Latest population figures ‘Sheer Madness’ (Sept)

16 February 2009

Media Releases 2009

25 September 2007. 

It is sheer madness for Australia to assume it can sustain population growth figures of 307,100

per annum, or 1.5 per cent, according to Sustainable Population Australia inc (SPA).

Figures released yesterday from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that 54 per

cent of this growth was from net overseas migration and the rest from natural increase.

Dr John Coulter, National President of SPA asked whether Messrs Howard and Rudd understood

the realities facing the nation.

“Australia is already experiencing climate change, not just a prolonged drought,” Dr Coulter says.

“According to the best evidence climate change will accelerate in the next decade with

temperatures higher than the highest ever recorded. The Murray-Darling Basin, formerly

described as the food-bowl of the nation, will cease to produce food and fibre.

“Water for all our capital cities will become critical. The basic resource needed to tackle these

problems is energy but energy options are being rapidly closed through the exhaustion of oil and

the urgent need to cut fossil fuel use.”

Dr Coulter says this unsustainable situation is being temporarily supported economically by the

increasingly rapid exhaustion of our non-renewable mineral resources.

“Our leaders fail to acknowledge that mineral resources are non-renewable and will not last

forever. They seem not to accept that future generations have a legitimate claim on the use of

some of these precious minerals,” he says.

“They continue to support the old fashioned notion of continuous growth: growth of both the

economy and population as though somehow Nature is an inexhaustible cornucopia. And yet the

evidence before their eyes is that Nature’s limits are clear and present.

“In the 1950s and 60s when human impact on the natural environment was a tiny fraction of

today’s and we knew nothing of climate change, it was reasonable to pursue growth. In today’s

world, however, the pursuit of ever more growth is seriously threatening the future of the planet.

“Only a dynamic steady-state economy and a stable population are consistent with an

environmentally sustainable future,” says Dr Coulter.

Further information: John Coulter 08 83882153


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