Population growth – no wucking furries


Hmmm, I remember growing up with the Australian population at about 15 million, and hearing the pro and con arguments about its growth (environmental, social).  It’s a real big issue, and something I am going to have to read up more about to get a handle on/informed opinion.  There’s obviously assumptions about ‘carrying capacity’ and what kind of life we want for ‘ourselves’ and newcomers.  Australia has been built on massive waves of immigration, of course, and always there’s the “this lot are different, they’re not assimilating” bollocks.

Anyway, I read Tim Flannery’s “Beautiful Lies” Quarterly Essay and admit to being a bit disappointed. Lots of interesting colour, not so much red meat. Perhaps his more recent Quarterly Essay “Now or Never” is a better bet?

Anyway, there was a bit in BL

In the face of the irrefutable, there are those who still argue that human resourcefulness, armed with technology, will save us if only given enough time. This may be true, because no one knows the future, but it represents the kind of blind hope that encourages despair.

Page 60

Which is pretty much what Alan Mitchell of the Australian Financial Review did

“Be rational about growth” by Alan Mitchell
Australia faces a complex population dilemma, according to the Gillard government’s advisory panel on demographic change and “liveability.”
We will need more workers, and therefore more people, because of the resources boom and the retirement of the baby boomers. But, the committee tells us, there are “substantial environmental constraints on population growth which will be exacerbated by climate change.”
That certainly sounds like a dilemma, but we will do more to solve it by improving our management of the nation’s scarce resources than by trying to dramatically slow population growth.
For one thing, as explained by the second panel of business and economists advising the government on its sustainable population strategy, even with low rates of immigration, Australia’s population will reach 30 million by 2050.

and there’s this too in the Australian

We do not need a sustainable population policy” by Gary Johns

In it A Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia, Burke points out that since the 1970s, all population inquiries sponsored by Australian governments have rejected the notion of a population target or national carrying capacity….

Solving the myriad actual problems associated with population growth is not helped by immature advocates such as the Anglican Church of Australia, which has warned of catastrophic consequences of global overpopulation and unsustainable levels of consumption by the rich….

The church’s General Synod has called on the Australian government to adopt a sustainable population policy and “avoid any reliance on continuing population growth to maintain economic growth”. How does that help?

See also “Overloading Australia” book by Mark O’Connor and William Lines

And this debate on the Overland Website between Mark Diesendorf and Anthony Bartlett

And Griffith Review 29 “Prosper or Perish”.


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