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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Zero Population Growth is the elephant in the room

My local professional city newspaper printed a very good opinion piece by Therese Waterhous, "As I See It: The growing problem with growth," Gazette-Times, Jun. 15, 2017, p. A8, which says in part, "The PERS debacle in Oregon is another example of overly optimistic predictions about growth. Never did a leader step up and say that predicting what economies will do is like rolling dice. It is. Thinking that PERS would forever be funded by investments at a certain rate has proven foolish. Currently we have the Trump administration relying on overly optimistic predictions of growth to repair the economy."

I have also been similarly skeptical of "growth" and said so in a previous letter to the editor: Thomas Kraemer, "Population growth still biggest environmental problem we face," Gazette-Times, posted Jan. 8, 2013, p. A9. I say, "Zero population growth used to be a widely supported goal, but it is opposed by greedy Wall Street plutocrats who also reward companies for building products that must be thrown out frequently. If legislators sincerely cared about the environment, they would require manufacturers to sincerely make products that were supportable and repairable for decades." (See previous post Corvallis plastic bag ban and gay marriage (1/8/13))

However, in my experience with managing the managers of multiple businesses, giving these managers a goal of growth is essential because nearly all businesses will stagnate, go obsolete and then out of business if they do not do continuous improvement, and the easiest way to measure it is with sales growth, but it can also can be measured by customer satisfaction and other factors, such as staying in business despite changes in the world. High tech companies must constantly do new products, to replace old and obsolete ones, just to stay even.

I also know from experience that the problem of population growth is a real one nobody wants to address logically or unemotionally, and therefore I appreciated the following letter:

"The previously popular "Zero Population Growth" movement was not mentioned in the insightful June 15 "As I See It: The Growing Problem with Growth" by Therese Waterhous.

Zero Population Growth addressed the bigger problem of limits to population growth, based on Earth's finite resources, which has been disingenuously ignored by "climate change" (formerly known as "global warming") activists.

The latest catchphrase "climate action" encompasses many praiseworthy environmental goals, but it is also silent on the need to address the elephant in the room - excessive population growth."

(Quoted from Kim Wilson, "Letter: Reviving zero population growth," posted June 21, 2017)

I love living in a college town!