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Population - always a touchy subject

posted Aug 15, 2012, 11:53 AM by Nathan Moore
Population growth is a conversation topic that can get people very heated. It is often touted as the cause of all our problems, and yet the attempts that have been made to reduce population growth (China's one-child policy, for example) are decried as draconian and inhumane. What seems particularly hard for us freedom-loving American's to wrap our heads around is that with increased population density comes a need for increased regulation.

When the US had The Wild West, each ranch had 10,000 acres and there was no one around to enforce laws. Now that the City of Denver is roughly 100,000 acres, and the metro region is 5 million, the freewheeling spirit is not an effective governing ethos any longer. With population density, efficiency becomes possible, and shortly thereafter, necessary. Despite the recently released report describing how inefficient some NYC buildings are (pdf: NYC benchmarking report) the city as a whole is vastly more efficient per person than any other place in the country, because of its density. The desire for each family to have an expansive, dark-green lawn, while real, is no longer acceptable when there are thousands of those desires concentrated in a small area in a semi-arid climate.

We must all be aware of our impacts. Our children may not have a better life than us, if we do not take responsibility for our actions.
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