February 11, 2020

The Scourge of Growth!

Wasatch Environmental Update for February 9, 2020

By John Worlock

The Scourge of Growth!


Growth is Good, isn’t it?  Yes, indeed, it is if you are a teenage aspiring athlete.  But I want to talk today about the Counties on Utah’s Wasatch Front.

How might a county grow?  A county has fixed borders, and possesses a fixed number of square miles.  But under the right circumstanees, it can grow.

When the Saints first came to Wasatch Front, they flourished, and they grew, occupying

 a pretty empty piece of property –that is to say, not quite but almost empty of human population.  Growth was a natural enterprise, growing not only population but also the enterprises that would house and feed the growing population.  That was growth, and it was good, I grant.

But now we have arrived at the year 2020, and the finiteness of the land, the water and the air above are beginning to suggest to some of us that further growth is unhealthy.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, in her recent message to her constituents, remarked throughout about the challenges of the county’s growth.  She knows that the roadways are often crowded with crawling and stalled traffic, adding to the hydrocarbon and particulate poisons in the air that threaten our health and even our lives.  Water authorities threaten to divert the streams sustaining the Great Salt Lake, leaving it high and dry and adding further to the air pollution. This water would slake the growing thirst of industries, people and even lawns on the Wasatch Front.

A new threat has recently sprung up, in the form of a proposed Inland Port, to be constructed in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City. Many of our leaders seem to believe that this dangerous concentration of trucks, trains, and other enterprises, is needed to accommodate the growth of not only the Wasatch Front, but the whole intermountain region, stretching over several states.  They are willing to sacrifice significant taxation income to this enterprise.

What is forgotten in the discussion is that such an Inland Port will not just serve the region, but will in fact stimulate even further growth.  I submit that it is both unnecessary and unwise to encourage further Growth on the Wasatch Front.