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Letter to Geraldine Doogue re her incompetent treatment of the infrastructure problem

"Your program and so many on the ABC ignore the real prospect of widespread social, economic and environmental breakdown consequent on a human population having exceeded the long term carrying capacity of Nature. The ABC in its general coverage assumes a continuation of Business as Usual. Climate change, if present trends continue leads to a world 3 – 4 degrees warmer at century’s end. (David Attenborough in his recent TV program on climate change used the figures 3 - 6 degrees.) Together with declines in soil quality, water availability, food shortages and massive biodiversity loss these things have many scientists foreshadowing an imminent reduction in the global human population and a world in chaos."

Dear Geraldine,

Your program re infrastructure on [16 August 2019] yesterday's 'Breakfast' program did a great disservice to your audience. It perpetuated myths not supported by facts and failed to mention the real alternative context in which matters like this must be considered.

As a former medical epidemiologist I am very familiar with statistical analysis. Among OECD industrialised countries there is no statistically significant correlation between rates of population growth and per capita growth of GDP. Among poor countries there is a significant and strong negative correlation between population growth and growth of per capita GDP. It is therefore misleading to claim that population growth is causing increases in per capita GDP, i.e. making the average Australian materially better off. This myth serves the interests of those who do benefit from population growth.

GDP and per capita GDP are themselves misleading indicators of real benefit. The costs, yes costs, borne by people as a consequence of growth of population and expenditure on infrastructure are added to GDP. Travel times are reported to have increased by 23% with increases in fuel costs, car maintenance, insurance etc. These are real costs but are added to GDP. The costs of a growing economy have exceeded the benefits for many years for ordinary people explaining why it is that so many feel worse off even while governments and programs like yours keep telling people they have never had it so good.

Your program and so many on the ABC ignore the real prospect of widespread social, economic and environmental breakdown consequent on a human population having exceeded the long term carrying capacity of Nature. The ABC in its general coverage assumes a continuation of Business as Usual. Climate change, if present trends continue leads to a world 3 – 4 degrees warmer at century’s end. (David Attenborough in his recent TV program on climate change used the figures 3 - 6 degrees.) Together with declines in soil quality, water availability, food shortages and massive biodiversity loss these things have many scientists foreshadowing an imminent reduction in the global human population and a world in chaos. Despite this evident danger every government in Australia and most around the world continue to make decisions based on an assumption of business as usual, that they can go on driving both population and economic growth, the two primary causes of our worsening situation. How do you reconcile that prospect with a continuation of unquestioned population growth in Australia. Climate change is likely to impact Australia's ability to grow food quite severely. We may have difficulty even feeding the present population let alone a much larger one before century's end.

Australia's ecological footprint has varied between 4 and 5.6 Earths over the last decade. Do you really think it morally right for us to go on increasing the total size of our demand on Nature by seeking both to increase our population and our per capita demand (growing GDP as our main goal)? I invite you to do the sums which show that we could achieve more human welfare by massively increasing our foreign aid and addressing that aid primarily toward education for girls, family planning and contraception than spend that some money on more infrastructure in Australia for the purpose of accommodating a much larger population.

Here is a much saner voice on the issue of infrastructure from a fellow journalist, Crispin Hull.

http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2019/08/16/treating-symptoms-no-help-to-australia/

John

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Comments

Thanks John,

The real shame is that all the increase in population is being placed on our prime farm land - as many people have pointed out before. Also development is increasingly encroaching on the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) - the regional sewerage farm - which is already struggling not only to process waste, but with complaints about smell - it was supposed to have a large farm buffer area to prevent this problem, but that is rapidly disappearing.

I note in my own area - Seaford, - that backyards that kids used to play in have disappeared as they have been developed - I wonder how this will flow on to obesity and other problems in children who no longer can just go outside to play. Also the traffic has increased phenomenally - Seaford used to be a quiet village area - now parts of of it have become major thoroughfares - and soon lights will be needed on roads that not long ago were pretty quiet. Finally, large tracts of Seaford - especially around the station, have been converted to car parking for commuters - no doubt from many surrounding areas, and Seaford North Reserve (a large area of soccer fields) - whose car park used to be used during the day for school buses full of kids to use the playing fields there - that car park is now turned over to rail parking, and is completely full during the day, and into the evening so that soccer players (kids with mums and babies in tow) need to park in surrounding streets and walk to the park.

I cannot see that so-called positives are outweighing the complete destruction of the Australian way of life - nor can I see how it helps globally to be destroying farm land when Australia is a net exporter of food to other countries - at this rate we will consume all we produce (through producing less and consuming more locally) and that must impact on the countries that rely on us to feed their own nations (particularly the middle East and China I think).

Matt

On Sept 23, 2019 the SMH sponsored a Population Summit in Sydney. And for a lazy $990, you, as an individual citizen, could attend this gab-fest. However, you won’t have the opportunity to argue points of dissent with these lunatics who want to increase immigration intakes to spawn their economic fantasies.

For $990 (inc GST), as an individual on Sept 23, 2019, you can attend the Population-Summit, in Sydney sponsored by the SMH. However, in spite of forking out just ten-bucks-shy of a gorilla doesn't mean that if you want to express dissenting perspectives - to what the ring-leaders will be parlaying - will be of any concern to what they've already designated. By googling up (sic) info on the SMH’s, Population Summit, [1] you will encounter 31 people designated to purport their cases.

