Australia’s emissions cut delusion

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says it would not be appropriate to discuss potential changes to the state’s carbon emissions reduction policy until the bushfire crisis is over. An independent advice panel chaired by former federal MP Greg Combet has recommended that the government adopt more aggressive targets, including reducing emissions by 40% on 2005 levels by 2025 and 60% by 2030:

Former federal MP Greg Combet, who is the state government’s independent adviser on proposed new emissions cuts, has recommended up to 40 per cent reductions on 2005 levels by 2025 and 60 per cent reductions by 2030.

Mr Combet said the scale of the bushfire crisis was undeniably linked to the warmer and drier conditions caused by climate change, making even more pressing the need for tough targets…

The state government has confirmed it will comply with its obligations under its own Climate Change Act and impose emissions cuts targets of no less than 20 per cent by March 31.

But at a press conference in Orbost on Sunday, the Premier refused to say how he would lower the state’s emissions over the next decade…

Professor Will Steffen, a member of Australia’s Climate Council, said the need for tough targets to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius was not a matter of ideology.

Let me state at the outset that I believe the threat from climate change is real and requires a global effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, Australia should in principle support the Paris Agreement on emissions reduction if it expects other nations to do so.

However, how realistic is it to expect Victoria to meet its targets when its population is growing at an extreme pace of 130,000 people a year?

Victoria’s population is projected to double to 12 million people by 2066 under the ABS’ middle (panel b) projections:

Doubling Victoria’s population will obviously mean that per capita emissions will need to be halved just to tread water. Thus, making any significant overall reductions to Victoria’s emissions at the same time as the population swells is next to impossible.

Remember, around one quarter of Australia’s emissions come from the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. Therefore, as Victoria’s population roughly doubles, so too will the number of buildings required to house the population, driving emission upwards.

In a similar vein, as Melbourne’s population doubles beyond a projected 10 million by 2066, an increasing proportion of the city’s water supply will also need to come from desalination, which is energy intensive.

While Australia’s emissions undoubtedly depend on many factors – including our energy use patterns, exports, and how we live – nobody can deny the fact that Australia’s mass immigration policy will make it next to impossible to meet our targets nor safeguard Australia’s environment.

Immigration-fuelled population growth is unambiguously threatening Australia’s ability to meet its Paris Agreement emissions targets, as well as placing undue strain on its fragile natural environment.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

  1. Put a carbon tax on vibrants. Gladys has already put a land tax on vibrants:

    If you’re a foreign person who owns residential land in NSW, you must pay a land tax surcharge in addition to any land tax you may already pay. The surcharge rate is: 0.75 per cent from the 2017 land tax year, and. two per cent from the 2018 land tax year onwards.

  2. “… when its population is growing at an extreme pace of 130,000 people a year?”
    Ahh yes … an inconvenient truth.
    The elites have quietly ordered that immigration should not be publicly discussed, or, if discussed, in such a way as to discredit those who questioned the immigration intake.

    • At SMH that order has been ramped up.

      There is no mention of immigration or population growth in any articles since early December.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        There hasn’t been a single article on water usage that has connected high immigration with increased water usage.

        Existing Australians should be hosing down their driveways with water every day, because otherwise EVERY environmental savings they make will simply be back filled with more immigrants.

        • Sustainable Australia and others should be targeting Fairfax and Labor as anti Australian, anti Australia and dishonest liars.

          • bjw

            Then it’s left to you and I.

            Got any ideas? I don’t want to go to the grave knowing I did next to nothing to save my kids futures.

          • I’ll give you a hint,
            Shouting
            “All the politicians are evil, we need different politicians.”
            isn’t the solution. It is einsteins definition of insanity. Voting in new politicians and expecting a different outcome is insane.

          • It’s not insane. It’s an attempt to change things short of sticking your head up and getting it chopped off.

          • If all Australians worked out Labor’s acting entirely against their interests, people would vote elsewhere.

            Resulting in new, but yes, maybe temporary, genuine opposition to LNP.

            It’s the only way I can see.

          • bjw

            You still haven’t answered my question. How do you get the elites out of it?

            I think you’re going to extraordinary lengths to distance Labor from blame. Why I ask.

            To be honest, I don’t think your narrative adds up.

      • 1 letter in today’s paper copy of SMH drawingthe link between pop incrase and Water shortage.

        • They’d end up on media watch if they didn’t publish at least one.

          Oh, no that’s right, ABC are in on it too.

