I’m not a fan of open letters like but I actually wrote a letter to Dick Smith and had someone pass it to him through an advisor. Not sure if it made it to him so I’ll put this here.
Dear Dick Smith,
If you read nothing more then the message is this: 1, Help stop the Adani coal mine. 2, Your support for population cap isn’t a galilio moment.
This is a response to the campaign you are waging, in the name of sustainability, to stop immigration and push for a population cap.
The decision to fund $2 Million for an ill defined population policy goes beyond the proximate of money influencing politics – it will essentially redefine the parameters of the debate into a deeply problematic, simplistic and un-sustainable place. Please let me explain.
Reducing sustainability to the domestic population of Australia overlooks the unsustainable consumption practices of rich countries (if everyone lived like an Australian we’d need 4 planets!?); need for social welfare and planning; the uneven effects of those practices and the global complexities of sustainability – such as the uneven effect of climate change hitting the worlds poorest hardest. Sustainability, post-growth and “degrowth” is more complex than a population cap. The Greens have an evidence based policy, not sure if you’ve seen it?
There was a recent study published in Nature with the title ‘Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely’ which forecast projected warming and found that “Population growth is not a major contributing factor.” They found that it was consumption or (GDP per capita and carbon intensity).
What did they do:
The availability of probabilistic population projections now (unlike when the RCPs were formulated) makes it more feasible to develop a statistical forecasting model for the key drivers, as advocated by Moss and Schneider. We use a simple form of the Kaya identity, which expresses future emission levels in a country as a product of three components: population, GDP per capita, and carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per unit of GDP). This is a specific version of the IPAT equation, Impact = Population × Affluence × Technology. We use data from 1960 to 2010 on GDP per capita and carbon intensity for most countries. We build a joint Bayesian hierarchical statistical model for GDP per capita and carbon intensity in most countries, and combine it with the UN probabilistic population projections to produce a predictive distribution of quantities of interest to 2100. We develop a probabilistic forecast of global temperature increase by combining them with the relationship between cumulative CO2 emissions and temperature used by the IPCC.
Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit 1992 said, “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.”
Imagine if the government was purposefully rationing the use of electricity, water, petrol and natural gas, and that the enactment of these policies came from your local government’s committee or department of sustainability?
Other states will experience Agenda 21, it is only a matter of time. Always be wary when you hear the words sustainable development. This is what the
These Agendas are designed to control people’s rights, water, population, health, education, sovereignty, ownership of land and how we choose to live our lives.
One Nation will further research, inform Australians and repeal these Agendas if not in Australian’s best interest. Some states in America are repealing Agenda 21 due to the desolation it has caused.
See for your self, look at their Policy on Agenda 21
Tackling population is global and the best way it to do it through supporting global governance and coordination that addresses education/empowerment of woman and family planning.
The real problem is consumption.
“18% of the population was driving 74% of global consumption” we are the 18%. We need to tackle affluence and consumption in a comprehensive way.
Tax the rich:
Another way to approach the problem would be…. prevent the creation of extremely wealthy people [that’s you Dick] . In other words, prevent the accumulation of massive wealth. You could do that by, for instance, taxing the shit out of wealthy people.
If I was cynical I would think that your campaign is a clever Red Herring to shift the blame away from your own practices. But I’m not so let’s carry on.
Look at best cases, for example on the Happy Planet Index:
… several countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region lead the way by achieving high life expectancy and wellbeing with much smaller Ecological Footprints.
Another element that shows how reducing sustainability to a population cap is a bad idea is the support for the idea from the far right/alt right/neo nazis. This should be a major ref flag. “Population” and “sustainability”, in their own words, is being used as a Trojan-horse for a political racist pivot that normalizes a neo-white Australia policy. “Dingo Twitter” is the name neo-nazi groups use in Australia:
See for your self:
Couple of other things.
- Will “Sustainable Australia” Party preference One Nation next election? Or Vice versa? The last time was part of a split from “values free” system by Glenn Druery. The “progressive” bloc excluded Greens and Labor.
- Pauline Hanson is most definitely racist – to say otherwise is deeply naïve and ignorant of the facts. One Nation is based on division based on exploiting hate. Her Party is pro coal/fossil fuel industry too. It’s social and environmental platform is not sustainable in any way. One Nation also want to withdraw Australia from the Paris Agreement and other international agreements much like Trump.
I urge you to support a science based understanding of I=PAT and urge you to help reduce consumption, promote de-growth (through reducing the ecological footprint through consuming less + more efficiently) and help stop new coal mines (especially Adani), help stop the export of coal and fossil fuel use.
PS Some resources: