Latest population figures ‘Sheer Madness’ (Sept)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org