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The Forum > Article Comments > The low-tech, no-tech solution > Comments

The low-tech, no-tech solution : Comments

By Eric Claus, published 30/6/2006

Some solutions are just so simple - drastically reduce immigration to Australia.

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Youíll get no disagreement from me Eric. It is just straightforward commonsense. Well written.

I continue to find it one of the most perplexing things of my life that this sort of stuff even needs to be expressed. I mean, how obvious is it that continuous rapid population growth which creates continuously increasing demand on water, power and every other damn thing, dilutes or cancels out or completely overwhelms most of the technological improvements and various restrictions that are being placed on us in order to reduce the per-capita usage of these resources?

Why arenít our governments fulfilling their most basic role of protecting society, environment and quality of life, instead of continuing to stress it right to the limit of some of the support mechanisms? Why isnít sustainability automatic in our political arena? Why doesnít Labor jump at the opportunity to be really different to the Libs, and support sustainability, including net zero immigration, instead of its current totally unjustifiable promotion of the continuous growth paradigm?

Why is the government so rampantly pro-immigrationist when the Australian populace is predominantly not? Why are they so out of touch? What is wrong with our whole system of government? What is wrong with it to the extent that it works diametrically against the protection of our future?

And so on for another million or so questions.
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 30 June 2006 10:27:43 AM
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Reducing immigration is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, both major parties are big immigration aficionados whose only interests are votes, votes, votes, and growth, growth, growth.

We have cheap coal, which, we are now told, can be cleaned up. It is downright stupid to be even be thinking of nuclear reactors when we have such a cheap and plentiful resource. Leave nuclear power to others who donít have our advantages of cheap coal. We are allowed to have advantages, you know.

After all, we do have disadvantages, and the most critical of these are water and limited space for habitation (one third of the continent). Another problem is the fact that governments do not improve infrastructure commensurate with the influx of migrants.

A good start would to remove the million or so people who are adding to our environmental problems but who arrogantly fail to take out citizenship; those with dual citizenship, those who identify with an ethnic background and not Australia, and all supporters of foreign soccer teams.

Then we could have a sensible immigration program on a needs only basis while we repaired the damage done by idiot politicians increasing our population far above the optimal 13 million
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 30 June 2006 11:20:16 AM
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Very sensible comments Eric. Australians use much more energy than many of the source countries of our migrants, so our large immigration program is certainly leading to a greater volume of greenhouse gas emissions.

And it is going to be very difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emisions in the future at the same time as our population is increasing.

Efforts by the federal government to increase Australia's birthrate are also going to lead to more environmental problems.
Posted by Tom N, Friday, 30 June 2006 11:24:56 AM
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Dear Eric,

Australia is a nation whose prosperity has been built on the backs of its immigrants. Unless you are an indigenous person, your forbears were almost certainly migrants. In March of this year the Productivity Commission released a report that is germane to your argument.

http://www.pc.gov.au/study/migrationandpopulation/finalreport/index.html

The Productivity Commission report on The Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth demonstrate that the overall effect of migration and population growth in Australia is positive.

At any rate, the central thrust of your argument - that population growth has a necessarily deleterious effect on the environment - is not correct in every circumstance. Life expectancies are rising and rising in Australia (now 78 for men and 83 for women) and this is hapening at the same time that we are becoming an increasingly urbanised society. Why? Because improvements in science, tehcnology and environmental awareness have propelled changes to policies that have improved our environments. I used to live in a house with chimneys and a hearth suitable for coal burning. No wonder so many of our forebears died from respiratory illnesses. And I certainly never used the hearth for burning wood, even though I love to watch a fire. We change our habits and practices and adapt to our new environments.

The answer is conservation, not a halt to immigration. We desperately need skilled labour in Australia to sustain our economic growth into the future.

Perhaps the Federal Government could give us back some of that budget surplus and provide cash grants to all people who instal effective rainwater tanks in the cities? After all, we do live on the driest continent on the planet.

Then after that we might consider whether cotton farming on the Darling River is a viable industry in the long term...

Looking forward to your comments on that Productivity Commission Report...

The Skeptic.
Posted by The Skeptic, Friday, 30 June 2006 11:26:25 AM
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I do not agree with comments by The Skeptic.

Eric Claus actually made a very good submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into The Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth.

The Productivity Commission's report did not actually demonstrate that the overall effect of migration and population growth in Australia is "positive". It found that it would lead to an increase in GDP, however it also found that Australians would worker longer hours and less pay as a result of increased migration and population growth

The Productivity Commission inquiry expressly did not take into account the environment consequenses of population growth and migration, which makes the PC's conslusions fairly irrelevant in relation to Eric Claus's article.

The Skeptic also states, "Australia is a nation whose prosperity has been built on the backs of its immigrants. Unless you are an indigenous person, your forbears were almost certainly migrants."

I am rather tired of this line. Actually, Australia's indigenous suffered terribly as a result of European immigration to Australia, so why would we voluntarily submit ourselves to the same fate? Furthermore, the forbears of indigenous Australians were also immigrants, just many thousands of years ago.
Posted by Tom N, Friday, 30 June 2006 11:37:33 AM
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Regardless of whether nuclear power is good or bad for Australia, I do not believe that Eric's true intention is to help saving the world from pollution and global warming, but it is rather an excuse to further his personal cause of reducing immigration.

Much more energy could be saved by improving the building methods and materials: at least half our electrical energy goes into heating and cooling, which is quickly dissipated into the atmosphere due to poor building standards.

As the global situation worthens and Australia still has large stocks of coal and gas, even more so if Australia prevents immigration, it would be naive to assume that other energy-starving nations will not come and snatch our resources - by force if necessary. In that regard, nuclear plants are much harder to snatch away.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 30 June 2006 12:13:22 PM
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