Exceptional rates of population growth are causing stress on many fronts

GR.– At 24 million, Australia’s population might not seem a problem.  The country is the same size as the U. S., and the U. S. is home to 324 million.  You might argue that it’s just a perception thing, and that Australian people just have to adapt to changing times.  In fact, 24 million exceeds the carrying capacity of Australia’s resources.  324 million far exceeds the carrying capacity of U. S. resources.  Both countries are guilty of overshoot.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center.– “Both major parties have promised to improve infrastructure, but neither have mentioned the chief reason for the need to do so: growing numbers.

“Jenny Goldie, former president of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), alerted me to the following op-ed, which was published yesterday in 3 of Australia’s most prominent newspapers: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times. The author is Katharine Betts, an Australian sociologist specializing in environmental and population issues, who also holds the title of Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology with Swinburne University.

“As you may know, Australia’s population sprinted past 24 million earlier this year. (You can view a short video about Australia’s demography by clicking the image below.) You may also know that the population issue in Australia is consistently a political issue of significance; in addition to advocacy groups such as SPA, there is also a political party called Sustainable Australia (formerly Sustainable Population Party), whose platform is based on stabilizing the country’s population and achieving smaller per-person impacts on the environment.

“If there was any doubt of the veracity of these strong, popular, and consistent concerns, look no further than a recent report on water scarcity in Canberra, which explains there is not enough water currently being stored and supplied in Canberra to sustain future residents. (See: Canberra water supplies not enough to meet growing population, experts warn.)

Katharine Betts, June 22.– “For the past 10 years Australians have been subjected to exceptional rates of population growth. Now many voters are losing patience with its effects.

“During the election campaign both major parties have promised to improve infrastructure, but neither have mentioned the chief reason for the need to do so: growing numbers.

“Indeed the day before the election, July 1, the Turnbull government’s new rules granting visas to international students as young as six, and their guardians, will come into effect. Guardians will be allowed to buy property, and pressure on primary schools in sought-after areas will increase.

“In November 2015, a survey commissioned by Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) found that 51 per cent of voters thought Australia did not need more people. Then in May this year a survey done for SBS TV found that 59 per cent thought that the level of immigration over the last 10 years had been too high.”  Continue reading: 

 

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