Teresa Audesirk: Population growth should not be equated to economic prosperity | SteamboatToday.com

Teresa Audesirk: Population growth should not be equated to economic prosperity

The Jan. 6 Steamboat Pilot & Today article, “Routt County now part of economic development district,” disappointingly described “stagnating population growth” as an “indicator of economic distress.” The time has long passed when it was appropriate to equate a growing population, which is unsustainable, with economic prosperity.

In fact, quite the opposite is true, since burgeoning human numbers strain Earth’s limited resources and contribute directly or indirectly to every environmental problem today. Population growth undermines attempts to alleviate disease, hunger, poverty, pollution and potentially devastating climate change. As a result, a desirable quality of life has already become unattainable for far too many of Earth’s 7.6 billion inhabitants.  

Studies are increasingly confirming what seems intuitive to many of us: people benefit emotionally, physically and spiritually from the sounds, sights and scents of untrammeled nature. This is, after all, where we came from. But as ever more of us attempt to escape crowded, noisy and polluted environments, we unwittingly destroy those very treasures we seek.

Teresa Audesirk
Steamboat Springs

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