          You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  3. happy valleyMEMBER

    Straya – the seminal example of Einstein’s notion of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
    :

  4. Well, guess what, nuclear power will solve the problem at hand.

    https://stopthesethings.com/2019/11/13/system-upgrade-bill-gates-backs-new-wave-nuclear-for-worlds-clean-energy-future/comment-page-1/

    Nuclear power is much safer than people think.

    https://fgc.unu.edu/en/publications/videos/interview-with-dr-gerry-thomas-professor-imperial-college-london.html

    But, as expected, people are afraid of dihydrogen monoxide.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1f4BKsFrCA&vl=en

    As for the global population, we will be fine – as long as we don’t do stupid things like stopping urbanization in the developing world. For the first time in human history, the majority of people live in cities and the trend of urbanization will continue for foreseeable future. And the great benefit of urbanization is that the population explosion dies down as people move to cities.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/stewart_brand_4_environmental_heresies

    Urbanization is green. Nuclear power is green. GM foods are green.

    We will be fine – as long as we don’t do stupid things like phasing out nuclear power. But then again, people have been very capable of doing stupid things.

    Anyways, back to all-important house prices.

    • I just watched the Chernobyl miniseries recently. Didn’t have much of an idea about the situation previously.

      Interesting stats at the end whereby they state that the direct and indirect death toll probably numbered as high as 90000 people and that it has still left 2600 square kilometres uninhabitable.

      Oh , sorry ….did I interrupt ?

      You were saying something about how safe nuclear power generation is ….please continue.

          • That country suppresses any data being collected or papers being published on the topic today. Not allowed to report thyroid cancer rates in Minsk.

            At least a third of Belarus is an atomic wasteland and countless birth defects, cancer patients suffer in silence. Fukashima looks properly fuk’ed too.

            Hooray for nuclear! Sure, the risk of meltdown is low, but the consequences are catastrophic… plus waste that lasts millennia.

          • “A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded.

            As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.”

            Belarus may be secretive so the total death toll may be twice as high as that given in the WHO report. Still more people die from a single plane crash – and there have been more than 1 plane crashes in history and yet people still continue to fly. In fact, driving is even more dangerous than flying but that doesn’t seem to prevent people from driving either.

          • “Confusion about the impact has arisen owing to the fact that thousands of people in the affected areas have died of natural causes. Also, widespread expectations of ill health and a tendency to attribute all health problems to radiation exposure have led local residents to assume that Chernobyl related fatalities were much higher than they actually were.”

            “Stress symptoms, depression, anxiety and medically unexplained physical symptoms have been reported, including self-perceived poor health. The designation of the affected population as “victims” rather than “survivors” has led them to perceive themselves as helpless, weak and lacking control over their future. This, in turn, has led either to over cautious behavior and exaggerated health concerns, or to reckless conduct, such as consumption of mushrooms, berries and game from areas still designated as highly contaminated, overuse of alcohol and tobacco, and unprotected promiscuous sexual activity.”

            Then again, the WHO is a well-known source of fake news sponsored by the global network of secret Jewish organizations, so their findings cannot be trusted, right?

      • Higher yield from the same size crop = less clearing of old growth forests.
        higher pest resistance = less chemical use = higher yield.
        higher drought tolerance = less water required = higher yield.
        Simples

        • do you know how GMO works?
          none makes GMO crops resistant to pests and weeds but resistant to pesticides and herbicides so one can spray more
          core business of Monsanto and BASF is selling pesticides and herbicides, GMO just helps sell more of them

        • Higher yield from the same size crop = less clearing of old growth forests.
          higher pest resistance = less chemical use = higher yield.
          higher drought tolerance = less water required = higher yield.
          Simples

          Privatising humanity’s food supply to a rapacious corporation: priceless.

      • Well I guess GM crops offer the possibility of increasing yields reducing the land and energy use. So perhaps that could be argued as green. But it probably depends on what you are comparing it to. If comparing it to the nonsense that is organic products the difference is around 20 – 30 more energy and land efficient.

        There are commercial and world health benefits to GM too ,but I wouldn’t call that green.
        GM crops have saved industries being wiped out by pests.
        GM golden rice fortified with beta-carotene is aiming to tackle the 600k child deaths and 600k child blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency.in poor countries.

        • health benefits of GMO? seriously?
          distributing vitamin A tablets to those same poor people would cost much less and be way easier logistically than distribution of GMO rice

          • Really? If the GMO is developed you literally distribute it once, and then the benefits exist forever more as they continue to grow enhanced crops.
            Vitamin A tablets you gotta keep making over and over again.