Tragically, this summit on population will, effectively, be nothing more than a highly-choreographed mantra, comprised of an ardent band of fully committed Big-Australia advocates; who will utilise the get-together to assert their preordained agendas. Palpably, what will be advanced at this sojourn to sustain their agendas, will be akin to the evidences which were supplied by prosecutors at those show-trails under Stalin and Mao. Quite simply, this Summit will be nothing more than them reiterating their cases with sustaining large immigration intakes; as the means to guarantee Australia's future prosperity; even though this 'formula' has proven to be a dismal failure over the past years.

The primary aspect that this coterie will base with continuing their schedules upon, will innately entail the huge "economic benefits" to ensue from large immigration programmes. Well, once more, when taking into pertinent account that Australia [well, at least with its two biggest cities] over the past 10 and, more so, over the last 5 years, has already been inundated with immigrants, but it hasn't generated the 'predicted great economic benefits' that were purported, raises the valid question of: why continue with a failed programme?

Alas, this formula [with wanting to perpetuate mass-immigration into Australia] is precisely what the lobbyists to speak at this Summit will demand has to be continued. But, in spite of their arguments of mass-immigration being indisputably debunked, they will push on with their grossly flawed rationales to rehash situations. Of course, it merely requires examining official data that designates weakening economic circumstances for Australia.

Essentially, within 12 months of the LNP winning office in Sept 2013, Oz’s immigration numbers have been - proportionally speaking - 2.5 times 'more' than what the US has taken in. As indicated, the great bulk of immigrants have swarmed into Sydney and Melbourne. In that time the populations of each city have numerically increased by about 1 million residents; that's 2 million in total. However, in confluence with that occurring statistics from the ABS also designate that over "a combined 1.2 million people have left those cities."

For bean-counting economists all of this represents dollars & cents accruing to growing economies/GDP's. However, what they ignore from this is that the culmination of these swarms of new-faces inundating in from just about anywhere ostensibly into our two largest cities - in the past decade has generated immense problems. To sustain that I will quoting EXACTLY what appears in the very first paragraph of the intro to the SMH’s Population Summit:

"Increasingly affected by growing congestion, interminable commutes to work, overcrowded buses and trains and overflowing schools and hospitals. The challenge is how various levels of government, the bureaucracies and industry can plan for these changes in a way that can accommodate the Australian population [and laughably] improves the average standard of living and boosts [here it is again] economic growth."

Unfortunately, the illusory Golden-Fleece of economic growth, which was supposed to have been spawned due to mass immigration intakes hasn’t eventuated. Alas, what has disturbingly come to fruition from this insanity has been: Exorbitant increases in real estate prices, due to billions and billions arriving from China; the federal debt has doubled to over $360bn and energy prices have also doubled.

So, if mass immigration was supposed to be the catalyst to engender economic growth then how come Australia is mired in those calamities currently burdening us? Clearly, the formula that virtually all of these 31 apparently imaginatively challenged people who are designated to speak at the Population Summit, will fervently demand is that Australia must continue with its programme of mass immigration to engender economic growth. Even though it hasn’t been remotely beneficial to the broad populations.

[Little commented, but numerically noticable] what has come to pass from open door immigration into Australia’s major cities over the past decade is that, peoples of Anglo/European extractions are now the ethnic minorities.

And this has happened for two main reasons:

First, because the 1.2 million people who’ve fled Sydney and Melbourne, look to me as if they may have done it to escape being, in many suburbs, absolute minorities.

And, secondly, because each of Australia’s two biggest cities have been inundated with close on 900,000 people residing in them who've arrived on temporary-visas i.e. with international students comprising a big shaft of them. Thus, Australia's two largest cities now contain ethno-cultural groups so large that they seem like insular cultural enclaves [by virtue of different languages and networks].

And it is with those attributes [that] Australia’s future stability has been totally destroyed. Open door immigration from non-European sources has been so huge that it has transmogrified Australia’s largest cities into new ethno-cultural tribes who I fear will have no first-hand allegiances to Australia. How can there possibly be a stable future for this land, when its two largest cities are divided on ethno-cultural structures? Obviously, this is a pending and, moreover, [to my mind] inevitable sociological catastrophe that is way past ever averting.

To clearly ascertain how our society is breaking-down into separate tribes in our largest cities, we should consider the ICAC investigation into corrupt payments to the NSW Labor party's branch from members of the Chinese community in Sydney (estimated to be in the vicinity of 900,000, including permanent residents - either immigrants or those born here and those on temp-visas i.e. international students, in excess of 100,000). See also NSW Labor boss suspended after Icac revelation about illegal donation

So to all those who will gloat about the great future for Australia from more immigration, the reality is that you are totally insane.

Regrettably, now that our two largest cities are divided into such factions , I fear that they will soon move to organise politically against Australia. Obviously, that situation must conclude with the separate groups asserting their agendas, which I fear will result in the extinction of this country as we know it.

The above was partly edited by a Candobetter editor for legal reasons.

Footnote[s]
Added by Candobetter editor.
[1] Link to https://www.smhpopulation.com.au added. A search using the terms "SMH Population Summit" (quotes omitted) found these critical articles: COMMENT IN REPLY TO ‘SMH Population Summit … A WHO’s WHO OF BIG AUSTRAYA Proponents’ (3/9/19), SMH Population Summit hijacked by ‘Big Australia’ mafia (3/9/19), - Ed