Author: Beth Blattenberger

Letter: ‘Just say no’ to endless population growth

Salt Lake Tribune Nov. 10, 2015 original:


Gov. Gary Herbert seemed almost cheerful that we will have a state population of 4 million by 2030.

“Accelerated growth” (Herbert’s words) is considered positive. Exponential growth has a more ominous connotation.

Seventy percent of our population growth is being produced nightly in bedrooms throughout the state. No matter how many electric vehicles we buy, how much Tier 3 gas we burn, how energy-efficient our buildings become, exponential growth is decreasing our quality of life — and will increasingly do so.

The Tribune editorial quoted Edward Abbey on growth and cancer. We fight cancers. We don’t plan to welcome cancer. We don’t encourage it to grow.

Alan Matheson, echoing the governor’s positions, said we need — and will get — innovation. Where innovation is most needed is in Utah’s bedrooms — and sofas.

We need innovation in family planning and in contraception. We need agency in the bedroom. We need Nancy Reagan again saying, “Just say no!”

We need a sustainable population — a sustainable economy for Utah, for the nation and for the planet.

Exponential growth is a cancer. Planning to fully accommodate it is a suicidal fantasy. Use your agency.

Joe Andrade

Salt Lake City

Why should the world’s population be a concern of the world’s religions?

Why should the world’s population be a concern of the world’s religions?
By: Beth Blattenberger

Because we care about our children, and their children, and all future generations.

We want everyone to have healthy food, clean water, shelter, health care, personal safety and other essentials. Today, although there is enough food for everyone, it is not being produced sustainably and is often not healthy.

Because we understand that we live on a finite planet, and that not living within our collective means can lead to conflict and many forms of hardship. While a more equitable distribution of resources is an important goal, it will not by itself allow us to live adequately and sustainably with today’s population.

Because we care about the diversity of life on this planet, and we believe we need to be stewards of all life.

Largely because of human activities, the world is undergoing the biggest mass extinction since 66 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared along with countless other species. All life is interconnected, and other forms of life benefit our lives in ways we may not understand.

Because we care about the lives of women and girls.

Girls who marry and have children at a young age have a difficult time continuing their education and doing work outside the home that may interest them and benefit others. Frequent pregnancy is not healthy. Many women are encouraged or even forced to have children they do not want by governments, societies, families and churches. Many pregnancies today are unplanned or unwanted by women who would prefer to have fewer or no children.

Because we care about indigenous peoples and their knowledge and ways of life.

As the world’s population grows, indigenous peoples and their languages and ways of life are dying out as other people and industries displace them. Their knowledge of medicinal plants, local climate, lives of local animals and much other knowledge is disappearing with them.


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