16 September 2011

Too many people (Canberra times 20070709)

Thank you, Ian Fraser, for your considered letter about Eastern Grey kangaroos and the regional grasslands and woodlands which are their traditional, and our new, habitat (CT 8 July). As you write, the notion of clear-felling the Cairns rainforests is ‘inconceivable’ (though the Atherton rainforests were not spared), but allowing run-away populations of kangaroos to ‘clear-fell’ these grasslands is destroying whole ecosystems of immense value and complexity.

But surely, beyond human ‘mismanagement’ of kangaroos, lies the most efficient ‘clear-felling’ of them all, that of the bricks and mortar of an already over-grown Canberra. Most of us know about water at last, and some, that we won’t much longer be allowed to freight food all over the place (watch the price of winter vegies from smitten Victoria in coming weeks). This marvellous country, as the people mine invaded well know, is capable of carrying many fewer humans than we are today. It is now, along with the over-populated planet, thinking of ‘rejecting us’, as the splendid Canberran thinker Dorothy Green put it in the late eighties.

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