Holistic local sustainability; food, water, energy, money, people
The raft is sinking under torrential rain and a blazing sun. Bush fires make international headlines. Species go extinct here faster than any other developed country. We think we have vast plains to share, but 70% of the raft is barren. Nearly every year we reach a record high temperature. We have run out of rainwater. We cram into high-rises while business leaders, property speculators and politicians build sprawling mansions. Our green space is shrinking in the cities and the countryside. Climate change haunts us. Earth begs us to change our ways. Yet we cannot bring ourselves to do the single most effective thing that will save us. We mistake the raft for a lifeboat, minutes after the Titanic has sunk.
2020 saw a dramatic drop in GDP, and nature breathed a sigh of relief. 2021 saw an equally dramatic spike in GDP, and house prices skyrocketed. People went stir-crazy in their flats and fled Melbourne. Local, backyard living thrived. Eventually we got back to work and unemployment fell and wages strengthened, but many people died and suffered. The population grew slightly due to births. Now the borders are open. Does Australia need more people? Most Australians think not.
All around we hear cries of ‘skills shortages!’ and ‘grow the economy!’ But who is lamenting a lack of skills in a country where education is a major export? Business leaders and the politicians who are in their pockets. They gain the most from more customers, cheap labour and pliable voters.
Now they have opened the borders. They can no longer claim it’s ‘unstoppable’.
About 70,000 people leave Australia each year. We could take in the same number and even then births would keep Australia’s population rising for decades. We could increase the number of refugees.
It’s time parliament listened to the majority.
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