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What Do We Save and What do We Sacrifice?

Readers respond to Steve Carr’s Where We Live column of November 24

Dear Bay Weekly:

Steve Carr’s article is good as always!

Everyone is running around these days seeking Happiness indexes. We should have one for the Bay, and the index/measurement should be on people living today and how they can maintain or improve their level. Total Maximum Daily Loads are nice and necessary, but they are just another diversion that separates people from land and water and have no personal meaning for individuals.

How to establish a meaningful personal happiness index for living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed? I posted the following on the Bay Daily blog:

The three legs-of-the-stool initiative, all focused directly on people alive here and now: Population density and its velocity at overcoming resources, infrastructure and institutions; extra deaths and illnesses caused by living in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; calculate build-out in the watershed as current zoning mandates, correlate with ‘desired’ growth rate and population increase, and describe future of living in the watershed.

Expand NIMBY to become the NIMW campaign (Not In My Watershed) measuring success, improvement by a happiness index related to the inverse of the three stools (a definition of sustainability). Today we have an index at a certain level. Why should it be less tomorrow?

–Dick Lahn, Crofton