The inconvenient truth about emissions

ScreenHunter_07 Mar. 19 12.02

By Leith van Onselen

Politics is full of contradictions. Take my pet topic, housing, where all sides profess to care about affordability, yet continue to run policies that run counter to that goal, including biased tax rules (e.g. negative gearing), demand-side stimulus, restrictions on land supply, and inadequate provision of infrastructure.

Arguably, the biggest contradiction relates to Australia’s population policy. In 2007, the Rudd Labor Government was elected partly on the platform of environmental responsibility, including ratifying the Kyoto Protocol emissions reduction targets, as well as introducing an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax. At the same time, the Government embarked on one of the biggest immigration programs (in number terms) this country had ever seen, whereby net overseas migration hit a peak of 315,700 in the year to December 2008. How politicians think that emissions (outputs) can magically fall as the number of people (inputs) increase year after year not only defies the laws of mathematics, but is disingenuous in my view.

To make matters worse, the one party that should care – The Australian Greens – are conflicted on this issue, seemingly caught between supporters who value Australia’s role accepting more refugees and providing opportunity for migrants (no doubt an admirable ambition), but also beholden to supporters who see people as the ultimate environmental problem. Accordingly, they offer no coherent population policy, enshrewing population targets or caps on immigration, while somehow still demanding “net zero or net negative Australian greenhouse gas emissions within a generation”. Ditto the Greens’ housing policy, where they contradictorily yearn for affordable housing, yet seek to limit the urban footprint as the population expands (read restrict land supply).

Yesterday, Crikey’s Cathy Alexander published an article exploring further the contradictions inherent in our march towards a “Big Australia” and the nation’s emissions reduction targets, and questioning why policy makers are refusing to debate whether the projected doubling of the population is environmentally sensible:

The federal government’s data on greenhouse gas emissions for the December quarter points to the major impact the population boom has had on Australia’s emissions. Here’s the Crikey number-crunching that shows why it might be time to talk about the environmental impact of Australia’s growing population. (This is a crude statistical analysis, but you won’t find the government — both major parties support and plan for significant population growth — doing it. So we had a go.)

Australia’s per capita emissions actually dropped between 1989 and 2012. But the population increased by 35% during that period, and overall national emissions soared by 32%. That took national greenhouse gas emissions from 418 megatonnes a year in 1990 to 552 megatonnes in 2012 (a megatonne is 1 million tonnes).

Australia has a high rate of population growth, caused in part by a relatively high rate of immigration. What would the country’s emissions be if that was not the case?

The ABS calculates that in the decade to 2007, the population grew by 1.3% pa on average, with “just under half from net overseas migration”…

Based on those numbers, if Australia had net zero migration from 1989 to 2012, we can estimate the population would have increased from 16.9 million (1989) to roughly 20.4 million (2012).

And based on the government’s calculation of current per capita emissions, that would give us total national emissions in 2012 of 495 megatonnes. So our actual total emissions are 11.5% — or 57 megatonnes — higher than if we had had net zero migration…

So what? Well, the body politic is consumed with how to meet the bipartisan target to reduce national emissions to 537 megatonnes of emissions per year in 2020. It’s an issue that has toppled prime ministers, helped decide elections and keeps politicians awake at night.

The short answer is that we might well be meeting that target already if we did not have the population boom.

With the swelling population, it’s a different story. Australia’s headcount stands at a ticker under 23 million. The ABS predicts there will be between 31 million and 43 million of us in 2056. By 2101, the ABS estimates it could be as high as 62 million.

Please don’t interpret this post as a rant against immigration or environmental responsibility. It isn’t. What I (and presumably Crikey’s Cathy Alexander) am attempting to point out is the huge contradictions inherent in Australia’s emissions reduction targets and its ongoing high population growth, which is driven primarily by Australia’s immigration program.

It will be next to impossible to achieve our stated emissions reduction targets so long as the population expands year after year. Both issues need to be viewed together, and until our politicians do so, I will continue to switch-off when they lecture us about curbing Australia’s emissions footprint.

