Our Ecological Blinders

RECEIVED Tue., Nov. 1, 2011

Dear Editor,
    I'm writing in support of Philip Russell's second letter and against the Chronicle's second editorial counterargument ("Postmarks," Oct. 28) about county bond Proposition 1. Russell has given us the basics on how he got his figure of 96% for the portion of Proposition 1 funds that would be dedicated to road projects. In so doing, he tentatively rebuts the Chronicle's earlier math-less claim ("Postmarks," Oct. 21) that "many" of the projects in Proposition 1 "include bike and pedestrian aspects." The new Chronicle editorial counterargument now applies the label "tendentious math" without any substantiation backing that label, after the earlier Chronicle counterargument tried to reduce the 96% by throwing in Proposition 2, which is a different proposition and thus is irrelevant to what Russell originally asserted. The rest of the Chronicle's latest counterargument is also weak. Paying to support rural county greenery, outside the city limits, differs from paying to support rural county asphalt, outside the city limits. The greenery is there now. The prospective new asphalt isn't. Again, they're two different propositions, not one, and if they're somehow supposed to be a package, then somebody needs to have combined them into the same proposition. For disclosure purposes, I'm in the tiny category of fiscally conservative no-growthers who are averse to throwing away the investment already made by the city in the water treatment plant. As such, I cringe at more budget-stretching expansionist spending and at the Chronicle's rationale implicitly suggesting urban expansion (hence rural asphalting) to be inexorably inevitable. Liberals, conservatives, and others who don't at least occasionally recontemplate issues of growth-mania, specifically whether growth is inevitable or just the opposite (thinking globally), are wearing ecological blinders (misacting locally).
Chris Kuykendall
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