Fwd: future prospects for the environment

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Fwd: future prospects for the environment
From: Bill Stent <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 11:58:58 +1000
I (speaking as an economist) think that the assumption that the
economy depends on growth is fallacious. It's hard not to sound like a
Marxian in such discussions, but the distribution of resources can be
more important than the total amount of resources available. In fact,
the argument that growth is important can be (and often has been) used
as a way of focusing the debate away from the distributional

Actually, I think the appropriate response is that if it is true that
the economy depends on growth, then too bad for the economy.

A wise economist once said that the only thing that grows without
pause is cancer.


On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> How can you change anything when the economy depends on growth?
> Peter Shute
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From:  [birding-aus-
>> On Behalf Of Richard King
>>Sent: Thursday, 23 August 2012 11:15 AM
>>Subject: [Birding-Aus] future prospects for the environment
>>Hi All,
>>I know I'm probably opening a huge can of worms and may get my arse
>>but here we go.
>>We often seem to get upset with governments (or other groups) who don't
>>protect the environment and rightly so, and I do agree that most of the
>>much, much more can be done! I also see that all governments in
>>and worldwide are under huge pressures from citizens and other countries
>>provide resources and facilities (I in no way support hunting in parks
>>other areas). The real issue, especially now, is our ever increasing
>>population in Australia and again worldwide. A recent article I read,
>>that now the world population is increasing by about 200 new humans born
>>each second (that's after human deaths per second are taken into
>>We have already passed needing 1.6 planets to survive, totally
>>Resources (mineral, water, food) are dwindling and any areas, including
>>national parks, will have to be destroyed if it is necessary to get
>>Every one of those new 6000+ humans (by the time you read this email)
>>need more new resources and facilities. Perth, I've heard last week is
>>to increase by at least 500 000 in the next ten years, a city that is
>>already severely short of water, bad transport and the list goes on. We
>>in a desert continent, so for us in Australia, water, food and
>>not to mention providing all the facilities people want, is going to be
>>nightmarish problem!
>>Sorry to sound so dark, but there does not seem to be any quick solution
>>these problems, the wonderful natural areas we love will have to be
>>destroyed or at least modified and degraded. Our protected and loved
>>areas can only exist if we have a 'comfortable' modern life, think of
>>it, if
>>Coles or Woolworths ran out of food, wouldn't you go hunt as much native
>>wildlife as you can find, even in national parks, to provide food for
>>yourself and family? I believe this is already happening on a subtle
>>worldwide scale, resources are running out and the world is hungry, time
>>plunder what's left, unfortunately it's often in our 'protected' areas.
>>will only get worse and faster.
>>Generally most people only care about the environment (if at all), when
>>there bellies are full and other needs met. We are only able to spend
>>birding and enjoying the natural environment, because we don't have to
>>all our time growing food and trying just to use the environment (eg.
>>hunting birds) to survive.
>>Over population is the real problem (look at the extinct civilization of
>>Easter Island) for many of our environmental and other problems, but I'm
>>sure if we will deal with it or are even able to. How do you tell
>>members of
>>your own family to stop having more than 2 kids, or other families
>>to? How do you stop immigration or genuine refugees? The answer is you
>>really can't (for moral, freedom of choice or other reasons), so the
>>environment and our lifestyles will have to change and probably degrade.
>>Sadly, I think the 'big crunch' for humanity will come (fairly soon and
>>rapidly) and the last remaining natural environments will be the first
>>Regards (I won't say cheers),
>>Richard King
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