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Comments

  1. 100% agree. Lots of conflicted politicians on this issue, including the Greens with their open door immigration policy.

    Sadly the atmosphere does not care if we improve our emissions intensity or our per-capita emissions, it only cares about absolute numbers.

    • “Sadly the atmosphere does not care if we improve our emissions intensity or our per-capita emissions”

      … or continue to export our emissions – along with our coal – to developing nations abroad.

      It’s not just Australia. The entire “developed” “rich” West is gripped by galactic, self-interested hypocrisy on this issue.

  2. Why does the government ramp up immigration and yet also claim to be concerned about green house gases etc?

    The answer is pretty clear.

    They buy the whole ‘immigrants’ ramp up demand and thus economic activity. They are part of the ‘demand hole’ filling school of economics.

    Phase 2 is getting them to borrow money from the banks as that household debt also stimulates demand.

    The fact that population growth requires a large investment in infrastructure is not a problem as the pollies are used to doing nothing on that front as whinging citizens rarely kick them out for that reason alone.

    Environmentalism is just something they go through the motions doing and hope that their fig leafs do not have any practical impact.

    The libs are no better on any of this they just wear a smaller fig leaf when it comes to the environment.

    • Or to put it another way immigration is about sourcing new contestants for the great private debt (but with that largely tapped out we will be back to public debt over the next few years) driven model of economic performance.

      Clapped out all round the world – but the RBA and the govt cling to it like a pensioner gripping the steering wheel of their spotless HK Holden.

      The only upside is that by and large our migrant selection processes mean we are getting the cream ( brains and wealth) of the developing world’s crop. That will be a genuine advantage when the debt model finally implodes.

  3. I suspect that immigration also leads to a net increase in global emissions as well. People wouldn’t be coming here if they weren’t expecting a better life. Better life = more consumption = more emissions.

    Not that Australia’s emissions are particularly significant at the global level.

    • Good point Alex. Taken further, I wounder how much emmissions have increased as a nett effect of rampant globalisation.

      Moving manufacturing from a regulated environment to an “un” or less regulated environment must increase per manufactured unit emmissions substantially. Again, conflicts of policy. No wonder the developing nations are so keen to maintain this massive competitive advantage given the mitigation costs.

      I think our immigration policies are out of control. Our cities are bursting , our infrastructure way overloaded. It needs to be massively reduced.

    • The “answer” is perfectly logical. Make Australia a place where emissions per person are lower, so that every immigrant coming here, lowers global emissions on net.

      It is of course, a question how to do this and still remain an attractive destination for immigrants……

      Of course the same people desire a better life wherever they are, and in nations where they are further back down the Kuznets curve, the initial impact on emissions of economic development, is high per capita.

      Know what the best thing we could do, is? Give developing countries nuclear energy. Hydro dams everywhere there is potential for them would be a good idea too.

      It is unconscienable to deny “development” to the people of the 3rd world; but we are idiots if we don’t help them leapfrog over the “coal driven” phase of development.

      “Development” results in reduced birth rates anyway. The West is already more than doing its bit to reduce global population (without any “one child” policy from government), hence the looming crisis of low numbers of young fiscally supporting large numbers of elderly.

  4. my main beef is not against immigration per se ( for the purpose of emission) but the hypocrisy/stupidity of trying to reduce emission/tax here while digging like mad to get our carbon burnt in china.If we want to stop emission we should stop coal export to be consistent.

    if we want to find funds to develop green energy to provide local jobs/non offshorable skills, we should say it clearly.

  5. Total emissions is totally irrelevant. What Australia needs to focus on is per capita emissions. Ceasing immigration is a fatuous and selfish way to pretend we are helping the planet, as we pat ourselves on the back and ignore the fact that those human beings are merely having an ecological impact in a country that is not our own. Hence, our efforts should be targeted at substantially reducing emissions at the per capita level, it is the only metric that matters.

