The Debate: sustainability verse development

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle

Dick in his own uniquely Australian way produced this documentary while a little heavy on nationalism raised a number of questions around the population debate. The debate seemingly avoided by politicians of all shades was already happening in a strange and abstract way for example around infrastructure, immigration, climate change, aging population and economic development. Then just to confuse us further a number of furphies   pop up around racism, if you speak about population then there is some correlation to racism. This debate like all complex questions attracts a large number of knuckleheads with a litany of simplistic analyses and commentary note finger pointing at Hanson & One Nation if they are still around.

The debate BIG Australia (36 Million -2020) verse a sustainable Australia (?), obviously the truth is located somewhere between the two. What attracts me to the sustainable Australia position is simply that it needs to be a strategic approach to address the needs of our country (environmentally, socially and economically). The only problem I see is capitalist greed that equates economic development +even increasing population + broader tax base + increased profit margins + infinite = positive social outcomes. How realistic is this equation do the numbers add up, nothing grows for ever there is a finite value attributable to everything, do keep on consuming until Western civilisation crashes and the whole biosphere implodes. One point that does stand out is Smith a self-titled capitalist naming capitalism as the major reason for this issue in naming the sacred cow as an unsustainable burdensome beast.

Other issues

Homophobia – a number of tweets made disparaging comments around same-sex attraction – disappointing – heterosexuals still  do not understand same-sex people live in a family, some parent children and live very ordinary lives – they may get us mixed up with Str8 tea room princesses

The Agenda: It is time Australia has a serious policy debate about issues that affect its future.

  • Environmental stewardship – strategic management of a  finite resource
  • Sustainability
  • Comprehensive primary healthcare – beyond hospitals
  • Infrastructure
  • Civil society – social justice – poverty – housing – employment – training – education – relationships ,
  • Economic development  beyond capitalism towards sustainability – focus on developing  Human capital – social capital

It is time for capitalism to start paying its due

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