Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Australian Greens Against Population Control

John Smeaton puts highlights arguements by the Australian Green Left is against population control. They offer ten reasons for not accepting ideas put forward by people like Richard Attenborough.

1. Population does not cause climate change
2. The world is not 'full'
3. Social justice and women’s equality are the best contraception (John Smeaton says "though, of course, actual contraception and a contraceptive mentality are, as I've argued before, bad for humanity.")
4. The climate emergency demands immediate, transformative action now
5. Population arguments wrongly downplay the potential to win
6. Population control is an old argument tacked onto a new issue
7. Arguing for tighter migration restrictions in Australia is a dangerous policy
8. Population control has a disturbing history
9. People in the global South are part of the solution, not the problem
10. Who holds political power is the real ‘population’ issue

Interesting? Of course it is but read the whole article here.


Elizabeth said...

Very good article. I like the fact that they realise that the issue of population being a problem is being used as a scapegoat. It's politically correct in today's society to marginalise the large family.

Sent a copy to my son who is doing geography at University. Brainwashing our youngsters into believing smaller families are crucial to save the planet is obscene.

Also liked the emphasis on women’s equality being the best form of contraception????

Henry said...

Population became a "problem" because of land enclosure. Once all land of the best quality has been occupied and enclosed, people have no options but to occupy inferior land or work for subsistence pay as wage slaves for landowners.

Land distribution is no solution because small farmers are vulnerable to crop failure or glut. When that happens they must pawn their land to moneylenders, and when they cannot pay back, the land ends up being owned by the moneylenders, which soon reverses the land distribution. That is what is happening in El Salvador. It is the story of many third world countries.

Intensive large scale farming is efficient when labour is regarded as a "cost" but in terms of output as measured according to inputs of energy or the amount of land used, it is inefficient.

Smallish scale agriculture with a high input of labour should lead to the stabilisation of populations without further intervention but the financial arrangements have got to be right.

Until land is free, there will be a "population problem".

It is of course the case that if people insist on surrounding themselves with a ton of metal and glass in order to move about, then there will be excessive consumption of energy.

But the climate will change whatever people do or don't do. That's what the climate has always done.

JARay said...

The question of land and farming in Australia is nothing like the scenario Henry is talking about.
Here the problem is water and every year there are farmers who simply walk off their land because prolonged drought has ruined them and they cannot meet their debts by working the land any longer. They have been reduced to below subsistence level incomes and cannot take it any more.
Another problem is that of land degradation because of salinity. When land has been cleared of trees, salt rises to the surface and this does not get washed away into fast flowing rivers and then out to sea as it does in European countries.
The Australian Greens are as anti-Catholic as one can get. They are pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia and, of course, they have quite a number of homosexuals and lesbians in positions of influence within their ranks so they are very much into same-sex "marriages". They are the Party which I always put last in my preference voting.


Jane Teresa said...

It's interesting to hear that there is a spectrum of opinion in green politics, but the difficulty is that we cannot put our trust in "humane" greens like these. Relativists are only humane when they choose to be. Public opinion changes, or party conference votes otherwise, and they are liable to change also, even on the fundamental issue of human life.

Henry said...


The situation you describe sounds like a country that has suffered from ecological mismanagement for a very long time and is in need of sound ecological management to restore it to its natural state of fertility.

johnf said...

Sorry, I don't accept the argument that climate change is a result of man made CO2. The earth's climate changes and has changed before.

As a scientist, and familiar with mathematical models, I know their fallibility. They are best when used to predict phenomena by interpolation. However, the doomsday scenarios beloved of the greens rely on extrapolation.

My wife is a geologist and points out that the earth is in an interglacial period. If a new ice age occurred, now that would be scary.

When you hear that certain Greens want to make man made global warming denial a crime against humanity, you sense that beneath the green 'humanitarian' skin beats an ruthless dictatorial heart.

That said, I agree that we need to be developing alternative energy sources as a strategic plan to reduce /eliminate dependance on supplies from dodgy regimes.

And of course, reducing waste is sensible, not being profligate, making do. After all, cultivating a detachment from the riches of the world is part of the Christian ethic by which we were brought up.

Henry said...


(1) CO2 levels have increased severalfold since the beginning of the industrial revolution. CO2 is a greenhouse gas ie it traps heat.

(2) The climate is evidently getting warmer. Ask any gardener in temperate latitudes.

(3) CO2 levels are set to rise as more fossil fuel is consumed, leading to further heating.

Of course this does not prove that (1) is the cause of (2), since there are other possible causes, but it is at least a strong possibility, in which case there is a strong possibility of outcome (3).

This is a case where the Scottish verdict Not Proven is appropriate. However, a couple of big volcanic eruptions (my money is on Vesuvius and somewhere in the Carribean or Indonesia) could cause global cooling lasting for decades.

Red Maria said...

Green Left is published by the Democratic Socialist Party, who are ex-Trots. Founders Gould and the Percy brothers were once aligned with the American SWP but with Cannon's demise became infatuated with Che, Fidel and third-worldism and hence became softer on Stalinism. Then Gould or was it one of the Percys or perhaps all three got involved with an anti-nuclear party, which led to the orientation towards green politics.

As Marxists Trotskyists have always opposed population-control.

Famously, Marx described Malthus' magnum opus, Essay on Population as a "libel on the human race". I fully agree with that assessment.

Red Maria said...

Apropos Henry's comments earlier, perhaps he'd be interested in this</a

matthias said...

There is a poem that we all learnt in 6th grade about our land-australia.
It 's second verse says
i love a sunburn country ,a land of sweeping plains,of rugged mountain ranges, of drought and flooding rains. I love her far horizons i love her jewelled sea.her beauty and her terror,the wide brown land for me"
as JRay notes water has always been a problem,and we down in Victoria are into our 13th year of drought. Is it because we have morally and spiritually declined? with the Greens in parliament one would have to think so

George said...

Global warming through man made CO2 emmissions is 'Poppycock' according to eminent scientist professor David Bellamy and this goes back to 2004 - see here:


The 'Junk' Scientific opinions of the IPCC are politically and ideologically driven and thousands of eminent scientists all over the globe are coming out against this nonsense at the risk of ridicule from many of their 'brainwashed' peers. See here:


and here:


CO2 is not an important grenhouse 'gas' at all! CO2 constitues a small percentage of the atmosphere and our contribution to its concentration is miniscule. One eminent scientists said that human CO2 emmissions affect the atmosphere about about as a much as a 'fart in hurricane!' (please pardon the expression)

The major factor is in fact water vapour and over that we as human beings have no control whatsoever, nor do we add to it's concentration by any of our activities.

If you really want to get your teeth into the % numbers and nitty gritty of what is and isn't a greenhouse gas with more links then see here:


The one thing that the IPCC and the Climatists (as opposed to Climatologists) are afraid of is reasoned Scientific debate. Afraid that their 'little religion' will be taken apart brick by brick with scientific facts and precision and their 'gravy train' will suddenly dry up.

However, the Truth will prevail soon enough. Note how the verbal engineering is already creeping in - no longer 'global warming' but 'climate change', a subtle get-out clause.

PLEASE - let's return to REAL science, debate, peer forums for open discussion, research backed facts not 'sound bites' or 'spin'.

Scrubba said...

By the title of your post you clearly confuse The Australian Greens political party with Green Left Weekly, a publication - as pointed out by Red Maria - that is from the Democratic Socialist Party.
These organisations are unrelated, and the Australian Greens do not have a policy on this issue.

Perhaps you'd like to clarify your mistake.