Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


Why Is "Sustainable Development" Harmful?

(c) Copyright 1998 David J. Dilworth

"Sustainable Development" is Doublespeak

Along with "Postal Service", "Jumbo Shrimp" and "Congressional Ethics" - "Sustainable Development" is a self canceling or contradictory phrase.

"Sustainable Development" is a tricky way to disguise growth. It makes you think that slowing growth down stops the harm. Its secret intent is to avoid looking at growth's (even very, very slow growth's) long term harm.

For example "Sustainable Tax Development" might be when government "only" increases your taxes by one percent per year. That doesn't sound like much. But, how long before you'd pay 100% of your income in taxes? - One hundred years. How long BEFORE taxes reached 100% would you object to excessively high taxes?

A "Sustainable Development" proposal might "only" destroy one percent of the land and water source per year. That doesn't sound like much. But, again how long before all the land and water is gone? How long BEFORE that would you object to excessively loss of open lands?

So "Sustainable Development" really means NOT 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.

We pay about 50% of our income in taxes now. We've lost a lot more than 50% of our Peninsula's natural areas. "Sustainable Development" would continue to lose us more until it is all gone and we're living in full-time gridlock, loss of all natural lands and full-time water rationing.

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

So we must stop at some point. We just disagree when to stop. Many think we should've stopped more than twenty years ago, BEFORE 50% water rationing was forced on us. Many others want to stop now as shown by the loud votes in recent elections (the few times we've ever been allowed to vote against growth). Then there are some who don't, or won't, see the certain results of continuous growth.

AMBAG's March 13 "Sustainable Development" forum is an impostor. Those who want even more Peninsula growth want you to believe it is valid. Nope. It is put on by those who will make more money from exploiting our Peninsula so they can cross their fingers behind their back and say "We all agreed to more growth."

If not, why did the organizers fail to include ANY citizens or groups resisting growth?


(Published in Monterey Herald March 15, 1998)

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