Rudd also ‘yesterday’s man’ (APR)
29 April 2007.
Kevin Rudd’s commitment to endless population and consumption growth makes him
just as much ‘Yesterday’s man’ as John Howard, according to Sustainable
Population Australia Inc (SPA).
National President of SPA, Dr John Coulter, says Kevin Rudd should be careful that
his own house is in order before he calls John Howard names.
“At present the Labor Party is as committed as the Coalition to endless growth, yet
such growth is clearly environmentally unsustainable,” says Dr Coulter. “Both parties
should heed last week’s report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that said
Australians were getting materially richer but the environment – particularly
biodiversity – was getting worse.
“As Senator Christine Milne reminded us last week, the economy is a wholly owned
subsidiary of the environment. Destroy the environment and you destroy the
Dr Coulter criticised both Labor and the Coalition for taking growth of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) as a surrogate measure of human welfare. People may have more
money but have higher housing and food costs, or less time for relationships as they
work harder and longer.
“By using GDP as a measure of human welfare, both parties are caught in a time-
warp of the 1950s and 60s,” he says.
Dr Coulter says GDP counts the rapidly expanding exploitation of non-renewable
resources as adding to our wealth yet does not measure how much we have left.
“When the coal, oil, gas and uranium are all gone, this misleading index of GDP will
tell us that we have become richer. This is analogous to a spendthrift taking all his
money from the bank, frittering it away, and then saying he is richer by the amount
that was once in his bank account.”
Dr Coulter says that if Kevin Rudd is to become ‘tomorrow’s man’ he must adopt
another measure – other than GDP – of human welfare.
“He must come to understand the real meaning of environmental sustainability and
embrace its requirements. If Australia is to have an environmentally sustainable
future under a Rudd Labor Government, then Kevin Rudd and his Shadow Ministers
have quite a bit of catching up to do.”
For more information:
Dr John Coulter, National President, Sustainable Population Australia
08 8388 2153