            What actual companies do with the tech is a different question though, isn’t it.

          • It’s illegal to use grown GMO products as seeds for next season, also many seeds are not fertile
            GMO seeds must legally always come from GMO manufacturer – many Indian farmers learned that hard way

            on top of this, most of GMO plants don’t provide much yield if not sprayed with designated pesticides/herbicides

            finally, why would some be buying expensive seeds of rice fortified with vitamin A if instead they can just grow carrots or pumpkins naturally fortified with it

          • The first of your arguments are all legal rather than technical, so I won’t bother dealing with those but
            “finally, why would some be buying expensive seeds of rice fortified with vitamin A if instead they can just grow carrots or pumpkins naturally fortified with it”
            Because carrots and pumpkins simply rot and will not grow in the wet conditions that rice grows in.

          • My understanding is Golden rice has been developed for free, not for profit to stop kids dieing and going blind in poor countries where rice is already the staple food.

            Sounds like it’s worth a try? It doesn’t mean other things can’t be tried as well. That’s not an argument against it.

            Anti GMO in terms of the technology, seems like it’s mostly just anti science nonsense. As for the companies that develope GMOs I’m not sure they are any more or less evil than your typical multi national corporations.

          • Yes, high yields are one aspect. Other, possibly more important aspects are; more drought resistant (for dry places), heat resistant (for hot places) or frost resistant (for cold place) crops. Seems relevant to climate change?

            Genetically modified crops are not new – the early forms simply applied Mendel’s Law to naturally existing, albeit not necessarily dominant, species that had desirable characteristics.

            Still, dihydrogen monoxide sounds dangerous.

          • there is no place on this world where rice grows but carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin or some other vitamin A rich staple food cannot
            when it comes to legality, that’s very important aspect of GMO
            technical issues are almost irrelevant in the world where an organism can be protected by artificial monopoly of intellectual rights.
            if legal issues are not important as you say than we have no issue of foods because the world at the moment produces much more than needed to feed everyone – it’s only legal issues not technical that make those poor people vitamin A at the first place

          • You do understand that monsanto doesn’t have a monopoly on GMO’s right?
            And complaining about privatisation of our food supply by GMO’s as we sell farmland wholesale to chinese corporations seems a little ironic.

    • Nuclear power is much safer than people think.

      while nuclear can be made safer, and also can solve the CO2 emission problem there are still few problems with it:
      – it’s extremely expensive (few times more expensive than the alternatives). the cheapest is at around $7.5b per GW (not sure how much would I trust UAE numbers). In Australia cost would be at least $10b per 1GW so to replace our 25GW of coal plants we would need at least $250b
      – it takes very long time to be built, building a nuclear power plant takes a decade or so while only few are being built simultaneously around the world. Barakah nuclear power plant in UAE took 10 years from the date of awarding contract (that’s in place where money is no issue, where environmental issues don’t exist and where iron fists make things happen).

      best case scenario for Australia is to pay $250b (today’s dollars) to get a fleet of 25GW nuclear power plants by 2070 (assuming 20% of worlds current nuclear power plant construction capacity gets committed to Australia over the entire period)

      clearly nuclear is not a solution

      • Nuclear is not the answer for Australia because within 10 years Solar and wind will make day-time grid electricity free.
        This is unavoidable, it is already a problem in Perth and it’s a problem that is only going to continue to grow.
        with this is mind: What do you do with your midday electricity from a Nuclear generator …it is not so easy to turn the wick up or down on nuclear. Any modern power system needs to have a solution for the so called Duck-back curve caused by high level of PV solar integrated into the grid.
        wrt this Nuclear is even less suitable than Coal

        • It depends on whether Straya aspires to redevelop an industrial economy or not. If Straya plans to indefinitely source her stuff from China or wherever emissions will be coming from, then fine, perhaps Straya will not need nuclear power.

          • I’ve got nothing against Nuclear and if you have heavy industry that needs reliable lowish cost power than it’s a good choice. In many ways Nuclear is better than Solar from an overall carbon footprint because having large amounts of Solar within the grid forces you to select distributed complementary fast ramp/down power stations which overall may easily exceed the carbon footprint of a Coal or Nuclear facility But none of this matters because PV solar has won at the residential level so the rest of a modern grid needs to support this technology.