    • Not quite mate. Most of those immigrants come from the developing world where per capita emissions are lower. When they come here, consumption goes up and so does their carbon footprint. Slowing this sort of immigration down, or stopping it, will have an effect. Of course we could do more to reduce per capita emissions here too (ie putting immigration aside). As others have said, we could also stop digging up filthy carbon fuels for other countries to burn.

      • Precisely my gripe with that line of reasoning. The solution proffered by this misanthropic fringe of the environmentalist movement is that we should condemn human beings to poverty as a means of preventing carbon emissions from rising. It’s sick. It also overlooks the key issue which is that raising living standards is the single most effectively way of ceasing the growth in world population. If the planet is to have any hope, living standards need to be raised throughout the world. Closing our borders and hoping those migrants never get to consume at the same level as Australians is not a solution to the problem, it ignores the problem.

      • +1
        The ‘demographic paradox’ has been the main driving force behind global falls in fertility.

        In 2006, the rules/methodology changed as to the way we report/count temp visa holders i our official pop growth rates.

        60% of our NOM are temp visa holders, and against OECD advice, we count them after they are here for 12 mths. Mad as batpoo… How many temp visa holders, who must return home are counted in our ‘official’ population numbers? I calculate approx 800,000.

      • MJV
        “If the planet is to have any hope” . Actually, the planet is doing just fine from say, an insect’s point of view. It’s just that the human race (probably a particularly transient feature in evolution) appear to be suffering from the dangerous delusion of identifying the planet with themselves. Two of my favourite authors are Robert Winston (“Human Instinct”) and, particularly Richard Dawkins(“The Selfish Gene “ and “The God Delusion”). Both very cogently explain the human condition, and leave me, personally, in no doubt that self interest and cultural groupthink will always triumph over common sense. I’ve blogged this before, but I thoroughly recommend watching the behaviour of people around the luggage carousel when you next arrive at an airport. It doesn’t make any difference where you are, the behaviour is identical. Instead of stepping back 3 paces which enables them to:
        a) See their luggage coming; and
        b) Allow space for people to get their cases off.
        they crowd the carousel and achieve the opposite effect. It’s in the light of this that you can see that, though we can pass laws in one particular country, a group of countries with no way of universally coercing them, will behave exactly as that group around the carousel. That’s what climate legislation is up against.

    • hubris_and_hyperbole

      so if global per capita emission halved but global population tripled you’d be happy with that?

      • Doing justice to your username there mate. Stopping population growth is the most important thing humanity must do to deliver sustainable societies. By allowing migrants into our country we have not changed the global population at all.

      • +1
        It is very likely that this century will see global peak population and then its slow decline.

        Lets us get some facts perhaps from the IPPC.
        1. Temp has been much warmer in the past and CO2 has also been high, if not higher when mankind was not even about. Not to say the AGW is not real, but it needs to be understood against the backdrop of climate reality in deep time.

        “Much warmer times have also occurred in climate history – during most of the past 500 million years, Earth was probably completely free of ice sheets (geologists can tell from the marks ice leaves on rock), unlike today, when Greenland and Antarctica are ice-covered. Data on greenhouse gas abundances going back beyond a million years, that is, beyond the reach of antarctic ice cores, are still rather uncertain, but analysis of geological samples suggests that the warm ice-free periods coincide with high atmospheric CO2 levels. On million-year time scales, CO2 levels change due to tectonic activity, which affects the rates of CO2 exchange of ocean and atmosphere with the solid Earth. ”

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-6-1.html

      • hubris_and_hyperbole

        “Stopping population growth is the most important thing humanity must do to deliver sustainable societies”

        Couldn’t agree more. It appears I misunderstood your original post.

    • Per capita emissions by themselves are also meaningless. If you wish to go this route, you also need to calculate per hectare emissions.

      Why?

      Simple, because as population increases, land is cleared.

      For example, European emissions are supposedly lower than ours…at the expense of the great forests that actually covered most of Europe. The Amazon rainforest is going that way too.

      So, unless you are intending to encourage deforestation, then you need to have emissions measured against area. That means that places like Europe cannot stand back, having destroyed their forests, and pretend they have done enough because their per capita emissions are ok.

