Church leaders must go further than addressing climate change (OCT)
Church leaders are to be congratulated for their rallying cry on climate change but need
to address root causes, according to Sustainable Population Australia inc (SPA).
National President of SPA, Dr John Coulter, says that population growth is a major root
cause of climate change along with consumption and dependence on fossil fuels to run
“It is obvious that any progress in terms of reducing per capital emissions will be negated
by a concomitant increase in population,” he says. “Thus to argue for action on climate
change and at the same time encourage population growth, as many church leaders do,
Dr Coulter says the Catholic Church, with its opposition to birth control, is particularly
culpable in this regard.
“Australian emissions on a per capita basis are 80 times that of a Bangladeshi and 330
times that of an Ethiopian. We have one of the highest emission rates per capita in the
“Thus to add another Australian to the world is far more damaging in environmental
terms than adding another Bangladeshi or Ethiopian. To actively encourage Australian
population growth through advocating $10,000 baby bonuses for the third child, as does
the church-endorsed Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding, is quite outrageous.
“Climate change is the major moral issue of our day,” Dr Coulter says. “And it is good
that the Church recognise it as such. Now they must recognise that further population
growth in a country like Australia is a moral issue as well.”
Further information: Dr John Coulter: 08 8388 2153
Professor Garry Egger 0408 643 914