          • we are already at the cutting edge when it comes to solar so why not build industry around instead of trying to catch up with nuclear where we have no chance

            fisho
            pumped storage can do fast ramp up down as needed without much carbon footprint and we have plenty of cliffs near the ocean to build them

          • I love the idea of pumped storage (salt water storage with cliff tops) and under water compressed air storage both good choices with low cost ways to implement both technologies. Added benefit is that they can be distributed to match distributed generation .capability all great ideas but not something that’s happening.
            So don’t get on my case the Greenies and Nimby’s don’t value these solutions.

          • Nope bjw. No holdings whatsoever other than through industry super (I have no idea what the holdings in the fund are).

            No agenda. My point should be obvious – DS is a nuclear bull who regularly sprukes for that particular industry as a solution to AGW while at the same time having holdings in that industry. Do you think that DS should or should not declare interest?

            For what its worth I still see nuclear as potentially part of the mix of measures to combat AGW emissions. Potentially – but the numbers just don’t stack up to form a compelling case for doing so, certainly not in Australia.

            Does this address your concerns?

          • ” Do you think that DS should or should not declare interest?”
            Why should he declare his interest. Everyone has a bias, either financially or otherwise.
            If you go around assuming everyone you meet or speak to, or who spouts at you from the internet is completely unbiased unless they tell you otherwise you are in for a very disappointing life.

          • Ginger, two points.

            (1) I haven’t seen anyone here in the comment section make declarations before. Nor is it a part of the Comment rules. So you cannot fault me in any way for not doing what I have not been required to do. Plus, it is not as if I have been trying to conceal the fact that I am a huge uranium bull.

            (2) You seem to think I spruke for the nuclear industry because I have vested interest in the sector. It is the other way around – the reason I get exposure to nuclear in the first place is precisely because I saw all the prevalent misconceptions which I have been busting on this site. After all, there is a huge opportunity whenever widespread market misconceptions exist. I don’t think there is anything wrong or unethical about busting widespread misconceptions and financially profit as a result. After all, truth will be out sooner or later in this information age.

            So, point out by all means if you think I got it wrong, that is, the myths I have been busting is actually the truth.

          • bjw
            – interest should be declared because that is the ethical thing to do
            – I don’t assume everyone is unbiased

            DS
            – I have seen declarations here, recently too. So, on your logic, I can fault you.
            – I have not seen any myth busted.

          • @ginger,
            how about instead of complaining about declarations, actually provide some facts, and bust his myths.
            Or is your complaint about the manner of presenting his argument tacit admission he is correct?

          • bjw, this is now way off topic. I don’t understand what your argument is (what facts would you like? What myths? What is DS correct about?). I think we’ve all tried to make our points. It has been a reasonably civil disagreement.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      And who would trust any Strayan government to operate a nuclear power station?

      Ah, better outsource it to mates in the private sector.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Since Australia can’t even build a nuclear water dump in the middle of nowhere, where would you build a nuclear power station? Kiribilli?

        • who does owns, operate or builds them?
          of 10 plants under construction at the moment are owned or being build by a governments and most of them both owned and constructed by government owned entities.

          of 150 nuclear reactors in the world huge majority has been built or it’s still owned by a government entity

          • Are you talking about the ownership or the technical matters of construction? Many governments in the developing world do not have any experise to construct nuclear power plants.

            If you are talking about the ownership, I don’t see why Straya’s lack of experise in nuclear power is a worry. Oh, you meant Strayan governments cannot be trusted in their regulations, etc., compared to the governments in the developing world?

          • our government cannot be trusted when it comes to procurement process – someone will give a shit while ripping us off, neither can be trusted when it comes to regulations

            if we decide to build one it will take years just to get site for the first plant decided and approved
            there is no even slight chance we would get significant nuclear power generation before it’s to late to act anyway

          • there is no even slight chance we would get significant nuclear power generation before it’s to late to act anyway

            This is the important point.

            Even a small nuclear footprint in Oz would take 10-20 years. Anything significant another 20.

            In the interim solar and wind can be rolled out largely without constraint.

            Even brand new hydro (eg: for pumped hydro) would probably have less resistance and a quicker time to market than nuclear.

            You cannot handwave away the political and technical roadblocks.

            Nuclear’s time to address climate change was decades ago. It’s passed.

          • Nuclear’s time to address climate change was decades ago. It’s passed

            I’d not say it’s passed yet but definitely very late.
            If I recall correctly, it was ‘greenies’ that opposed it in favour of a lot of maybe’s.

