The State of the Population

Thanks Julie Gillard. Really.

Some time ago, I was going to post on the ‘Population Crisis’ as it had been reported at the time (months ago) and why I though, generally speaking, it was rubbish. I held off, as accurate statistics were tricky to get hold of, and I’m generally pretty easy to distract. I blame Twitter.

Julie has gone and put our population, and the illegal immigrant portion thereof, back in the spotlight. (A great speech, I recommend you read in its entirety. It is somewhat lengthy, feel free to finish this before you do.)

The real population crisis, is much, much worse.

Here’s the thing about population. There’s a lot of it. Not just here, but globally. We breed like rabbits. No – scratch that – like humans, and it seems the fruits of ‘keeping warm’ during the long, cold winter months have led to a somewhat unbalanced ecosystem. The best digestible write up on this I’ve seen to date comes from Greenpeace co-founder and Captain of the Sea Shepard, Paul Watson. (Who, being an ecological activist since 1968, is somewhat ahead of the game as far as I’m concerned)

Here’s the other thing. Check out a population density map.

See how nice and low density Australia’s population is? Now look up, and to the left a little – and you find yourself espying the Globe’s most densely populated areas.

Of course, we know that that 80% of our population is huddled against the shoreline, afraid of the hot, arid, spidery death that awaits us all inland, but it’s not brain surgery people – the world is running out of room.

And conveniently for the folks that currently have the least room – there’s a big, open (looking) space not so far away – surely, being the kind, generous, diplomatic and friendly nation they promote themselves as being, that place could take in some of the overflow. Even if they do eat such strange and universally despised ‘foods’ like Vegemite.

I’m not suggesting we’ll be overwhelmed by the ‘Mongolian Menace‘ so feared by our predecessors and the Federal Council of Australasia anytime soon – but at some point in the future, assuming we don’t all suddenly realize that China might be on to something with the whole One Child thing, the population waters will rise, and they’ll all need to go somewhere. In 40, 60, even 100 years time, we will need to learn how to accept each other’s culture, language, behaviours and skin colour – and learn how to truly share this planet. All of us.

So yes, detractors – there is a population problem, but realistically, immigration policy doesn’t have a lot to do with it. Pragmatically, it’s good to see that JG has this at the (near) top of her agenda as PM, and now she’s opened the can, let’s see how quickly, and in how many ways our underlying national racism can worm its way out.

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