Did anyone see the ABC’s 7:30 Report last night?
They had the usual population boosters saying we had no choice but to raise Australia’s population to 35 million by 2050 so that….
- we’d be a better military force? No.
- we could wean off fossil fuels and help solve peak oil? NO! (More of us to use scant resources!? Ha!)
- we could solve climate change? No! (Population growth based on fossil fuels makes global warming far worse!)
- it would solve our quest for reliable fresh water, good transport systems, traffic congestion, town planning, space, freedom???? No no NO! Greater populations place greater stress on scant water, wood, trees, housing, roads and traffic and health resources.
So what is this mad rush to a larger population all about? Why do we need it?
Answer: so the Baby Boomers can retire with an appropriate standard of living. For some reason Australia has such a debt to one of the wealthiest generations that ever lived that we have to clog our cities, cut down our forests, use up our rivers, salt our soils, and bury every last skid mark of green around the edge of this desert continent under layers of suburbia and business parks and choked ‘freeways’ so we can generate the money we need to buy them the standard of living they ‘deserve’.
But here’s the catch. How much will it cost to build the suburbs and sewerage and desal plants and extra power stations and wood mills and thousands of extra kilometers of road we’ll need for this extra 14 million people?
Here’s another problem. What exactly is this standard of living that the Baby Boomers are entitled to? EG: My dad’s financial adviser once told dad that he should remember to have an extra 25% on his family budget to allow for gambling! Really? Do retirees spend that much of their income on the pokies down the club?
Lastly, when my generation comes to retire, will the population boosters come out and argue that Australia needs to keep growing because GenX are about to retire? Can’t anyone see that this is a pyramid scheme, and at some stage an accounting is due?