          • Yes, definitely very late. I guess the case for nuclear is weaker in Straya than in any other nations of the G20 – sparsely populated continent in low latitudes that receives tons of sunshine.

            Will carbon be universally priced at some point in future?

            If that happens, the manufacturers will pass the carbon costs on to their products. Then, those without nuclear power will not be competitive and eventually all the heavy industries will be concentrated to those with near 100% nuclear power. In short, nuclear power will become a pre-requisite to host heavy industries although having nuclear power alone will not guarantee success. Since many developing nations will aspire to develop industrial economies and some developed nations will try to retain their industrial economies, they will collectively deploy large numbers of nuclear reactors. So the nuclear sector will be fine regardless of whether Straya joins the renewed nuclear age or not.

            The question for Straya is, what kind of industry mix will it have after closing the window for heavy industries? Straya will need her own export industries to pay for manufactured goods.

  5. Talking about a delusional understanding of Emissions and the Economy
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-13/ross-garnaut-on-economic-impact-of-climate-change/11862066

    So If I understand Ross, people (as in our human capital) plays no role in the direction that our Economy takes. these experts that will make Australia the greatest exporter of Steel and Aluminium are they Australians? Just curious maybe they’re not Aussies and maybe they just built a perfect renewable smelter in Australia, I’m OK with that BUT how does it benefit real Australians?
    You know what I mean, how does it benefit people living in Sydney and Melb that have good jobs working for banks and Insurance companies, these people have mega mortgages to pay …they need to keep their good jobs….how will our Economy prosper if all the good jobs are gone?

      • I don’t think Ross is stupid, but that still leaves the question:
        What is the broader Economic value of a foreign designed, owned, operated and financed smelter in Australia
        Sure we could supply all the Renewable energy made possible by fully imported wind generators and Solar farms ….so I’m still not sure how this benefits Australia…surely it’s easier (and probably more profitable) to just continue to send them the ore that they dug up in exchange for some trinkets and lots of marvelous GDP enhancing mortgage debt.

  6. One only has to look where the Victorian Labor party gets its donations from to realise nothing will stop the ponzi. The big build is employing plenty of construction workers and developers sure have sent a lot of money the way of the Labor party (exhibit A: Casey municipality developers). It is no different with the Liberal party and developers.
    The sad thing is that most of the electorate will believe that you can have mass immigration and mitigate climate change. I mean last election they believed that you can have mass immigration and build your way out of an infrastructure backlog.

    • A bit aggressive on the big build here? The other alternative is to have mass immigration and no infrastructure catch up.

      • The other alternative is not to have mass immigration. The big build will never catch up to the infrastructure backlog as mentioned numerous times on this blog.

        • HadronCollisionMEMBER

          Vic and NSW could impose an immigrant tax, and use it to fund X Y and Z. (water, roads, schools etc)
          Unless you’re coming from interstate in which case you assume that person has already contributed to the tax base ie GST, and PAYG and that money swishes around health, GST transfers etc etc
          (or is this prohibited)

          • How exactly would you envision this tax working? pay $X or you can’t come in?
            Charge $X extra for services provided? Something else?
            The reality is that I don’t think the state government has the power to stop people from coming in, and they are never going to be able to charge enough extra for services to make it viable.
            And then the glaringly obvious problem, the state governments are just as much big australia as the federal and wouldn’t add any charge that would hamer the influx of immigrants who are mosty unable to afford these charges anyway.

          • I’m happy with that. Let’s set it at $1M per person. Migrants can be a net positive.

            And if they are low skilled and poor types that wouldn’t get an invite to a reusa party, then they can try New Zealand or Canada.

  7. some countries, some lead by conservatives like UK, pledged to reduce emission to zero … in that case it doesn’t matter how many residents a country has …
    if there is a single large (>20m) country in the world that can easily be carbon neutral it’s us, not only we have enough solar, wind and storage potential, but we also have so much land that can be turned into forests to offset any remaining emission

    • 100% correct. Victoria for example has cleared two thirds of its forests since European settlement. But rather than planting, we are still logging within the water catchments for Melbourne’s drinking water.

    • Yep. ~100% renewables economy is not only a no-brainer for Oz, it’s actually a near-reality, in that we could actually pull it off quite soon, AND export extraordinary amounts of energy to the world, AND have very cheap power that liberates households and attracts industry back to Australia…

      We are passing up MAJOR economic opportunities by not taking this with both hands now…

      • Our power generation is a completely open free market.
        Put your money where your mouth is and show us how it’s done. Or are you simply spouting untrue hyperbole that is usually promoted by the Renewables crowd.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    Beat the drum on immigration policy! Yes!

