Cause for action | AspenTimes.com

Cause for action

Dear Editor: Ultimately most environmental problems are a result of human overpopulation. When not overburdened, natural systems, such as wetlands, can effectively clean up most human-caused pollutants, such as sewage. A burgeoning human population is stressing those systems so that they no longer work to effectively clean up our environment – thus the focus on population growth.In 1980, the human population in the state of Colorado was 2,899,736; Aspen’s population was 3,678. In 2003 Colorado’s population had increased to 4,550,668; Aspen’s had increased to 6,455. I was a supporter of zero population growth in the 1970s and I’m an even bigger supporter now after experiencing the effect of our state’s and Aspen’s dramatic population increase. If the state demographer’s information is to be believed, Aspen’s population has increased 175 percent in 23 years and the state’s, 155 percent – not quite doubling, but enough of an increase to give pause.In an article in Tuesday’s Aspen Daily News, our state demographer was reported to have “chuckled” at the idea that Aspen’s population would double in 24 years. If history is any indication, then the idea is probably nothing to chuckle about – especially since many of those millions of people on the Front Range will be seeking refuge here in the mountains. This historical increase coupled with the fact of population explosion in Denver and the spillover of that population onto the Western Slope should give all of us cause for concern and most of all – cause for action. The point of focusing on reality is not apocalyptic prediction, but rather responsible planning which can alleviate environmental stresses and even help to maintain our quality of life.Dee MaloneAspen

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