Thinking Twice About Growth
"The Oregonian has a story about local academics who are participating in a national 'speak out' on population control this month. Says Jon Erlandson, a University of Oregon anthropologist, "...You can reduce your carbon footprint per person, yet if the population keeps growing you're making no progress." Oregon, despite the paradigmatic green urbanism of Portland, has experienced that dynamic:
From 1990 to 2004, the state succeeded in slightly reducing its per person carbon emissions, for example. But the overall level still rose - by 22 percent - the state says, thanks to 700,000 new residents.
Recycling rates have risen most years since 1992. But the amount of trash landfilled has still mostly gone up, despite state mandates to reduce it, with population growth and increased consumption to blame.
Metro, the Portland area's regional government, predicts the population of Portland and surrounding areas, including Clark County [WA], will about double by 2060, from about 2 million people to 4 million."