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The fallacy of sustainable growth

A growing population leads to the construction of apartment buildings to meet demand. Photo: Greenland

Opinion by PETER HEHIR

In the slums of the England that Dickens wrote so vividly about, the working poor saw 3 or four families squeezed into one dwelling with a dozen or more sleeping in one room. Irish immigrants were welcomed as a source of cheap labour and in the eyes of many English, they were also seen as sub-human.

Occupancy of a home and occupancy of a city have much in common. The nationality, race, colour, religion or country of origin of those streaming into our major cities is of little consequence, except perhaps for how they are likely to ultimately vote.

Overcrowding cities places unsustainable demands on resources. Water, air, open space, wildlife corridors, private and public transport, sewerage, roads, schools, tertiary education, hospitals; the list is pretty much endless.

This overcrowding is neither healthy nor desirable. 

Those fleeing persecution in China, the Nepalese, the Falun Gong who are being harvested for body parts and the Uighurs – currently the subject of genocide, are much more likely to be hostile to any form of socialist government in Australia. 

These immigrants are welcomed by the NeoCons. When they become citizens they can be guaranteed to vote against Labor and the Left, which in turn further perpetuates Neo Conservative philosophy – and the inevitable ever increasing destruction of both the natural and built worlds, as the population continues to spread out from our major cities.

Immigration guarantees the construction of more and more of the high rise soulless “milk crates” that so many abhor. Structures ultimately destined to become slums; the New York “projects” of the future. 

The privately run soon to be built Metro, with few seats in a driverless journey from Parramatta to the CBD sees people forced to stand, squeezed into four per square metre for the entire journey. This is an unhealthy and hugely regressive version of public transport. 

The net result of all of this pressure is a substantive and quantifiable loss of amenity and quality of life.

David Attenborough sees through the fallacy of sustainable growth. He comes from a privileged background and so could easily be mistaken for a political conservative; yet due to his detailed documentation and meticulous observation of the relentless destruction of the natural world over 60 or more years, he’s come to see that overpopulation, whether animal or human, is the biggest problem facing the world today. 

The link to his speech is essential viewing.

He’s well aware that humans are subject to the same forces that see mass extinctions of species in the natural world. Problems that give rise to a great many of the world’s ills, from climate change to pandemics passing from animals to humans.

What Berejiklian and Barilaro are doing to the koala population is a case in point. It’s estimated by the Greens that 80% of koala habitat is exempt from the neutered koala protection bill. Obviously this almost certainly guarantees that we will see koalas extinct in much of the country in our lifetime. 

They will soon only be found in zoos or in the most inaccessible parts of Australia. Places that are too difficult to be logged; along with those areas deemed unsuitable for “development”.

Now there’s a hijacked word if ever there was one… 

But raise these concerns and you’re immediately branded either a racist or a looney, or both. How can any sane person argue against “growth” and “development” and the perpetuation of the species? It’s akin to opposing motherhood.

However I passionately believe that we need to hit the pause button on immigration and then set about putting our own house in order. 

If these observations- along with the millions of others all over the world who share my concerns – makes me a nutter, then so be it…

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