Too many people in a state in environmental decline (DEC)

12 December 2008

Media Releases 2008

Many of Victoria’s unique native plants and animals are already endangered or threatened with extinction. The report notes that ?Victoria’s ecological footprint is three times higher than the global average and that humanity would need four Earths if the whole world ?lived like Victorians.

National President of SPA, Dr John Coulter, says the combination of high consumption and too many people for the resources available underlie the problem.

“Our numbers and activities are placing us in overshoot with respect to the environment,” says Dr Coulter. “To continue on this trajectory will lead to environmental collapse.”

“High economic and population growth will bring us to collapse even faster.”

Dr Coulter says the Victorian State government has its foot on the accelerator of population growth, as does the Federal Government. The report states that Victoria will hit six million ten years earlier than recently thought.

“This reckless policy seems to be non-negotiable with either government,” he says.

Dr Coulter notes that Victoria’s Environment Commissioner, Dr Ian McPhail, reported that ‘Government, business and the community must accept that natural systems are the basis of our economy and our well being. The future cannot be an extension of the past.’

“If that is the case,” he says, “we cannot keep growing. We can halve population growth by vastly reducing immigration, excepting of the refugee component.

“Unless we deal with the underlying problem, namely too many people putting too much pressure on the land and atmosphere, in five years time we will read the next report telling of an even grimmer environmental situation.”

Further information: John Coulter 08 8388 2153


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