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Population Paradox – Letter to the Editor

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.

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29 Responses to Population Paradox – Letter to the Editor
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thetruth thetruth 4:09 pm 02 Oct 08

5 billion worldwide choose not to live in Canberra

That’s because they don’t own boats. – Thumper

Well a boat will not get them to Canberra!!!!!!

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 1:42 pm 02 Oct 08

Although I never went to UNI jakez, I know 2 words…witty AND genius. You’re both!

jakez jakez 9:58 am 02 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

Well with an informed rebuttal like that, it’s only a matter of time before you get tenure at ANU.

It was intended that way Jakez! It was only a matter of time before someone took it seriously, and oddly enough, it was you I expected to do so! Do you go to ANU? I suspect so!

You intended your post to be drivel? Sorry mate, I must have been thrown off by the complete absence of wit. I’ll just assume it was some sort of avant performance art that I don’t understand…

I don’t go to ANU, it was simply the first university that popped into my head.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:26 am 02 Oct 08

Well with an informed rebuttal like that, it’s only a matter of time before you get tenure at ANU.

It was intended that way Jakez! It was only a matter of time before someone took it seriously, and oddly enough, it was you I expected to do so! Do you go to ANU? I suspect so!

Thumper Thumper 8:52 am 02 Oct 08

5 billion worldwide choose not to live in Canberra

That’s because they don’t own boats.

thetruth thetruth 12:44 am 02 Oct 08

What I don’t get is the line about governments cramming more into Canberra – When I canme to Canberra I wasn’t highjacked and carried over the Boarder, when I left it wasn’t on a Governmnet edict. The ACT Government advertising has been an unmitigated failure still the largest driver of population growth was natural increase and net overseas migration (which is traditionally variable). The increase in interstate migration has been the result of PS recruitment and building boom – not because folks went lets go to canberra!!!

And if you cap the population who decides who is in and who is out?? don’t build anymore houses drive up property prices and price people out??? No they would go the Queanbeyan really what dead heads think that they can control population?

Canberra could be one of the great cities of the world and has so much to offer, but the “keep it the same” no-heads will not allow it to happen. I personally love Canberra, but only because of its potential.

Over 20 million Australian’s and 5 billion worldwide choose not to live in Canberra.

Morgan Morgan 10:12 pm 01 Oct 08

Aurelius said :

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.

Newcastle only has public transport that good because it is all government buses and trains in the most union town in Australia.

Thumper Thumper 8:34 pm 01 Oct 08

The boiled frog thing is a myth, when the water gets warm, the frog simply climbs out 😉

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 8:22 pm 01 Oct 08

Interestingly slowly boiling people alive was one of only two tortures banned by the Inquisition mostly because the effects were very similar to what happens to a slowly boiled frog….

Deliberately wasting water to prevent future population growth sounds like burning money to prevent inflation to me… kind of silly

Granny Granny 7:39 pm 01 Oct 08

New Yeah said :

… official poet of the Sydney Olympics.

*guffaw*

Now this I have to read!!

caf caf 7:20 pm 01 Oct 08

Yeah pretty sure it is New Yeah, he’s been involved with the anti-immigration group “Sustainable Population Australia” in the past.

New Yeah New Yeah 6:27 pm 01 Oct 08

I believe that the author could be the reasonably well-known poet Mark O’Connor – official poet of the Sydney Olympics.

PM PM 5:45 pm 01 Oct 08

I’ve got a slightly related question:

I understand that we need water for drinking more than we need it for watering plants etc which is one reason for water restrictions but, taking the concept to an extreme, how is a dust bowl going to encourage rainfall?

jakez jakez 5:38 pm 01 Oct 08

Don’t forget it’s edited.

tylersmayhem said :

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”.

Well with an informed rebuttal like that, it’s only a matter of time before you get tenure at ANU.

PsydFX 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 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 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 miz 4:43 pm 01 Oct 08

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

Aurelius 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 aronde 4:12 pm 01 Oct 08

If more people move here maybe light rail will work!

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