      • Oh, I agree, emess. We have to look at emissions from numerous points of view.

        This remains a hard problem, not least because the costs and benefits do not accrue in the same places or at the same rates.

        Successful emissions abatement as we are now trying to implement it involves self-sacrifice. It is hard enough encouraging humans to make sacrifices even when it is in their own personal interest to do so. Persuading them to make sacrifices so that OTHERS will benefit is even more difficult, and very easily thwarted.

        The models we have been trying to apply to emission abatement have demanded mutual sacrifice and co-operation between players. This is also intrinsically unlikely to hold together for long, if at all.

        What we need to do is take advantage of our competitive streak, and find ways to supply energy that are lower-cost as well as being low-emitting. This will give whoever holds the technology a double-advantage, and they will prosper as a result. I’m sure the Chinese and the Germans see things this way.

        We are major suppliers to the global economy of fossil energy materials that may soon become economically-obsolete, and which in any case are ecologically self-destructive. We should really be investing some of the surplus we derive from the fossil-fuel economy in its successor – in the renewable-based, low-pollution economy that we have to create.

        It is just amazing that we do not spend more on improving the (broadly-conceived) performance of our energy sector, considering how important energy is to the economy, and how important it is to our own prosperity.

        This is one area where we really do have durable advantages, and where we should be striving to innovate and capture new opportunities.

  6. If we are going to insist on having less children, maintaining massive transfer payments to people that are perfectly capable of working, sustaining unrealistic working conditions and pay, and funding our lifestyle through debt, then we have no choice but to increase our population via immigration. If you don’t like it, then start having more children, stop electing governments that increase the size of welfare and the public sector, stop buying houses you can’t afford, and start working like you’re in an actual competition with the tens of millions of people who would happily come here and work at a fraction of the price. We have freely elected (justifiably) to link our destiny to a globalised economic framework – there’s no changing the rules now to suit us because we are taking fright at some overblown existential threat of immigrants and climate change. The only alternative is to increase our fertility rates, reduce welfare and the size of the public sector, start living within our means and work harder. There is NO other way.

      • No, just a leaner economy that actually competes, and that isn’t weighed down by the kind of household and private debt that requires continuing immigration to prevent it from collapsing. Do you think there is an easy way to allow us all to maintain our unearned lifestyle ?

    • What is the problem with a stable population? I mean, we can’t continually grow at the current rate just to avoid demographics killing our welfare/pension model. Are we going to eventually have 100 million? 1 billion people?

      I have no problems expecting people to save for their retirement days. If they choose to borrow from their future to live outside their means, why should I have to pay for their pension? This is how it should be.

      • It is all interlinked. If we are not prepared to make hard decisions, then we have no choice but to grow our population. And if we are going to let our fertility rates decline, then growing immigration is the only way to acheve this. We must stop public funding of unrealistic retirement ages, remove the welfare entitlements that disincentivise people from actually saving and managing their lives responsibly, force the able bodied to take jobs (at realistic conditions not artifically and unsustainably constrained by Unions), stop pumping up asset prices to enable people to consume rubbish they don’t actually need and can’t afford to begin with, and stem the ludicrous increase in household debt. If we can achieve all of this then we can start to talk about stabilising our population. But there is NO other way to get there. It is delusional to think otherwise. The carbon fairies can play in the grass for a little bit longer while the grown ups sort out this mess.

    • Buy Loony, the Baby Bonus (approx $1.5 billion pa) really did not lift our fertility rates at all, so there is one big saving.
      the paid parental leave scheme proposed by the Libs is only going to create a ‘glass floor’ and discourage employment of potential females who may give birth, but then again, that is actually the intent afterall….

      • I am not in favour of forcing people to do anything (such as having children they do not want), but would argue strongly that we need to remove the artificial mechanisms that enable people to sustain an unrealistic situation. You should get what you save for, and you should get back what you put in. That is not the current state of affairs, and it needs to be corrected. Everything flows from this basic premise. The baby bonus is an abomination of wrongheaded policy. We need to fix the problem at the source. If we do not correct it ourselves, it WILL be corrected for us, and the pain will be much MUCH worse.