    However our New Economy depends on a steady stream of cheaper and cheaper labour to create capacity for debt through wage theft. The idea is not for the new arrivals to take on debt and buy houses, the idea is for these workers to be stacked on top of each other and used as slaves.

    Debt is already growing too slowly and these effects can be seen. It takes 100 billion dollars every year to service that debt at minimum, and if the debt doesnt grow fast enough more of that 100 billion is stolen from the proceeds of productivity instead of being reinvested.

    Most of that 100 billion is used by the banks for their own debt. 2 trillion dollars is starting to get up there, and 60% of that is sourced from overseas banks which probably means that 60% or slightly less of the 100 billion interest dollars (since banks get cheaper rates than run of the mill debt rubes with house shaped mountains of debt) will be paid to overseas banks as interest repayments and not reinvested into actual productive undertakings that grow the economy.

  9. Panigale959gal Du

    Is climate change a global problem that requires a global solution?
    Does importing a ton of people prevent us from meeting our local emissions reduction targets?
    Ergo if we don’t import these people we stand a better chance of meeting our local emissions targets. But those people we would have imported would still exist, just in another country and contributing to emissions in THAT country. How are global emissions lowered if those people still exist but are instead generating emissions in another country? Adjusting immigration policy will NOT WORK to solve a global problem which needs a global solution.

    Do we cull the world’s population?

    • Righto. So according to you, Australia must act locally to reduce global emissions. But Australia cannot act locally to reduce global overpopulation by slashing immigration.

      Nice contradiction there. Well done.

      Australia only can control what happens within its borders. It cannot control what happens globally.

      • Come on mate, nothing Australia does about immigration is going to have the slightest impact on global population.

        I’d argue nothing (ethical) can be done to help climate change from a population perspective in a useful timeframe (if it ever could).

        • “Come on mate, nothing Australia does about immigration is going to have the slightest impact on global population”.

          The very same could be said about emissions and climate change.

          Australia can only act locally on both issues.

          • Firstly, so what ?

            Secondly, we could stop exporting coal, that would make a big difference.

            We could also be embarking on massive consumption reduction and renewable energy programmes, and selling (or giving) that technology to third world countries. At the very least that would be setting a good example.

        • Putting my Machiavellian hat on…

          If you keep the people in high birth rate countries where they are, they exhaust their resources and nature will correct their populations through famine and disease. If you transplanted some to rich nations they will simply increase their population to its natural limit again through births, and those who leave increase their emissions intensity in the higher standard of living country. Immigration is a lose-lose for the environment.

          Look at places like Nigeria, Philippines, India. Make them closed systems by preventing the migration escape route, and keep them poor so their emissions per capita remain low.

          The planet has resources for 3B at first world standard of living. Yet we are consuming over 3 times this sustainable amount. There is a 4.4B overshoot, with much of it in Asia.

          • Plenty of morally and ethically bankrupt people are of this opinion (note: I do not think Leith falls into this group by any measure).

            Some are more overt about it than others.

          • So, Dr Smithy. What do you believe is a sustainable population for Australia, as well as Sydney and Melbourne? Also, do you believe that Australia’s current mass immigration policy is sensible and is maximising Australian residents’ living standards?

          • I am neither morally or ethically bankrupt. But the arithmetic we face is stark. What place is there for humanism in an overpopulated dying planet? Because global overpopulation is the root cause of our problems with food, water, emissions at cetera.

            How do you manage human rights in a collapsing over exploited closed system that is the planet?

            If we were kangaroos you’d send out helicopters to cull us. But because it’s people that isn’t nice, so we will all feel good as we choke and suffocate each other out of existence. Good job!

            Is that ethical or morally righteous? Knowingly condemning ourselves collectively to that fate?

          • “Plenty of morally and ethically bankrupt people are of this opinion (note: I do not think Leith falls into this group by any measure).
            Some are more overt about it than others.”

            Don’t worry smithy,
            The australian government is doing it’s part to fight this horrible suggestion, by ensuring that living standards in australia fall to that of the third world to eliminate the problem.

          • So, Dr Smithy. What do you believe is a sustainable population for Australia, as well as Sydney and Melbourne?

            No idea (nor, I suspect, is there a simple answer). But that’s not really the point here, because your argument here isn’t about what’s sustainable for Australia, it’s about addressing climate change.

