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Population Paradox – Letter to the Editor

By Loose Brown - 1 October 2008 29

There is a fascinating letter in the Canberra Times today that I thought should be reproduced here for the benefit of the masses and not just the paltry few who read the Crimes (heh heh).

The letter is quite lengthy so I have edited for length:

    ” …The ACT Greens now want to spend $8 million on better plumbing to use less water. Clearly they do not understand what economists call the Jevons Paradox. William Lines and I in our book ‘Overloading Australia’ due out next month explore this paradox. We conclude that better plumbing and personal restraint will only let governments push the ACT’s population ever higher, leading to worse disaster at the next drought. Until government stops advertising for more citizens to ‘fill’ the ACT, concerned citizens should not only not conserve but should deliberately ‘waste’ water…
    … As we summarise it, “falling levels in the dams will come either way; whether by people refusing to conserve water or by governments cramming ever more people into each city and region. The difference is that the first way creates an effective form of civil disobedience, while the second merely leaves us in the situation of the boiling frog. In the short term your garden will thank you for it; in the long term all Australia may.” Mark O’Connor Lyneham.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Population Paradox – Letter to the Editor
PsydFX 4:55 pm 01 Oct 08

I haven’t read the post, but, yeah, I do understand that Public Transport is failing here.

Aurelius 4:49 pm 01 Oct 08

PsydFX, Yep, it has a port, and it’s rail connection was set up before any of us even dreamed of a big flagpole on a hill. But the bus system there works, and the rail system there works. If you go to the Light Rail thread (or at least the most recent one) you’ll find other reasons why public transport fails in the ACT.

PsydFX 4:47 pm 01 Oct 08

Aurelius said :

Newcastle (similar sized city to Canberra) makes public transport work.

But that’s only because Newcastle had to sustain a port, which is the primary reason for included Rail infrastructure, not Public Transport.

miz 4:43 pm 01 Oct 08

Civil disobedience works for me! I am sick of water restictions.

Aurelius 4:17 pm 01 Oct 08

Aronde,
Newcastle (similar sized city to Canberra) makes public transport work.
It’s not more people we need. It’s having them in the right places, going to the right places, in public transport that’s well run.

aronde 4:12 pm 01 Oct 08

If more people move here maybe light rail will work!

tylersmayhem 3:49 pm 01 Oct 08

That has to be the most bizarre Letter To The Editor I’ve ever read!

Please…someone find the author and take him to your local police station, spray him with capsicum spray and put him in a cell. I think we’ve found our “Star Picket Thrower”.

Aurelius 3:44 pm 01 Oct 08

If Canberra had twice as many people, would that make Stanhope twice as good as he is now?

HateMachine 3:38 pm 01 Oct 08

I would willingly drink recycled water in return for Canberra having 500,000-600,000 people

S4anta 3:33 pm 01 Oct 08

It does seem to be a very interesting approach they are taking. I am assuming there will an argument for capping of the ACT’s population along some sustainability line i reckon.

Aurelius 3:21 pm 01 Oct 08

Mebbe he’s just trying to make everyone wonder what the frack he’s on about, and thus they should buy his book to find out?
Wonder how many litres of water were used to produce all the cbleached paper in his books? Not to mention the tonnes of paper consumed?
Remarkable that those who supposedly are so concerned about natural resources are prepared to waste them to satisfy their own egos.
(Because with writing like that above, does anyone really think this book will be a best-seller? It’s virtually unintelligible.)

S4anta 3:12 pm 01 Oct 08

Odd. I an assuming these two blokes are worried that we are overcrowding our marvellous country.

I wonder if he means the siutation of a SLOWLY boiled frog?

jakez 2:49 pm 01 Oct 08

I’m not familiar with Jevons paradox (let alone its application here) but I will say that economics shows us that life is often counter intuitive.

p1 2:49 pm 01 Oct 08

Interesting theory. It relies on the assumption that the government won’t just cram more people in regardless or the water situation, as long as they can continue selling blocks of land in South Goulburn (Gungahlin) for ridiculous amounts.

PsydFX 2:40 pm 01 Oct 08

I just used the number 2 flush for a number 1 just to do my bit!

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