Australian news, and some related international items

Population growth is not a good thing, it’s a bad thing.

All this enthusiasm for Australia to grow its population! Hasn’t anybody noticed that vast swathes of this continent are getting flooded? Then there have been vast swathes on fire – with hitherto unknown soaring fire temperatures.

And these events are happening in the green fringe around this vast land. With global heating, the centre, the most of this huge land will become too hot, too dry, for human habitation .

We’ll be flat out trying to sustain the population that we already have.

What catastrophes will it have to take, before homo-not-very-sapiens-at-all abandons the suicidal philosophy of endless growth?

SMH January 16, 2023 

Growth of both population and the economy is the cause of most of Australia’s problems, not a solution, and does not align with majority Australian opinion (“Big Australia? Dream on”, January 14). Per capita, Australians already consume resources at a rate which, if extended to the whole world, would require four Earths to fulfil that demand, yet Michael Koziol, together with the political parties and most economists, seeks to grow our resource demand into an unsustainable and increasingly inequitable future. We need to curb our demands on nature, not expand them. The economy we must build is a very different one, in which we seek to satisfy real need, not an avalanche of artificially stimulated wants. John Coulter, Bradbury (SA)

Do we value ecological and economic sustainability and the wellbeing of future generations and ecosystems, or do we prioritise the short-term gains of rapid resource exploitation, consumption and waste disposal? The latter are not sustainable on a planet where the human ecological footprint far exceeds Earth’s renewable biocapacity and whose life-support functions are failing. Indeed, we have an extinction and ecosystem crisis in Australia that has prompted 240 leading scientists to call on the government to take strong protective action. Further, our State of the Environment Report named population growth as a factor causing this environmental destruction. A second criterion is surely human wellbeing. Is it enhanced by population growth? In Australia, it appears that wellbeing as measured by the Genuine Progress Indicator was greatest in about 1970 when the population was 15 million but has fallen since as the population has increased. We have to decide to halt the damage to our life-supporting ecosystems and our own wellbeing. Increasing the population will make it harder. Alan Jones, Narraweena

The State of Environment Report 2021 would be a good starting point for Michael Koziol and other Big Australia proponents, as it details the decline in our natural world, and lists population growth as one of the major causes. Immigration may have been beneficial 50 or more years ago, when our population was less than half of now, but in the current global environment, with 8 billion people, it would be foolish for Australia to increase our population – either through immigration or fertility programs – and still expect our remaining natural environment and quality of life to survive. The increasing costs of dealing with climate change disasters should also be factored in to any population discussion. Karen Joynes, Bermagui

Why do we have this obsession with increasing the population of Australia? Admittedly, we live in a large country, but it is mostly arid with a fragile ecosystem that has been badly treated by our sojourn here over the last 234 years. It is time we demanded that our land be protected from greed and stupidity. We do not need an excessively large population, apparently to keep the economy growing, we need a thoughtful government to ensure we have a country that is sustainable, a country which is nourished by care, responsibility and respect. And it had better be soon. Nola Tucker, Kiama


January 16, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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