  In The Norman Transcript on June 19th, John Woods, current chair of the Norman C of C, called for us to “build a community of economic success, strong quality of life amenities that attract the next generation of young professionals and families to help fund the critical components of our city that we all care about.  We need to begin a dialogue...”   This letter is an effort to contribute to that dialogue.  My view is that we already have the above listed attributes in Norman and that CofCs call for more growth is detrimental.

One of our City Councilors recently said to me, “If you don’t grow, you rot.”  This reminds of another local issue, NEDA, which is treated here only by implication. In my opinion, the City Councilor’s opinion is true only for cultural growth.  Human numbers and society are past the point that physical growth becomes detrimental.  Furthermore, all forms of physical growth are not sustainable, though often so-called.  Malthus spoke more than a century ago to an imbalance between population growth and food supply, an imbalance detrimental to human welfare.  Forty-five years ago, Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb, and Hardin published a collection of numerous papers with dire predictions. These authors were not mistaken, but they were premature because they did not and could not anticipate effects of burgeoning technology, which has greatly facilitated extraction of resources.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014