35 Million Australians by 2050?
The Age September 19th
Treasurer Wayne Swan is quite resigned to the fact that we will have “over 36 million” people by the year 2050! This is a dishonest understatement. According to our present growth rate, we will have doubled our present population of nearly 22 million by 2046. He clearly is being evasive or is showing a lack of understanding of arithmetic despite being our Treasurer. We will be facing more than 44 million by 2046, and the numbers will keep escalating.
At the present rate Australia will have a population of about 50 million by mid century and 100 million by the end of the century. If this sounds implausible, consider that at the end of World War II, just 64 years ago, Australia’s population was only 7.5 million, i.e. it has almost tripled in that time.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2008 models show Australia’s population on course 42 million by 2050, and Sydney and Melbourne's population each surpassing 7 million, on current trends.
Our Treasurer has released update population forecasts that confirm that now is the time to start "reshaping the way we live”. This means that despite our diminishing and threatened natural resources, climate change, loss of biodiversity, impending threats from diseases, starvation, famine, water shortages, ocean destruction, ecological collapse and atmospheric pollution, he is willing to risk all and keep adding more people for the great idol of “economic growth”!
“Reshaping the way we live” is an euphemism for higher density living, few private backyards, more concrete or living in outer urban sprawl areas with more travelling time, for higher costs for fuel and water, and for congestion and poverty.
“Sustainable” growth is pure fiction!
The “shift upwards” trend to create higher density living has been the goal of urban planners for some time, but this has been “stymied” by NIMBY-ism! Why should our lifestyles and our suburbs be a resource for developers and a growth phenomenon that is contrary to our interests? Why should our children be denied back yards and safe places to explore and play? Why should we be denied the right to grow our own vegetables, have pets and gardens? Already our democratic rights to justice are being threatened to speed up development approvals.
Mr Swan’s speech was delivered at the launch of a Sydney-based institute on population ageing, which he said was “arguably one of two of our greatest challenges along with climate change”! Really, older people are a threat, equal to climate change? On the contrary, older people usually consume less and are more conservative in their needs. Perhaps he would like a voluntary extermination program so that the ageing aren’t a financial burden to the growth industries!
Another major think-tank is Melbourne’s Grattan Institute to “promote vital debate about the city of the 21st century”. However, it will depend on the public being “engaged and persuaded”. Does that mean the public will be able to input into the debate on “why” or just add to the “how”? The Age newspaper is intending to play a leading role in this process. With Fairfax’s interest in land developments and the real estate industries, just how detached and objective will this input be?
The article conceded that many Australians will respond to all this with the “deceptively simple question - why not cap the population”? This question is not “deceptively simple” but IS simple! According to the article, the main reason that it is not a good solution is a “demographic one” – migrants are significantly younger on average than the general population. Only young people are considered desirable! This is not a demographic reason, but an economic one. Once our “baby boomers” from the post war baby boom finally expire (and I am one of them), without immigration, we should reach equilibrium and have either population stability or even decline. Our leaders worship growth, and youth, but neither can go on forever! They strive and worship economic GROWTH, and with their limited and short-sighted model for growth, it requires population growth.
Adding young migrants, no matter how educated they are, will not avoid them ageing! Immigration will never be able to keep our population young. Adding people to “compensate” or “replace” older people means our numbers will keep blowing out, and the following generation will have even more older people.
The proportion of older people has been revised to be 22% by 2049, which is even higher than our present 13%! Where’s the logic?
According to World Book figures for 2008, a rising population is not necessary for economic growth. Sweden, Cuba, Norway, Russia and Italy all enjoy small population growth rates, and all have viable, if not growing, economies and healthy GDPs. However, many of our industries have been swamped and eradicated by globalisation. Maybe these countries will prove the sensible ones that survive better in the long-term.
Treasurer Wayne Swan, and our PM Kevin Rudd who is “excited” about population growth (link) because it will raise the “tax base”, are willing to sacrifice Australia’s landscape, native animals, heritage, culture, vegetation, lifestyles, gardens and green wedges, coastlines to developments and desalination plants, and destroy all that is good about Australia, all in the name of economic growth! This formula for growth will inevitably increase the base of customers for gigantic corporations and global industries but will increase poverty in Australia! Growth at all costs is malignant and will eventually diminish human rights and dignity, and disempower the majority.
Kevin Rudd, who professes to be a Christian, has sold his soul for the god of Mammon and materialism. God and Mammon
His masters are the corporations and business who shape these warped policies, not patriotism and love for our country Australia.