Evolution’s Edge by Graeme Taylor

2 by Dick

I found this to be one of the best books I’ve ever read in relation to the issue of population and a sustainable world. I do have one slight disagreement with the author – that is, he believes we need a new economic system based on idealism and co-operation. I would love to have that if it would work, however I don’t think it would. Human beings seem to have evolved to be motivated by self-interest and self-preservation. I believe our present free-enterprise, capitalistic system can work without growth. It simply requires regulation. Capitalism can simply evolve and prosper not through increasing numbers of consumers, but by improving efficiencies (plublished by New Society Publishers, 2008)

2 by Dick

I receive a lot of correspondence from a great many people who have felt strongly about population growth for some time. Here is an example, and I thank Bruce Keir of NSW for his candour (address withheld) – bruce keir, nsw – may 2010

2 by Dick

I was forwarded the following letter by Mr Bob Komoll. Bob had submitted this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Letters to the Editor. As to whether it was published, I’m not sure. However, Bob makes some excellent points which I am delighted to publish here:

18 May 2010


For over two hundred years, those who grazed stock on this ‘desert island’ knew a bit about carrying capacity. It is usually expressed as D.S.E. or dry sheep equivalents.

With the emerging bonanza of the new black sheep (fossil fuels) the feeding frenzy to dig up our best farming and grazing country should focus our attention on that other carrying capacity – how many people can Australia support while maintaining first world standards? Many would say we are already over.

With our capital cities consuming farms for housing, much of the eastern seaboard fragmented into urban lifestyles and retirement uses and increasing areas subject to soil salinity and acidity, good farmland is fast becoming a vanishing commodity.

One can’t blame the farmers for selling out at the prices the miners are offering. But as we cry all the way to the bank, having sold the jewels in Australia’s agricultural crown, we should realise that when the fuel is burning and gone there’ll be nothing but a hole where fertile soil and underground water once prevailed.

Recently I travelled through the Liverpool Plains. The crops, stock and pastures were a picture. To the south, the cancerous spread of the Hunter Valley open cut coal mines, although perhaps temporarily halted at Murrurundi, give stark warning of what’s to come.

Is the black sheep really a Judas goat? Maybe it’s time for a new D.S.E.

Bob Komoll
Bayview, NSW

Reg Morrison – Research on Population / Climate

2 by Dick

Reg Morrison is a photographer who has spent many years researching population issues.  I have included (below) three of his presentations.  I found them fascinating, especially his explanation in relation to hydrogen and the world.

Australia’s Population 

Climate Debate

Population Debate

Dr Martin Parkinson, Secretary of the Department of Climate Change

2 by Dick

Sensible views from Dr Martin Parkinson, Secretary of the Department of Climate Change – extracted from his address to the Lowy Institute on 14 April 2010. 

Even if you are not convinced by the weight of scientific evidence on climate change, good public governance demands a prudent approach to treating climate change as a serious risk-management exercise.  Put bluntly, the risks of getting it wrong are too great to gamble anything on the minority view – or ideological position – that human induced climate change is definitely not occurring.  If there is even a small chance that climate change is occurring, a sensible and balanced policy must reflect this.  While we don’t expect to have a car crash, it’s prudent to pay for car insurance to cover the risk.  Surprisingly this precautionary principle has been forgotten by many who should know better”.

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