1.30.2007

The Earth is Full?

From the Washington Post:
Myth #4: We're paving over America.

How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That's the Census Bureau's figure. And even much of that is not exactly crowded: The bureau says that an area is "developed" when it has 30 or more people per square mile.

But most people do live in developed areas, so it's easy to get the impression that humans have trampled nature. One need only take a cross-country flight and look down, however, to realize that our nation is mostly open space. And there are signs that Mother Nature is gaining ground. After furious tree chopping during America's early years, forests have made a comeback. The U.S. Forest Service notes that the "total area of forests has been fairly stable since about 1920." Agricultural innovations have a lot to do with this. Farmers can raise more on less land.

Yes, American houses are getting bigger. From 1970 to 2000, the average size ballooned from 1,500 square feet to 2,260. But this hardly means we're gobbling up ever more land. U.S. homeowners are using land more efficiently. Between 1970 and 2000, the average lot size shrank from 14,000 square feet to 10,000.

In truth, housing in this country takes up less space than most people realize. If the nation were divided into four-person households and each household had an acre, everyone would fit in an area half the size of Texas. The United States is not coming anywhere close to becoming an "Asphalt Nation," to use the title of a book by Jane Holtz Kay.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce our newest addition to the global population. Abigail Faith was born on Dec 5, and reborn in the waters of Baptism on Dec 10. What an amazing wonder God has done!

Tina

Pr. David Rufner said...

Tina and Family,

I give thanks to God with you and for you.

+PDR

Caspar said...

Congrats on #4!!!

John said...

I wonder if you have ever heard of the very real phenomenon of ecological footprints---the generally accepted consensus being that it takes several acres to provide for the average USA consumer "life"-style. And that it is a biological and ecological impossibility for the planet to provide such a "life"-style for everybody---and yet such a "life"-style is more and more becoming the world-wide ideal.

Meanwhile there are a billion humans living in slums, mainly in "third" world countries. See Planet of Slums by Mike Davis.

To me there is a very direct correlation between the affluence of the few and the misery of the billion slum dwellers.

Wasnt it George Baker who said that the American lifestyle is not negotiable?
Was not the USA imperial invasion of Iraq (and the purpose of USA foreign policy in general)an inevitable consequence of Baker's ideology?

There is a section in this essay which discusses the REALITY and consequences of over-population.

1. www.dabase.org/unique.htm

This essay also deals in less direct terms with the theme of the inevitable disintegration of a truly humanising culture by the the current, more is always better delusion(s), governing our current dreadful sanity.
2. www.dabase.org/coopcomm.htm

Elsewhere the author has pointed out with great urgency that we, in our collective universal insanity, are quite literally consuming ourselves and the planet to death and if the current trends continue that is exactly what will happen.
He also points out that the choice is ours.
See for instance
3. www.dabase.org/spacetim.htm

The word consume or consumer means to destroy. An interesting collective self-description. The consumer/destroyer society---it certainly is not a culture.