Unbridled growth is unnatural

Thanks to recent letter writer Neil Dawe for saying it the way it is. The word “sustainability” is tossed around like a flag in the wind.

It has eye appeal, is a tool to be used to rally the populace, and is rife for misuse. The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sub, up). Sustain can mean “maintain,” “support,” or “endure.” The idea is that the system in use will be able to maintain itself forever, and thus is sustainable.

Here is the rub. Unbridled growth only occurs in nature in the form of a “tumour.”

Somehow, we, in our ignorance, have believed the fairy tale that growth will fix all our woes. Our system works on the premise that growth makes things go around and that is the only way for communities to prosper.

Communities without growth are viewed as stagnant and failing. In actual fact stable communities should be what our community leaders are striving for.

The correct number of shops to supply the services, the correct routes to allow citizens to move about, the correct number of people to allow air and water quality to be maintained, the correct number of all things within the system to allow it the opportunity to be sustainable.

Unless, these simple rules are allowed to play out, nature will find ways to correct our oversights. Things like water shortages, poor air quality, land use conflicts, water contamination from industrial misuse, unusual storm or weather activity and other natural corrections will result from our oversights.

As long as we allow short-term thinking and exponential growth to continue we are in trouble as a community, as a nation, as a world.

Bob Tritschler


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