  7. Alex, we are among the Olympians of CO2 emissions, ranked 13 globally. We have high per capita emissions, and because emissions are linked to GDP, as our GDP per capita expands so too do our emissions per capita.

    Considering the destruction being caused by climate change – and that will occur in the future – we have to find ways to expand GDP without expanding emissions.

    This can be done. We should do it while we have time.

    • I agree. It doesn’t need to be Bangladesh. For me, taking steps to cut emissions is much like reducing the budget deficit and national debt. There will never be a good or perfect time to do it. As Flawse often said, those answers lie back in time. We’ve missed that boat.
      Therefore, given that there’ll never be a right time, it makes no sense to delay either reducing our debts (in a measured and sustainable fashion) or reducing our emissions. If we take baby steps initially, no one will really miss the fraction of the middle class welfare payment that they’re no longer getting or the handful of emissions they no longer produce. Then people will notice the world hasn’t ended, things really aren’t that different after all. Then we cut a bit more off the next year and the year after that, very incrementally. But we have to start somewhere and sometime. WHy not now?

      • Actually it requires both.

        Companies n people need economic incentives to make meaningful changes in their behaviour patterns. “The Market” often doesnt provide those correct incentives so taxes ARE needed to deliver better public policy.

        In the case of energy, there is the real possibility that the world will soon face a glut of carbon based fuel sources, leading to lower oil and gas costs. Exactly the opposite of what is required to incentivize switching to Thorium reactors or whatever green alternatives are needed.

      • Technology, NOT taxes, can provide solutions.

        “Oslo based Thor Energy is pairing up with the Norwegian government and US-based (but Japanese/Toshiba owned) Westinghouse […]”

    • Quite right, briefly, but my starting point was where we are now and what is happening now. I agree with you about where we need to be going.

      Actually I suspect even the most red-necked of carbon spruikers agrees about the destination – the argument is really about the speed of change required. I tend to think we can start off slowly, with what Roger Pielke Jnr would call “no regrets” measures.

  8. Yes, it is very conflicted issue. I think the real position is that governments understand that environmental issues matter and they need to be seen to be doing something about them. But economic issues take higher precedence. In that sense, they’re trying to do both at the sime time, which obviously cancel each other out to some degree. At cross-purposes, certainly, but their hearts are in the right place.

    I think the real issue is that economic policy is the bedrock. Politicians do that first (as long as it buys votes). Environmental policy is then layered on top of that, in piecemeal responses to particular environmental problems as they arise. And then only to the extent that it doesn’t impact materially on any of the already existing economic objectives. Therefore, there is no real attempt to develop and integrated policy solution that integrates economic and environmental policy in a way that can achieve both objectives.

  9. The world population with peak within three decades +/- 10 years – at between 8.5 to 10 billion.

    From there it’s all downhill.

    There is no population problem, there is no energy problem, there is no food problem, there is no water problem.

    The Earth has more than enough resources for many more people. The whole population doomsday scare is a bogus concept based on a failure to understand how resource allocation and usage changes over time.

    Technology can easily solve all of the demand issues by greater efficiencies, reduced wastage and improved supply methods.

    All of these problems are getting fixed and will continue to be improved.

    Population fertility rates are plummeting in every country. They are under replacement levels in many areas of the world, and where they are not they are way down on their 20th century highs – and will continue to fall over this century. Some estimates have world population peaking in only 17 years.

    With a plethora of new energy technologies coming to market – there will be plenty of energy to make as much fresh water as needed. And with enhanced GMOs food production will soar. India is facing a growing glut of rice and will soon be equal with the US in gifting food to WPF. US emissions are back down to 1995 levels and will continue to fall as the switch to gas roars on. And in a couple of decades GM enhanced trees will be stripping CO2 from the atmosphere so fast – they’ll be starting to get worried in case we overshoot and trigger too much cooling.

    Enough of the Malthusian nightmare – the future is going to be fine and the bad old days before August 1945 will soon be a distant memory.

