Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ever Wonder What's Wrong With Moscow?

Then read this letter to the editor in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Growth is not all important

In a question and answer session at the Water Summit in Moscow on Oct. 3, Les Wigen, a Whitman County commissioner, said that no water rights mean no growth for Whitman County.

I would like to refer him and others who might think similarly to the work of Bill McKibben. The following is from the current issue of The Sun magazine. “The real struggle is to get past the notion of growth as our reason for being, which has dominated our culture since World War II. It’s the organizing principle for government policy and most other institutions in our society, including higher eduction. This is not a tenable model anymore. when you consider global warming, peak oil, and the diverging fortunes of rich and poor nations, it gets harder and harder to maintain this fervent, Alan Greenspan belief that if we continue to increase the size of the system, all will be well. We know now that in terms of human rights, environmental damage, and almost any measure you can name, the endless-growth model has turned out to be a lousy idea. It’s remarkably unclear what will replace it. I think the most appealing model — and the one that people are increasingly beginning to converge on, whether they know it or not — is more-durable, smaller-scale, localized economies.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, the people of Whitman and Latah counties are expressing this in their opposition to Naylor Farms, Wal-Marts, Washington’s Initiative-933 and Idaho’s Proposition 2.

Tina Baldwin, Viola
Lucky for Ms. Baldwin, Moscow will certainly get a "smaller-scale economy" if it continues on its present course.

4 comments:

Scotty said...

You scooped me Tom! I was going to post about this. Her argument is shot on the idea that we have a durable smaller-scaled economy. You can argue that we have such an economy if you include us with Moscow. With the businesses we currently have we cannot say we have a localized economy. We need to grow some more and add a couple extra businesses to our core before one could argue that we have a durable or localized economy.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

Really the key word to this for us is "durable." What we have now does not support in way, shape, or form what we are at our current size.

April E. Coggins said...

This is part of the NewCities "Think globally, act locally" collective thinking. It is dangerous and we can expect more of the same in the near future as Moscow activists try to shape the parameters of the growth discussion.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

You've got to love statements like this one:

We know now that in terms of human rights, environmental damage, and almost any measure you can name, the endless-growth model has turned out to be a lousy idea. It’s remarkably unclear what will replace it.

Roughly translated: "I don't know what the alternative could or should be, but I'm just sure that we have to stop, 'cause the other thing is obviously better, even though I don't know what the other thing is!"

Brilliant thinking.