Archive for the ‘population’ Category

“Pave the cities” or “Make Room, Make Room”

January 25, 2011

This from the front page of The Australian, 25 January is something I’ll have to pursue:

Urban sprawl threatens lifestyle
by Ben Packham
Julia Gillard’s vision for a sustainable Australia is under threat from immigration-linked urban sprawl that will more than double the size of the nation’s capital cities by 2050.
Research for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has warned of dramatic effects on quality of life and cuts to food production unless migration levels are cut.
The National Institute of Labour Studies report finds that Sydney and Melbourne will each require more than 430,000ha of new land for housing if net overseas migration remains above 260,000 a year….

Make Room, Make Room“, as the book that became Solyent Green went…

See other DownUnderstanding posts with the “population” tag for further links…


Population (debate) control

January 10, 2011

PM hopes participation will work for Labor
Laura Tingle Friday 3 December 2010
Australian Financial Review
Gillard told us before the election that she was not in favour of a “Big Australia” – seeking to counter voter alarm at predictions that there would be 35 million people in Australia by 2050.
Reports from three panels set up by Population Minister Tony Burke are due to be released. They will be used by the government to try to recast the population debate to more manageable dimensions.
The Business Council of Australia reflected industry nervousness about where the population debate could lead when it released a paper this week on a framework for developing Australia’s population strategy…

A first pop at population

January 10, 2011

I don’t know what I think, yet, about population and Australia. It could probably take some more people, but not in the same way we have done so – urban sprawl, loads of water use, insanely high co2 emissions. I’ve borrowed “Overloading Australia” from the library, and it’s coming nearer the top of the pile. Meanwhile, I’m half way through a web debate between Mark Diesendorf and Andrew Bartlett. According to Diesendorf

One of the peak bodies of population boosters is the Australian Population Institute. It has a name that could be easily confused with the Australian Population Association (the demographers’ professional association) and uses the motto ‘populate and prosper’. It sets out a large array of population fallacies as if they were fact. On the other side, raising awkward questions about population growth, is Sustainable Population Australia, whose members include scientists, demographers and environmentalists.

Anyhow, probably need to read the Overloading book, and at least the exec summaries of the three Burke panels…

Policy Vacuums and Beautiful Lies

December 27, 2010

… in a policy vacuum a government can do many things to serve sectional interests at the expense of the national good.

The self-interest of various sectors of Australian society is powerful indeed, and all too often they justify their lobbying with more retailing of beautiful lies. Business needs population growth to generate huge and easy profits, and it is from the business community that some of the most rosy-spectacled optimists about population hail. In the United States, illegal immigration is openly welcomed by business, for it provides a pool of unprotected workers that can be used in a “just in time” basis, like any other commodity of modern business enterprise. Australian industry is not yet calling for more illegal immigration, but its cries for more migration overall are incessant and clamorous. The boosters justify their position either by denying that the environment represents any constraint at all on population growth, or by asserting that changing technologies and human cunning will solve all problems the future may throw up.

Page 65-6 of “Beautiful Lies: Population and Environment in Australia”

Tim Flannery Quarterly Essay Issue 9

Population growth – no wucking furries

December 26, 2010

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”.