Yes, I know, I’ve said it here many times before:
- Putting the Brakes on Population Growth
- The Ideology of the Cancer Cell
- A Viable, Sustainable Human Future
- Immigration and Living in Place
I’m not alone in this understanding, you know. Others have noticed the propensity of humans to breed ourselves out of house and home:
- Zero Population Growth
- The Limits to Growth
- World Population Review
- We Have Only One Earth – So Treat It Nicely
It’s a zero sum game. Impact = Consumption X Population. For high energy consumers to live in increasing numbers and increasing consumption, the way we live, other living beings cannot. We grow and consume at the expense of others, human and non-human alike. It’s called our ecological footprint:
Despite the inescapable limitations of the natural world we live in, local, state and national governments operate blithely as if there are no limits to human growth and consumption. For example, in Our Fair County and Cities:
“The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday learned that the city’s RHNA requirement [Regional Housing Needs Allocation] is expected to more than quadruple for the next cycle. In fact, it’s housing supply requirement is estimated to be four-and-a-half times what it was in 2015.
“For the fifth cycle, which concludes at the end of 2023, Santa Cruz was tasked with developing a minimum of 747 new housing units. Now, the state may expect as many as 3,400 new housing units from the city by the end of 2031, according to the AMBAG [Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments] draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation plan it submitted on Nov. 22.“
Where does the RHNA come from and how is it determined?
In a letter to AMBAG from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in 2013, the the Deputy Director explained:
“In completing AMBAG’s RHNA, the Department applied methodology and assumptions regarding the following factors (Government Code Section 65584.01(c)(1)):
- anticipated household growth associated with projected population increases;
- household size data and trends in household size;
- rate of household formation, or headship rates, based on age, gender, ethnicity, or other established demographic measures;
- vacancy rates in existing housing stock, and for healthy housing market functioning and regional mobility, as well as housing replacement needs;
- other characteristics of the composition of the projected population; and
- the relationship between jobs and housing, including any imbalance between jobs and housing.“
So the number of new housing units the state expects the county and cities to provide is determined solely on human economic and population trends factors, with no consideration whatsoever of local economic, demographic, environmental, geographic or natural resource limitations to human population growth!
This is indeed the ideology of the cancer cell.
More housing means more people. More people means more cars on the streets and highways and more wear and tear of those streets and highway requiring more maintenance by already understaffed Public Works departments. More people means more crime demanding increased police and sheriff personnel and budgets. More people means more demand for electricity (remember, all the new housing must be all electric) requiring more solar panel and wind farms covering sensitive natural habitat. More people means more Amazon, UPS and FedEx trucks plying neighborhood streets delivering more unneeded plastic crap from China and more garbage and recycling delivered to already overburdened landfills. More people demand more county and city social services from already underfunded and under staffed county and city departments. More people means more wear and tear on county and city parks managed by already underfunded and under staffed parks departments. More people means more consumption of increasingly scarce natural resources, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
More housing means less open space, less natural habitat, less wildlife, fewer trees, less water, less clean air, water and soil, more noise and less quiet, less climate resilience, less Nature.
Do we really want to live in a teeming termitarium dominated by concrete glass and steel towers blocking the sky and increasing the urban island heat bubble? Do we really want to live in isolated intensely urban housing units, devoid of daily access to the natural world?
No other species grows without limits in a world of finite resources. This is not only inhuman, it is unnatural.
“Things that cannot go on forever, stop.” Herbert Stein, The Wall Street Journal, 1985