16 September 2011

Can we have a ‘compact’ between nature and population?

Since consumption includes the consumption of food, the first requirement to survival, it follows that we must face the question of our food intake, not just the purchase of chinese flat TV screens and other current delights. It is easy enough for any intelligent person to give up some luxuries. (holidays in Provence. A second BMW. Truffles. Grange Hermitage.) These sacrifices might spoil a sunny morning for James Packer but to the average person the big question is the availability of food and clothing The difficulty of maintaining a steady supply of healthy food from field to mouth will be in peril as soon as the price of agricultural and transport fuels follow the inevitable leap in the price of crude oiI.

If the human population continues to increase at the current rate world wide and in this country, there must be a bargain struck with nature and an agreed sharing of the load.  Does anyone not believe that there will be a vast increase in the price of oil as the supply diminishes and does anyone deny that world population will continue to increase quite rapidly to 9 or 10 billion ? Is it reasonable to ignore the most important factor of all…the very limited long term carrying capacity of this barren land ? We have very little say in the increase of the populations outside our borders, but we can, with sensible honest leadership, do something about our own population.

The question must be put, and answered…If our leaders cannot face up to an immediate freeze on population growth, a drop in immigration rates or to discourage the breeding of large families, are they prepared to ask the people to consume less food ? They cannot dodge the issue forever. We will either have to reduce our numbers or our body size. If they do not act, nature will. Do they really believe a more modest lifestyle can be achieved without some form of guidance by government, or dare I suggest again, leadership ? #

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