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Get real about growth

March 10, 2009

Re "Grow greener," Opinion, March 4

I cannot believe The Times gave these strange ideas the time of day.

If carbon footprints are an important concern, new homes built simply can no longer be the ultimate measure of prosperity. The same with growth.

Why is it a given that we have to expand and build more freeways and keep on growing? Our brightest minds should come up with solutions as to how to prosper with zero growth. Remember "small is beautiful"?

Has anybody recently looked at the horrific buildings that line the 5 Freeway north of San Diego? Valley after valley filled with new homes and people. Let's educate people everywhere in this country in birth control and also look at the immigration issue with these concerns in mind.

Karin Howard

Los Angeles

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Edward L. Glaeser's feeble attempt to link tearing down environmental protection laws as a solution to our economic problems fails the test of history.

California has had high levels of new housing and thousands of acres of new sprawl in the last 10 years, and still housing prices rose beyond what most could afford and our state government ran huge deficits. Opening the floodgates to new real estate development was no promise of economic prosperity. Recent history suggests that listening to economists like Glaeser and simply allowing the forces of the so-called free market to dictate how we protect our environment would be a similar recipe for disaster.

Developers may fancy 400 miles of continuous concrete sprawl here, but we Californians love our state, and our open space and farmland too. We'll never let it happen.

Rex Frankel

Los Angeles

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By suggesting we use 10% of the state's agricultural water for new households so our population can grow, Glaeser fails to realize that water is already being reduced for our ranchers and farmers. After everyone gets their share, what will happen to our agricultural communities? Diverting water from the ranchers and farmers of this state will only lead to a significant reduction in their ability to provide food for us. Where does Glaeser think he gets his food?

Of course, we can depend on foreign countries just as we depend on them now for our oil. Imported food doesn't get the same scrutiny for safety as U.S.-produced food, but apparently that's OK with Glaeser. A Harvard economics professor should know better, but obviously his state has no water concerns.

Kay McKee

Etna, Calif.

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