A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Making everything harder: growth

Written June 18th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Oregon’s coast the way it’s supposed to be (and still is): Rocks, long views and hardly any people.

Our busybody state government has, you will not be surprised to learn, a “Global Warming Commission.” Its motto is “Keep Oregon Cool.” If only it could.

At its next meeting on June 25 in Portland, according to an Energy Department press release, this board will occupy itself by talking about Oregon’s “sector-based greenhouse gas emissions inventory, provide a forest carbon update and (get an) overview of Governor’s Office climate activities.”

In other words, they’ll spend time on exercises that serve mainly to keep bureaucrats employed and to raise, eventually, the cost of electricity and gas. What they won’t touch is probably the main way in which Oregon affects the climate: By continuing to encourage the population to balloon.

Everywhere you go, from central Oregon to the valley to the coast, not to mention southern Oregon, they are building houses and apartments as fast as they can. Albany has several subdivisions with hundreds of lots under construction or in the pipeline for local government review. Even in tiny Adair Village, a developer has churned up a big field of open space to put in utility pipes and streets, and the little town is talking excitedly about tripling its size.

Whatever for, one has to ask. Why are we pushing so hard to become like parts of the country that are already congested, and where the living is hard?

Oregon had only 2 million people 50 years ago, and it was a great place in every way you can think of. (At least it seemed that way to me, then in my 20s). Public services were more than equal to whatever demand was put on them. Highways were in beautiful shape. Everything else worked as well.

Now we’re well above 4 million, and look what we have. Highways clogged with people doing long commutes, infrastructure falling apart, costs rising for upkeep and repair, more and more people unable to afford even a roof over their head, and state and local governments responding to society’s ills real and imagined with an ever tighter web of laws, even going so far as trying to influence the “climate.”

In climate circles, the goal is to reduce how much carbon dioxide our society adds to the air. Well, couldn’t our output of CO2 be controlled better if our numbers were not growing so fast? If the climate board wanted to get the public’s attention, that’s a topic on which it would chew. (hh)

18 responses to “Making everything harder: growth”

  1. centrist says:

    A heart-rending cry for a lost past.
    My childhood home of 60ish years ago had over 4million then. Our move to the PNW was both eye-opening and disorienting.
    The things most-cherished from the PNW childhood are still available.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Spot on Centrist –
      While the sign at the OR/CA border was grandstanding to be sure, where’s Tom McCall when we need him most? And don’t forget the “Don’t Californicate Oregon” bumper stickers! (We’ll *never* be able to stop growth – period…)

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    According to PSU people migrating to Oregon accounts for 88 percent of the population increase. The other 12 percent is due to natural increase (more births than deaths). And natural increase is getting smaller over time due to an aging population and declining birth rate.

    Where are most of the migrants coming from? California. Oregon loses migrants and income to the State of Washington each and every year. But the inflow from California is always larger and more than compensates for the loss northward. Other western states contribute, but nothing close to the California invasion.

    So, yeah, blame the Californians, not only for the population growth but the growing reputation that Oregon is now seen as a suburb of California and all the ugliness that accompanies this migration pattern (e.g. inbound political insanity).

    Given these facts, an immigrant tax with a global warming surcharge on each head may be the appropriate response.

    • J. Jacobson says:

      Perhaps it is time to build a wall. Bust the illegal Californians, separating out the youngsters. Oregonians would be wise to erect the southern wall at Mt. Ashland before California splits itself into 3 states. Another wall to prevent Idahoans should also be considered.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        The chant goes up from the red, MAGA cap wearing crowd.

        BUILD. That! WALL! Built. that! WALL!

        Who’s gonna pay for the wall? Cali…For.niaahhhhh!

        Stupid times we live in. I am beginning to think the JOKE is on us all.

  3. William Ayers says:

    More people = more tax dollars for your favorite bureaucrats. Do you feel like a number? You are!

  4. Avid reader says:

    The plight of the world (which is over-population by humans, not animals) is organized religion. As long as we have organized religion preaching procreation and pro-life, over population will continue. In Europe, they are much more secular now and can’t understand why we are so right-wing, evangelical, here. I agree with Europe, and,no, I am not moving back there. I can’t afford to.

    • Al Nyman says:

      If you bothered to check birth rates in the US before you posted your anti-religious message you would find that birth rates are below the rate necessary to sustain our population at its present level. All the population growth is coming from immigrants.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      “””The plight of the world (which is over-population by humans, not animals) is organized religion. As long as we have organized religion preaching procreation and pro-life, over population will continue.”””

      It seems totally obvious that religions compete with each other in a Darwinian fashion just as biological species do. Religions will grow and succeed if they get their adherents to have lots of children. They’ll do really well if they can keep girls from being educated, keep women “in their place,” and generally control people by fear and unquestioning belief.

      This is not an attack on a particular major religion. There are groups of various size and intensity within all religions that persue similar agendas. Political correctnesses (yes, plural) of both the left and right seek to prevent understanding this universal evil.

  5. Bill Halsey says:

    “Oregon had only 2 million people 50 years ago, and it was a great place in every way you can think of.”

    Really?! Ya could’a fooled me!
    It always amazes me how soon we forget….
    1968 (fifty years ago) – I came home from “defending my country” (Vietnam) to all the turmoil around that – even here in Oregon.
    And no, the roads were not all that wonderful. I-5 was still relatively new and all those old two lane arterials were all clogged up most of the time. Hardly a week went by without a news article about a head on collision somewhere – we had those big overpowered “tuna-boats” (my son’s label) back then and they were always attempting to pass a slower driver on crowded two lane highways – highway 99 was notorious – driving it was a white knuckle experience. Nowadays, if you want to get away from clogged up highways – get off the freeway! Old highway 99 is pleasant to drive now – thanks to I-5.
    And the field burners!! How many long pleasant summer afternoons were stolen from us by smoke so thick you couldn’t see across the street???
    And we were often advised to stay away from the Willamette river. It was basically an industrial sewer back then.
    Sure we have our modern day problems, but every age has its problems. Painting the past with sepia tones is always a fool’s game.

    • JD says:

      Thank you for the good measure of reality to help break through some of the rose colored glasses that exist in my memory as well. I remember many of those items even thought I wasn’t born until the mid 70’s. :)

  6. Sandi Foster says:

    Agenda 21/30 is in full force across the country. Most City workers do not even know that their mandates are coming from the UN. If anyone really cared about global warming or climate change, they might STOP GEOENGINEERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bob Woods says:

      You are delusional.

      • HowlingCicada says:

        Any attempt to question beliefs like this are seen by their authors as further evidence that they are right and that the world, or somebody or something, is conspiring against them. I don’t how to deal with it, but I don’t think name calling helps.

  7. H. R. Richner says:

    Inducing horror into the liberty killer schemes of our “scientific” rulers, Bill Gates has just released the mathematical formula solving the problem of the CO2 caused climate change. Can we expect our governments to rush to his support? Dream on. I bet they are already working on permit requirements and customary regulations to destroy the idea – in the name of progress.

  8. Chezz says:

    Oregon is still a wonderful place in spite of…. I would never live anywhere else. Magnificent sunrises and sunsets start and end our many days; the red tail hawk rides the thermals, the cloud formations are glorious. Sometimes it is good to look up, and out to gain perspective.

  9. centrist says:

    Growth or regression?
    The drivers for population growth trace back to the need to have enough heirs to maintain the tribe.
    The drivers for population reduction trace back to the same need, but apply to “enemies” and outsiders.


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