Dick met with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, on Wednesday 21 July to discuss, among other things, the pressing issue of population. Dick had a very satisfactory meeting with Ms Gillard, during which he gave her a list of issues he considered priorities in relation to population and growth. The list is reproduced here:
Our present economic system used throughout the world is based on the exponential growth in the use of material resources and energy. Common sense alone informs us that this cannot go on forever as it’s a finite world. Should we leave it for our children and grandchildren to come up with a plan that is not based on constant growth? I don’t think so – I think we should be looking at it now.
Prime Minister you talk about a sustainable population. The problem is that our economic system is not sustainable, as it’s completely predicated on constant growth and any Government will be thrown out if it doesn’t have a growth in GDP every year. That means a growth in the use of resources and energy.
It’s our economic system that is not sustainable.
Everyone knows just by using commonsense that we can’t grow forever – it’s impossible. So the decision is – do we leave that problem to be solved by our children and grandchildren, or is it fairer to at least look at it now? Most important – what is the advantage for typical Australians from this growth? Undoubtedly the wealthier become wealthier, but for most people it is simply more people sharing in the cake, ie. less for each person.
The Prime Minister said she would note Dick’s position but made no comment of support or disagreement.