            Also, do you believe that Australia’s current mass immigration policy is sensible and is maximising Australian residents’ living standards?

            No, as I have consistently said since this blog started. But, as above, it’s not really the point in this particular discussion.

          • ” it’s not really the point in this particular discussion.”

            Actually it is. The whole post is about how Australia cannot meet its emissions targets while growing by a Canberra every year. You are the one that chose to spin it.

          • Because global overpopulation is the root cause of our problems with food, water, emissions at cetera.

            Actually it’s consumption, which is a function of population.

            The point here is that a significant reason we enjoy the lifestyles we do is because we have outsourced much of the cost of it to the third world.

            Saying “well, WE can’t possibly change anything” and pushing them out into the path of an oncoming tornado should be problematic for a properly functioning human. Though after 40-odd years of glorifying just that course of action I am no longer surprised when people think it’s OK.

          • Reducing consumption isn’t going to be enough. It gets us maybe 30% of the way to where we need to be. Even if we resort to local production, low emissions economy the goose is already cooked. 9B people by 2100! It is insane. The whole world is put to food production already. Sure, we can all go vegan and squeeze a few billion more in but WTF… This can not continue.

            We need go get the population down. 1st world is on the right track with births but has high immigration with the problem I outlined earlier of not actually fixing anything. We should be aging and shrinking gracefully like Japan.

            1 child policy although breaching human rights was the right policy for 1.3B China. What we need is improved living standards in 3rd world to get births down but without the associated rise in per capita emissions. That is currently not possible.

          • Actually it is. The whole post is about how Australia cannot meet its emissions targets while growing by a Canberra every year. You are the one that chose to spin it.

            I know what the post was about.

            The comment I was replying to was this:

            Righto. So according to you, Australia must act locally to reduce global emissions. But Australia cannot act locally to reduce global overpopulation by slashing immigration.

          • We need go get the population down.

            The only ways to do this on a meaningful timeframe (ie: decades) involve either several billion people dying in the undeveloped world, or a few hundreds of millions dying in the developed world.

            Substantial reductions in (direct) consumption, however, can come in a meaningful timeframe if we are prepared to, and I would argue with relatively little pain. From memory, the per-capita resource usage of the Swiss is half that of the USA and about 2/3 of ours. Do you think the Swiss have low living standards ? We live in a phenomenally wasteful society that can be made significantly more efficient without much, if any, impact on quality of life.

            That’s the low-hanging fruit. Decisions might start to get harder after that.

        • Australians have the highest standard of living on the planet.
          If all the world lived like us, we need 5.2 planet Earths.
          Does bringing millions of people into this gluttonous consumer society really help bring down emmissions ?

      • HadronCollisionMEMBER

        perhaps the point was if australia was a leader in emissions reductions/net zero or even negative emissions/carbon positive, we could take some people here, especially climate refugees (probably a priority, ie from the pac islands). then again, we have our own internal refugees too, it would seem

        this is based on the assumption these people come from carbon emitters, and assumes we do something

        and we don’t need to cull the population but over time there sure as sh$t needs to be les humans on the planet

        to your last point, sure, we can’t control but we MUST set an example. go check the comments out here: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/new-south-wales-fires-in-australia-the-worlds-response.html

        • I agree that Australia needs to cut its emissions. As stated up front in the article. But effectively importing a Canberra-worth of population every year (directly and via migrants having kids) will make this very difficult, while also wrecking our living standards.

      • Panigale959gal Du

        Thanks for agreeing. Where did I say Australia must act locally to reduce global emissions? There is nothing Australia can do to have any discernible impact on global emissions – we would just be shooting ourselves in the foot for nothing gained. Until the major emitters get serious Australia should not be doing anything to handicap it’s own growth just so it can feel good via virtue signalling.

    • There is no equivalence between a vibrant living in a 3rd world sh*thole, in a shack with a couple of lightbulbs, cycling to work every day and the same vibrant living in a McMansion over here that consumes far more power and driving a Landcruiser to work.

      It’s about relative standards of living. Individuals living in 1st world countries are likely to consume more power and burn more fuel than the same people living in 3rd world countries.

      • Panigale959gal Du

        Because your newly arrived average 3rd world vibrant has the means to plonk the money on a McMansion in Syd/Melb and drive a landcruiser? Don’t think so. They ride scooters delivering my Uber….likely not much different to what they’d do back home.

        • I would be willing to bet the marginal increase in our overall emissions from third world immigrants was minor – even at a holistic level – despite the proportional increase to them at an individual level.

