Monday, November 21, 2005

McMansions, Sprawl, and the American Dream?

Sunday's Post discussed the phenomenon of the proliferation of metro-area mansions affordable to "common people," and went into some depth about this ridiculously excessive trend. We are given a tour into the brobdingnagian abodes of the beltway bourgeoisie. It's a land of unused formal dining rooms and solaria, of agoraphobic shut-ins, afraid to have their children in the company of the public. A place where 6,000 square foot homes on 10 acres allow overworked yuppies to escape into the far flung corners of their homes and ignore each other. "What I love about this is it's so big that we can go into different areas of the house and have private time, if you will," offered one.

The article closes with the ruminations of two self-indulgent Shakespeares: "Bigger bigger, better better...It's just a part of life," and "[It's] an all-about-me home. We figured we'd make this home in keeping with where our country's going."

The piece actually dovetails nicely with Tom Hortons's Sun recent commentary on population growth in the region, where he lamented the continual influx of residents to the Bay watershed and the numerous projects around the state ignoring smart growth principles, with the complicity of government officials.

The root of the problem is less population than it is the resource consumption patterns of that population. For instance, the average American's ecological footprint, the amount of resources we consume, is four times greater than the global average (23.5 acres v. 5.4 acres).

Take the ecological footprint quiz here.

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