    But if people want to be lemmings and speed up the process then that’s their individual right to do so.

  10. The “answer” is perfectly logical. Make Australia a place where emissions per person are lower, so that every immigrant coming here, lowers global emissions on net.

    It is of course, a question how to do this and still remain an attractive destination for immigrants.

    Of course the same people desire a better life wherever they are, and in nations where they are further back down the Kuznets curve, the initial impact on emissions of economic development, is high per capita.

    Know what the best thing we could do, is? Give developing countries nuclear energy. Hydro dams everywhere there is potential for them would be a good idea too.

    It is unconscienable to deny “development” to the people of the 3rd world; but we are idiots if we don’t help them leapfrog over the “coal driven” phase of development.

    “Development” results in reduced birth rates anyway. The West is already more than doing its bit to reduce global population (without any “one child” policy from government), hence the looming crisis of low numbers of young fiscally supporting large numbers of elderly.

  11. Oh our little ponzi scheme is a minor affair given the potential implications of the “end of work”.

    But looking ahead we have an emerging serendipitous event where the end of work is happening as population peaks, and most jobs become obsolete.

    Technology is leap frogging ahead – and yet again looks set to save our bacon.

    All that said, the end of work makes climate change a science fair project in comparison.

    The social contract of the past 300 years is over.

  12. The issue of population growth management deserves a full airing. It is one of the key inputs of our economy and entirely controllable. We manage, monitor and target most areas of our economy and businesses to the nth degree. Why not population growth?

    Since 2004 our pop growth has been allowed to (or engineered to) fluctuate wildly. This has inevitably led to alternating periods of overloading and distress or gross inefficiency and waste.

    Why? Who benefits?

    If we want to grow our population, why not do it in an orderly, controlled measured way? That way we can more effectively and efficiently manage the demand on our limited resources and infrastructure.

    Whilst having some of the most overpriced and under-supplied housing in the world, we are currently running a pop growth rate at least double that of most comprable economies. Who made this decision? Could the person/s responsible explain the basis for that decision?

    • Since 2006, dodgy methods have included temp visa holders, so please, do not think that things have changed really. Just look at permanent numbers and you will not be alarmed, apart from our peaking emigration.

  13. GunnamattaMEMBER

    I took part in a conference about 3-4 years ago in Helsinki, of all places, which brought together a load of economists, investment types, environmental types and more than a few (mainly euro) political types. On one night something didnt come off as planned so we ended up just sitting around chewing over things with the speakers while having a few drinks and I have to say it was one of the more illuminating nights of my life.

    What happened was that there was a few different discussions taking place at the same time simultaneously, which had slightly different tangents like trade-investment, investment-economic development, development-carbon emissions, development-migration, and migration and investment, and as we all became well tanked the various conversations started to merge and people started to connect a lot of dots.

    There isnt much point in pursuing carbon goals, without factoring in both industrial development (and need for this) and population (both of any given domestic population, as well as that populations attractiveness and interaction with ‘external’ populations), and seeing that with an understanding of what drives migrations of peoples (generally quality of life issues), and having an understanding of the most effective way of improving their quality of life where they are.

    The upshot of the evening was that there was a general agreement that the world (the UN or whoever – but basically we all came to the general view there was a forum in which to bring this about) needed to bring about agreements on

    Development
    Trade
    Capital flows/investment
    Migration
    Global warming/carbon trade

    And that these all needed to be linked in a range of ways…..(and there would be other things which probably need to be brought in)

    When all is said and done there probably never will be any sort of agreement linking all those, so that any given agreement on any particular one of those is always going to potentially work contra to another address of another issue within that paradigm.

    I recall one guy made the point that capital tended often to work to leverage the spread between the freedom of movement that people’s money has (investment flows) and the freedom of movement that people have (migration) which I tend to agree with. This tends to drive the migration impulse.

    The main vehicle for diminishing the migration impulse is economic development, which drives carbon emissions to a certain point (and with most developing nations needing to pass through this certain point in order to reach a particular degree of development – although beyond a certain point it reduces them, but almost no emerging economies get that far). With capital basically again leveraging the spread between the output potential of the emerging economies as producers, through trade, and the demand of the developed economies as consumers.

