Fwd: future prospects for the environment

Subject: Fwd: future prospects for the environment
From: Andrew Hobbs <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:21:02 +0800
Two points.

First. Bill, you might recognise that the economy might not depend upon growth but just about every economist, pseudo economist, politition, business person and commentator I hear in public media seems to think otherwise. I just wish that if economists really believed otherwise they at least would start to come out of the woodwork and say that growth is not necessary and will kill us in the long run.

Second. I once read a small piece that epitomized the whole attitude of most people to the environment. It said something like 'most people may profess to be conservationists, green etc. but when it comes to the crunch most would quite happily shovel baby fur seals into the furnace if it meant being able to retain their current lifestyle a little longer.'



On 23/08/2012 9:58 AM, Bill Stent wrote:
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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