Friday, April 18, 2008

Immigration, Population and Environmentalism

Immigration is one source of population growth, which results in more people to consume goods and services. This larger market is better for local businesses and many migrants bring money into the country and some start up businesses that may offer employment. Many economists argue that, if carefully controlled, this can benefit the nation’s economy and hence, indirectly, our quality of life.

Environmental scientists point out that Australia is already suffering considerable damage to its soils, waterways, coastal zones and natural habitats through intensive agriculture, urban expansion, industrial development and the ever-increasing demand for goods and services. Groups who oppose population increase on environmental grounds suggest that even the present Australian population cannot be indefinitely sustained at its present rate of consumption by the renewable resources of the continent.

Read the rest here

I think it's important from an Environmental perspective to cover the issues of not just Immigration, but also the current population in Australia. If I may, I would like to use a very simplistic model to explain problems with over-population.

Firstly, let me talk about my own home. I live with my wife in a two bedroom house. We often have interstate family vistors, or just comrades who need to crash for the night. Although, there seems to be one unspoken rule, and that is, we only ever have people stay in the house when the spare bedroom is free.

We will refer to this as a 'one in, one out' policy.

Imagine, for the moment if we were to accept 10 people to stay in our very small two bedroom home. People would have to sleep on the floor, bathrooms would be in constant use, and the toilet could very well overflow. Issues with kitchen use will arise, and no doubt noise complaints will increase due to the varying hours that people keep in the house. All in all, it would lead to a diminshed quality of life for all parties. Not to mention, that living in such confining conditions would lead to resentment between house mates.

Any of this sound familiar?
I think its time for Australia to work out exactly how many bedrooms it has before trying to increase its population either through immigration or encouraging an increase in birth rate.

If there is only one thing I could ever agree with Pauline Hansen on, its a 'one in, one out' net zero immigration policy. I have continually lobbied for such things, written to ministers, and newspapers. The newspapers (The Age, The Australian), outright refuse to publish my constant letters asking for net zero immigration and population management to raise the issue.

At first I thought it was because they thought I was being "Racist". So I continued to write letters, making sure that I was clear that I didn't care who came into the country, that it was irrespective of race, religion or gender. I also specified that it didn't matter if they were skilled or unskilled, just that we might "look into" the issue. Nothing. Absolute Silence.

The only people who are really benefiting from high levels of immigration are the property developers, big business and all at the expense of the Australian Environment.
I'm dissapointed that the greens party hasn't investigated the impacts of population on the environment and consider policies for population reduction.


Anonymous said...

The green movement ignores the real issues involved with immigration so that they save face with the rest of the Left. If talked to privately many ecologists agree with this, but publicly they're too afraid by the dogmas to speak the truth.

JesseJames said...

Alex great site! just took the link from

awesome site, good to see some REAL anarchist free thinkers out there.

Kittywu said...

thank you for your very insightful and fair views about immigration. I have long held the view that the government is allowing too many people into this country without any sort of planning. Water is a good example: for years nothing has been done to ensure future supplies and now the increasing population is leaving us all disadvantaged. This is not about race or culture. This is about looking after the Australians we have and planning for a good quality of life. Immigration needs an urgent review. Keep up the great work, Alex. If only more people would stop and think about these issues.

Alex said...

Cheers Jesse and Kittywu.

Kittywu,I believe your issues are with the lack of infrastructure, and your water example could use sea water through desalination, alleviating any population issues (like in Western Australia).

My concerns with immigration are more to do with sustainability and security of food production, over-crowding, and public services like health care and transport.

I don't particularly want Australia to end up like Japan where everyday I'm forced to stand face to face, shoulder to shoulder and butt to butt with strangers on a train/ tram or bus everyday for hours on end.

I'm a selfish bastard and like the space we've been blessed with in Australia.

So, for my own personal quality of life, I'd like there to be a referendum on population and immigration.