    In Australia’s case I think it crazy to keep pushing migration if we are going to stick with the houses and holes economy, but at the same time it is equally crazy to restrict migration just to keep carbon emissions down. I think it more about pulling our fingers out and working to have a diverse developed economy which can make use of and work in conjunction with migration (which adds value as a society) – but with the politics we have at the moment it is more about big immigration small carbon with the underpants gnomes in between.

  14. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Australian Coal Production in Mtoe
    2000: 166.5
    2006: 210.8
    2011: 230.8

    138% increase over 11 years.

    Australian Coal Consumption in Mtoe:
    2000: 49.8
    2006: 56.0 (peak domestic consumption)
    2011: 46.7

    16.6% reduction of domestic coal consumption from peak.

    To put these numbers a different way, the Australian economy burnt 79.8% of its Mtoe of coal production off-shore in 2011.

    Australian coal exports grew from $12.5 billion in 2001 to $46.8 billion in 2011, a rise of almost 300 per cent.

    Coal made up 15% of all Australian Exports in 2011, second only to Iron Ore. (Next were Gold ~5% and Education ~5%)

    Does it really matter if the Coal is burnt in Australia or in Asia?

    Going by the numbers, domestic coal consumption is only 20% of the problem.

    * Stats from:
    DFAT’s scintillating “Composition ofTrade Australia 2011” and “BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012”.

  15. Tassie TomMEMBER

    As a soft Green myself, you have articulated unbelievably clearly and simply the problems (conflicts/ hypocrisies) with the Greens’ policies.

    Why hasn’t some professional spruiker for Labor or Liberals ever spoken so clearly to the voting public?

      • Not to mention how it’s collapsing in developing countries as well. China will soon have to make it a 2 child policy to reverse the demographic implosion. The same is happening all over the world. Globally human population will peak before 2050 – and maybe even by 2030.

      • The real unknown is the demographic momentun (more people living longer) that may occur in the developing countries. It longevity increases and the population swells, it may take until 2070 until we see peak population in real numbers.

        We have already hit and just past the peak population growth. That is a given….

  16. As noted in the australian May 2012 –

    AS Australians worry about their jobs and the government scrounges around for savings, department heads in Canberra are about to receive whopping pay rises.
    The head of the Department of Climate Change — one of many departments of dubious value — is set to earn at least $700,000 a year by 2014, a 39 per cent pay rise in two years.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/common-sense-lost-in-world-of-fat-cat-bureaucrats/story-fnc2jivw-1226346245972

    • A bit behind the times. Top item on the website of the (former) Department of Climate Change and Energy:

      On 26 March 2013, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency was abolished with climate change functions transferred to the new Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and energy efficiency functions transferred to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

  17. bolstroodMEMBER

    That will be a very short lived pay rise.

    Abbott is going to abolish The Dept of Climate Change

    This could affect the severance package tho.

    Labor looking after their own?

    • “….This could affect the severance package tho. Labor looking after their own?…”

      You BET this kind of thing goes on all over the world.

      When Chris Christie became Governor of New Jersey, promising fiscal responsibility, one of the things he discovered he had to tackle, was the “troughers” having all set up their own little last-ditch gouging schemes so their demise was going to cost the hapless taxpayer a bundle.

      One of Christie’s responses was to start publishing names, and positions, and facts on their pay, perks, superannuation, and the last minute changes that had been made to much of it. It didn’t take long before Christie could be quite sure he had public backing for the legal striking down of many of these blatant scams.

  18. We survived perfectly well in the 80s and 90s when immigration was at around 70k per year. Better even, for those of us who preferred those times demographically speaking.

    We can do it again, and we can do it permanently.

    Boomers will demand their pensions and health care and so on, so to pay for that we can up the tax on alchohol, and other discretionary items, like BMWs, 6 cylinder cars, I’m sure there’s a whole range of ways we can pay for them.