          A huge percentage of our emissions comes from things that are largely independent of population (much like most land clearing has nothing to do with our population). Per a link I found the other day, most of our emissions increase over the last decade (ish) has come as a side effect of increased gas exports.

          • ‘I would be willing to bet the marginal increase in our overall emissions from third world immigrants was minor…’

            You would lose.
            ‘Within the lifetime of the typical Australian the number of people living here is expected to jump 60 per cent from 23.3 million today to 37.6 million by 2050. Sydney and Melbourne’s populations are projected to explode by 60 to 80 per cent to reach almost 8 million inhabitants each.’ From the afr in 2013, so given the higher immigration since then it would be higher now.

            I would think most sane people would agree that increasing population by at least 60 to 80 per cent in just 30 years, driven purely from a mass Third World immigration program… is not going to have a minor effect to rising co2 but a massive increase.
            Your gas export comment is stupid … if countries want to buy our gas/coal, then they should deal with co2 emissions.
            Does Toyota stop exporting Toyotas because they emit co2?

          • Bingo! These people simply don’t have access to 2% motor loans and $500,000 mortgages at 3.9% where they come from.

      • “Individuals living in 1st world countries are likely to consume more power and burn more fuel than the same people living in 3rd world countries”

        Bingo. The current solution to world population is to convert the 3rd world into 1st world, and educate (social engineer) them. Take a look at the exponential chart for Global Car manufacturing and you will see the unintended consequences of that solution.

        I will add though, that this is happening regardless of immigration.

      • The average migrant from a poorer country has a massive increase in environmental footprint on coming to Australia, and their children will consume like anyone else in the host population.

        http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2018/11/chinese-migrants-follow-australians-giant-ecological-footprints.php

        Half the people in Australia have at least one parent born overseas, and a quarter have two. This is hardly a minor effect. A lot of the damaging activities that appear to have nothing to do with population are earning the foreign exchange that is needed to pay for the imports required for the larger population. There is no hope of restricting these activities when human needs are at stake. Cleaning up wasteful forms of consumption can only be part of the solution.

        The only hope of saving our planetary life support systems is by moving towards a relatively small, rich global population that is high enough up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to give priority to the environment. In early 20th century America, conservation was a cause of the Right, not the Left. The Left only cared about jobs, as is also clear from the environmental damage in Communist countries.

        drsmithy seems to think that it is immoral not to take in people from societies that have overpopulated. (There is no need to keep them poor — they are doing that for themselves.) As any parent can tell you, shielding people from the consequences of bad decisions is the best way to get more of them. Let’s all crash together and have the 6th mass extinction!

        • drsmithy seems to think that it is immoral not to take in people from societies that have overpopulated. (There is no need to keep them poor — they are doing that for themselves.) As any parent can tell you, shielding people from the consequences of bad decisions is the best way to get more of them. Let’s all crash together and have the 6th mass extinction!

          No I don’t, and that is the same kind of “they deserve it” attitude to the developing world you regularly criticise people here for having about baby boomers.

          • Entirely different situation. It is the neoliberal politicians and their very rich and powerful backers (only some of whom are baby boomers) who are ultimately responsible for young people’s problems, so when young people blame the baby boomers, they are mostly blaming the wrong people. The politicians and the media came up with those evil baby boomer and smashed avo memes to identify scapegoats and deflect blame from themselves.

            The people in the poor Third World countries are actually responsible for hanging onto cultural patterns that have clearly become dysfunctional, and they are the only people who can change them. Some have. South Korea was ground down for centuries by Chinese and then Japanese colonial masters. In 1960, it was tied with Senegal for poorest country on Earth. It took the South Koreans around 35 years to become a fully fledged First World country.

          • Yeah, nah.

            I don’t think there’s a constructive discussion to be had here if you think the people of (mostly undemocratic) third world countries are primarily to blame for their predicaments but the people of (mostly democratic) first world countries are not.

  10. 1. Be outraged.
    2. Say you’ll do something.
    3. Do nothing to ensure success.
    4. Do not report detail of your abject failures.
    5. ???
    6. Profit!

  11. Why does immigration sounds like a proverbial hammer in the hand – thence from everything suddenly appears as a nail.

    I mean, +411 people *every day* (~0.6% imports a year) is no good and as much as it is indirectly part of causes AUS is knee deep in problems, it is not the only or major cause in absolutely every problem. No rain – Immigration levels to blame?