"Realistically, nature is not putting a limit anytime soon on growth within the Portland metro area."
-- Actually, it is. Our rivers and streams are suffering from new construction.
Bull Run, which is outside of our bioregion, and therefore should not be supplying Portland's water in the first place, cannot even supply us enough water all throughout the year with our current population. Hence, the use of polluted water in late summer months from the wells dug along the Columbia. Climate change due to our increased population and consumption is going to reduce our water supply from the mountain even further.
Then there's the severe decline of plant and animal species in the area that we need for our survival. Salmon is but one example.
"Or are people suggesting if we build it then they will have babies?"
-- yes, actually. There is already more than ample housing for the people who are already alive. We're not seeing children being born and raised in doorways and under bridges, after all! Where there is homelessness, it's due to the poverty created by growth, not lack of housing.
Artificial expansion of carrying capacity for more people, while temporary and dangerous, disconnects people from the signals from natural resources that limits have been exceeded. And so there is no immediate, personal consequence for over-multiplying.
It is only with the advent of dominator-style economies and government that this disconnect is made possible. And in Oregon, this dominator style has the majority footing the bill for more people and more consumption growth, with the fiscal benefits going mostly to only a very slim minority of already-wealthy (and dominant) individuals. If growth is not subsidized by the public, it simply cannot happen.
As I mentioned above, it is the lack of public funds now that is stalling the construction of new roads, houses, and infrastructure in areas where the UGB has already been expanded, and it is this lack of funds that has the developers and big-business interests scrambling to get us to fork out more for them.
After Washington County commissioners, who are all in the pockets of big business and developers, get their UGB expansions, their next step will be to figure out how to get more public money to pay for them. This, in a time when funding for education and other basic services is being severely cut back!
posted 3 years, 5 months ago
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