Continued growth not necessarily a good thing

People say that there is a housing shortage, not enough places for people to live.

Continued growth not necessarily a good thing

People say that there is a housing shortage, not enough places for people to live.

The currently preferred solution is to build more housing. But then, because there is more housing, more people will come to the community. And that doesn’t stop. As long as the community seems prosperous and there are places to live, more and more people will keep coming.

So, despite more houses being built, there’s no end to housing shortage; build more houses, then more people come; then still there’s a housing shortage — ‘round and ‘round we go!

It’s an escalating spiral of population growth, resulting in increased demands upon retailers and community services, increased demands upon water supplies and waste processing, leading to higher taxes, and endless paving of agricultural and wild lands and spoiling of waterways, and what then? Yet more population growth. And housing shortage.

This spiral process is advantageous generally for the business community because they draw profits from that part of the escalating problem that goes: “increased demands upon retailers and community services”, thus seeming to allow a lower priority for other integral parts of that escalating spiral system.

The business community, along with local government, aspires to a healthy, prosperous community. Seems good, but the efforts to realize that, as commonly practised, tend to be guided according to a human-biased social/economic/ecologic model by which escalating growth is a good and is the basis of prosperity. So, the escalating problem continues.

It all comes down to a common fault of much of humankind: the failure to be satisfied with what one already has. On a local scale, the consequences usually are local problems. On a global scale, that fault is a catastrophe.

It seems clear that, for many, if they are not accumulating more of whatever pleases them, they feel disadvantaged. That dissatisfaction in persons may be acted out in such conditions as overeating and other consuming addictions.

And in communities it is acted out by people calling for unlimited growth. Unlimited growth in any living system is tantamount to a cancer.

The solution? To have more, want less.

John Mowat Steven

Cowichan Valley

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