Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
Why Is "Smart Growth" Destructive?

(c) Copyright 2000-2001 David Dilworth

"Smart Growth" is Doublespeak and an Oxymoron

Along with "Postal Service", "Jumbo Shrimp" and "Congressional Ethics" - "Sustainable Development" is a self canceling or contradictory phrase as is its new disguise called "Smart Growth."

"Sustainable Development" was a tricky term developers used to disguise growth. Its goal was to make you think that slowing growth down stops the harm. Its secret intent was to avoid looking at growth's long term harm - even harm from very, very slow growth.

So, when "Sustainable Development" got shot down, developers had to come up with something new. Not anything real mind you - just a new, and improved name. That new name is "Smart Growth."

At about the same time a few (very few) people just plain worn out from losing environmental battles inadvertently came to their aid and adopted the term too.

Well, as former Texas Governor Ann Richards amusingly noted "You can dress up a Hog, put lipstick on it and call it Noreen - but its still a Pig."

Same here - It doesn't matter whether its called Smart Growth, Genius-Growth or Stupid-Growth - its still Growth, and it still causes harm.

Growth proposals might "only" destroy one percent of our land and water source a year. Doesn't sound like much? Well how long before all the land and water is gone at one percent a year? How long before that would you object to excessively loss of open lands?

No one wants our Peninsula to look like San Jose or Tokyo. But we can't avoid SanJose-ification - if we don't stop growing at some point. If we don't stop, no matter how slow (or "smart") you grow, someday our whole Peninsula will be paved over just like San Jose. Remember San Jose used to be covered with trees - like our Peninsula is - so far...

So Smart Growth means NEVER STOPPING GROWTH - literally continuing to grow forever. But we can't grow forever because at some point we use up 100% of, or run out of, land and water. Long before then, life (like traffic and water rationing) becomes unpleasant, then unbearable. 


(Published in Monterey Herald March 26, 2000)

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This Page Last Updated 8/18/02