Continuous growth is short-term thinking

We have among us certain persons who demand that we continue to promote the theory of continuous growth.

Dear Editor:

Back in 1972, a number of young scientists from MIT decided to research what was in store for humanity if we stayed on the road to continuous consumption or growth (in Summerland’s case, farmland depletion) without replenishing what we took from the earth’s resources.

One of the researchers, Donella Meadows was an optimist.

She made the assumption that “if you put enough of the right information in people’s hands, they would ultimately go for the wise, the farsighted, the humane solution — that is, adopting the global policies that would avert overshoot (or, failing that, would ease the world back from the brink).”

Jorgen Randers, the other author of Limits to Growth, was a cynic.

He believed that humanity would “pursue short-term goals of increased consumption, employment, and financial security to the bitter end, ignoring the increasingly clear and strong signals until it [would] be too late.”

Summerland is a small place, relatively speaking, but we have among us certain persons who demand that we continue to promote the theory of continuous growth, that if we want to survive we must do so by continually expanding.

They think continued growth is sustainable.

They believe that putting homes where apples, or grapes, or trees are growing makes economic sense.

This is temporary, short-term thinking that fills the pockets of developers, but leaves the burden of long-term costs to be borne by the rest of the community.

This is wishful thinking.

Continued growth is not sustainable, whether in a small place like Summerland, or in a larger city like Kelowna.

Think about it.  Are your taxes going to go down just because we have another residential development in town?  Not likely.

But if you pave over our valuable farm land not only will your taxes increase, any chances of a future source of food won’t be available either.

Above all, if we wish to survive, we must protect our sources of food production.

Frank Martens



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