Wildlife, biodiversity, climate change, population and economic growth

We need more politicians who will talk at public meetings about the damage to ecology–our life support systems. This is exactly what Kelvin Thomson MP is doing in his talk “The impact of population growth on wildlife” which is published below. In publishing this, with his permission, I make the point that we will publish articles from members of other parties if they fit within our policy framework.

I have coupled this article with one that I wrote for “The Punch” on bad government decisions that affect biodiversity and health.

Our health has two fundamental needs. Easy to understand is the need for hospitals, emergency services, life support systems (intensive care) and family doctors. Waiting lists and hospital closures are rightly big news.

Even more fundamental to health are the natural life support systems, the natural resources, water, availability of productive, non-degraded land, biodiversity and stable climate. These are deteriorating, and scientists have used the words global environmental change to describe them. This change is accelerating.

If we apply these concepts to Australia then very bad decisions are being made by all governments. In general, decisions are being made by 20th century thinkers rather than by those who understand the complexities of global environmental change and its relationship to human health. I will describe four

Read on here.

Firstly I must apologise for the title, mine was more circumspect. The SA Government has culled $535m from various budgets to create footy-inspired economic growth for Adelaide. Good 20th century thinking.

The environment has suffered heavily and the purpose of my article was to alert the public to the plight due to cost cutting of the Botanic gardens, a repository of international biodiversity. I am sure you can find similar examples in your state most months.

Kevin Thomson’s article highlights one of the markers of deteriorating ecological systems, the demise of bird species, and relates it to the expanding human population. The article goes onto the DEA web site in the same week as the UN indicates that the population of the world, long expected to stabilise just above 9 billion in the middle of the century, will instead keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100.

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