NH’s Unbalanced Human Ecology
A demographic imbalance is a threat to our state's "human ecology" and could have dire consequences, according to Communities and Consequences, a provocative new independent film airing on New Hampshire Public Television Monday, April 14 @ 8 p.m and Wednesday April 16 at 9pm.
The documentary examines how community decisions are fueling unbalanced growth and a frightening demographic shift, with unintended results. The film confronts and questions many long-held myths that have
heavily influenced local development decisions, including those of explosive population growth, the aging of New Hampshire as simply a natural trend, and the belief that families with children will increase property taxes.
Award-winning filmmaker Jay Childs travels with expert demographer Peter Francese to communities across New Hampshire to talk to business owners, town officials, young professionals and active citizens about the causes and consequences of a rapidly aging state.
Communities and Consequences reveals what is happening in many cities and towns to cause the unbalancing of our human ecology. The film follows a town meeting in Marlborough as a new school is voted down for the seventh time because residents fear it will bring in more children, a burden they cannot afford. It looks at the difficulties business owners in Hanover, Weare, and Portsmouth are having hiring and retaining workers. And the film takes us to Deerfield, where despite a shortage of work-force housing, community members are fighting a new development that would include affordable homes because they are afraid of the impact on their town and schools.
Francese argues that New Hampshire's demographic imbalance-a population that is aging more rapidly than normal, combined with exceedingly slow growth and the exodus of too many young people-is depleting the future workforce. He believes that a balanced human ecology, with a mix of workers of all ages, is vital to the long-term economic and social health of the entire New England region.
The film was sponsored by nearly a dozen Granite State civic and community organizations. To schedule a screening in your community visit www.communitiesandconsequences.org