Comments about ‘Letters: Population and pollution’

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Published: Tuesday, June 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

If it were really all that easy.

The problem with restricting growth is you do two things... you retard the economy, and you create an artificial shortage in housing which will drive prices to unnatural levels.

There are options. I am old enough to remember the LA basin of the 60s and 70s where from my grandparents house there often you could not see the mountains that surrounded the valley. California to drastic actions to improve air quality, and it has paid dividends. But that came at a cost... and I don't see Utah ready yet to take on that level of commitment to deal with the problem.

I applaud the forward thinking Utah legislatures that have worked toward providing transit options. But it will take more - controlling what comes from the tail pipe. And that is where I think the will to proceed will be tough to find.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday say Utah grew by 40,940 people — about the same as the population of Riverton — between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012. About 89 percent of that came from "natural increase," or births minus deaths, and 11 percent came from net in-migration." (SLTrib dec 2012)

The population growth in Utah is largely due to high birth rate and low death rate.

While I am not a psychic, I will predict that the Utah politicians will not look to curb birth rate. Call me crazy.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

People here simply don't bode any idea that population growth is bad, and refuse to rationalise infinite growth with a finite world.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

We live in a bowl. Republicans don't care if we foul it as long as the $$$ keep rolling in. Any sane policy would be to encourage high-density development and AFFORDABLE mass transit, and discourage Republican highway building and urban sprawl. Our grandchildren will choke on Republican policies of today.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

There's also the issue of water. We had one of the best water years on record in 2010-2011 but since then have had two poor ones and we're already putting drought restrictions on some areas. How much faster would we get to that stage with a million more people?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Irony Guy" you are assuming that our grandchildren will survive the Democrat policies of today.

To "atl134" much of our water problems could be solved if we reprocessed all of the waste water and returned that to the drinking water system. The Russians have developed a system that you pee in on end, and pull out clean drinking water from the other. Why can't we put one of those on the end of the sewage treatment plant?

Jon W.
Murray, UT

Here we go again. Dems/Libs are all for reproductive choice as long as the choice is not to reproduce. They are all for immigration - as long as it's not to here. They are all for transportation, as long as the government/quasi-government can force people where to be transported and when, and how many at a time.

Sure, let's do all we can to reduce pollution, but let's not take away other people's freedoms and livelyhood to do so.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

The problem is not a growing population. Our shrinking population is our biggest threat to prosperity.

In 1798 Robert Malthus warned, "The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race." The world population then is estimated to have been between 900 million and 1 billion.

1968: Paul Ehrlich repeated Mathus' warning about over-population and looming mass starvation. But why? By then our population had more than tripled to about 3.5 billion. People were more prosperous than ever, and the grievous pollution of the Malthus' time was greatly reduced.

2013: Population doubles after publication of "The Population Bomb. Air pollution in both the U.S. and Great Britain is reduced by more than half since the 1960's.

No, overpopulation is not a problem. The earth's greatest resource is people, not things. It's bad behavior that leads to war, pollution, and starvation.

The world currently produces more than enough to feed everyone, but many drink fouled water, choke on air pollution, and starve because some of us don't clean up our own messes and share our riches.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

@Jon W.
Murray, UT

Sure, let's do all we can to reduce pollution, but let's not take away other people's freedoms and livelyhood to do so.
12:42 p.m. June 25, 2013

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Please put your money where your mouth is --

Are you willing to slow down?
Are you willing to add California emission standards to your vehicle?
Are you willing to park your SUV and Pick-Up unless necessary and drive an economy car for just running around in?
Are you willing to purchase alternative energy powered vehicles?
Are you willing to pay the REAL global price of gasoline without all the Oil company subsidizes like the rest of Europe and Asia [$5-$7 per gallon]

Show me, don't tell me.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt
"Why can't we put one of those on the end of the sewage treatment plant?"

I would assume it's because it involves a significant expense in infrastructure that people have thus far been unwilling to pay for.

@Jon W.
"Dems/Libs are all for reproductive choice as long as the choice is not to reproduce. "

We're not saying that people can't have babies... we're just saying that we need to factor in population increase if we're going to deal with issues where population has an impact, like pollution. If we lowered some pollutant output to x micrograms per person in a valley of two million, we have to acknowledge that to maintain similar pollution levels in a valley of three million we'd have to be even cleaner in our energy use.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "atl134" it really wouldn't be that expensive. San Diego did it for their city for $13 million. See "As ‘Yuck Factor’ Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps" in the NY Times. For San Diego that meant to pay for the system, it cost about $10 per person. However, since they probably issued a bond, that means that per year it probably added less than $1 per person. Salt Lake County has 1 million people, and San Diego has 1.3 million. The $13 million can easily be paid for over time using public bonds with little to no increase in taxes or fees. Remember that really cool Real stadium, that cost $110 million, and the city was considering building that.

Jon W.
Murray, UT

@tree hugger
Are you willing to slow down? I lived half of my driving life with the 55MPH speed iimit
Are you willing to add California emission standards to your vehicle? Most new vehicles already meet the old ones. The advent of electronic fuel injection and engine control has made virtually all cars on the road much much cleaner than they were 20-30 years ago
Are you willing to park your SUV and Pick-Up unless necessary and drive an economy car for just running around in? Yes - I've already done that
Are you willing to purchase alternative energy powered vehicles? As soon as I can afford one. Gasoline engine = dozens of moving parts. Electric motor = 1 moving part. Why are electric cars so expensive?
Are you willing to pay the REAL global price of gasoline without all the Oil company subsidizes like the rest of Europe and Asia [$5-$7 per gallon] If that's what the price goes to, no doubt I will pay it. Keep in mind that many countries have much higher taxes on fuel than the US - it's not all about oil company subsidies.

IanRod
Provo, UT

That's right. Growth is a bad thing. We should make all these people move elsewhere, like Russia or China, if they are going to insist on having children, holding down jobs, buying products and services, etc.

What a ludicrous argument.

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