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'Bloom Is Off the Boom'

April 02, 1987

Your editorial (March 16), "Bloom Is Off the Boom," is fine as far as it went. But it still falls short of recognizing the ultimate folly of continued expansion. You still advocate "aggressive regional planning (so that California can) welcome more millions of residents."

At the present rate of expansion (2.4% annually), our state population will double within 30 years--to more than 52 million residents! Is this what we really want?

The more we encourage our population to increase, the more we are aggravating every social ill we face--water shortages, traffic congestion, toxic wastes, crime, airplane collisions, sewage problems, smog, overcrowded schools, ad infinitum. We physically cannot allow our population to double every 30 years. (Try to envision one-fifth of the current U.S. population living in the Los Angeles Basin about 60 years from now!)

Eventually, the politicians, the civic planners, the water boards, the road builders, the housing industry, the land speculators and the unions will have to accept the fact that continued growth is not possible.

We cannot grow to infinity! It is a physical impossibility. No organism or institution or community can continue to expand forever. (Cancer cells try to do it and eventually kill the host.)

Someday, our wisest leaders will have to develop a viable economic plan that will allow for a vital community based upon a stable (non-expanding) population base. It can be done. Ultimately, it obviously will have to be done.

The irony is that the sooner we accept this reality--and force our leaders to abandon the easy road of looking toward growth as the solution to all economic woes--the sooner we can enjoy a more comfortable and sane community.

We can choose to shape our own destiny--through education, birth control, and creative economic planning. Growth is not the solution. Growth is the problem.



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