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Australia is far from being overcrowded: it’s not about space!

David McMullen’s latest diatribe opined, “To state the obvious, Australia is far from being crowded. Our population is smaller than that of the Benelux countries which have an area 80 per cent that of Tasmania. Or to do a city comparison, our population is about the same as the Seoul Metropolitan Area.”
Fifty years ago, China, India, Mexico and Bangladesh’s writers and leaders said the same thing.  See where it led their civilizations!  Why do you think their citizens starve, suffer and immigrate to places like Australia, America, Europe and Canada? Get the wax out of your brain mate!
“Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide [that adds 80 million net gain annually to the planet], but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates
As one of the few humans that has cycled the entire perimeter of Australia, I cannot sit by when some myopic intellectual ‘innumerate’ spouts a rash of balderdash into the public discussion about population.  Desert covers over 90 percent of OZ!   
Make this clear Mr. McMullen—you do not possess an understanding of ‘carrying capacity’; ‘Peak Oil’; ‘Species Extinction’; ‘Climate Destabilization’; ‘Carbon Footprint’; ‘Quality of Life’ ; ‘Standard of Living’; and more.
McMullen represents an ‘innumerate’ coined by Dr. Albert Bartlett, www.albartlett.org , “It’s time again to correct the educationally credentialed, but innumerate experts, (innumeracy is the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy), who say that growth is inevitable.”
Australia does not possess enough water, energy and resources to grow another 1, 5 or 10 million!
McMullen fails to understand this simple statement by a man beyond McMullen’s pay grade: “We must alert and organize the world's people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises - exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Over-consumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today.”   Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer
McMullen makes this inane statement, “In the new year the issue of “people smuggling” will no doubt continue to fester. So here is my suggested solution. Make illegal immigration legal. Open Australia’s borders. Refugees (both political and economic) could then book a cheap charter flight rather than an expensive and dangerous boat trip.”  I want to scream at such stupidity!  Why?
Over 1.0 billion humans on this planet cannot find a clean glass of water to drink daily. About 3.0 billion humans live on less than $2.00 per day. Over 18 million humans die of starvation annually.  How does McMullen propose to let them all immigrate to Australia?  And, how will you feed all 3.0 billion people Mr. McMullen?  How about taking a look at a simple five minute video to give you perspective as well as all Australians: 
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation.  Take five minutes to see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE&feature=player_embedded
Has McMullen investigated the ‘Monster’ facing humanity: Peak Oil?  Very few innumerates ever look at the facts:  “As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive?  As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.”  Walter Youngquist, energy  
Did McMullen think about the other creatures in Australia sharing the land with Aussies?  Answer: no!
“Upwards of two hundred species.. mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety.. are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the earth's carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence.. thanks to technologies that most people, I'm afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet than the endless production of radioactive wastes.” Daniel Quinn
You see Mr. McMullen, you promote a Faustian Bargain that leads to a Hobson’s Choice.  Shortsighted, simple-minded and totally out of touch with reality.  Aren’t enough people drowning in consequences in Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns today without adding millions more?    Haven’t you seen the ultimate results of your ridiculous statements in India, China, Mexico and Bangladesh?
Australia may be the last hope for the last civilization on Earth to move toward a stabile and sustainable population policy.  Otherwise, you will devolve into another India whether you like it or not.
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715
On Line Opinion

By David McMullen

 Friday, 21 January 2011
In the new year the issue of “people smuggling” will no doubt continue to fester. So here is my suggested solution. Make illegal immigration legal. Open Australia’s borders. Refugees (both political and economic) could then book a cheap charter flight rather than an expensive and dangerous boat trip.
To ensure that as few as possible of the less skilled end up as long term unemployed, we will need to continue the policy of limiting their initial access to welfare while at the same time creating new jobs by reducing the minimum wage and getting rid of a lot of the red tape restricting the small business sector.
We will also need to provide cheap accommodation. This will require the relaxation of housing regulations to allow for greater crowding and other various rough and ready arrangements. But more importantly, it will require an end to the general strangulation of housing supply which makes Australian cities the most expensive in the world.
The medical system would cope. We build more hospitals and rely to some extent on immigrants with medical training. Urban transport would cope too. We introduce congestion pricing on our main roads, allow bus and taxi services to expand rapidly and fast track necessary freeway construction. And you could say the same about natural attractions and beaches. Where necessary we introduce entry fees to control numbers and do the investment required to increase carrying capacity.
To state the obvious, Australia is far from being crowded. Our population is smaller than that of the Benelux countries which have an area 80 per cent that of Tasmania. Or to do a city comparison, our population is about the same as the Seoul Metropolitan Area.
If we grow by 200,000 per year - the average from 1950 to 2005 - we will reach 30 million by 2050. If we continue at the higher pace of the last five years we will reach 38 million by then. Population levels like these would put us in the same league as Canada, Poland and Argentina which suggests the term "big Australia" is a bit misplaced. Put another way, the entire continent of Australia would go from having the current population of the Seoul region to that of the Tokyo region.
And then there is this nice historical parallel. We presently have the population of England in 1881 and by 2050, at the rate we are going, we will have the population of England in 1921.
A move towards open borders could lead to something more like the growth in the United States. In 1850, they had our current population. Forty years later they had 63 million.
For present residents, high immigration would be a mixed bag. Infrastructure will not always increase as fast as the demand for it, especially if governments display their usual incompetence. Labour market competition in some areas will be more intense. On the other hand a larger economy will ultimately mean a broader range of job options. And we will be living in a bigger society where there is a lot more happening. For immigrants the benefits in most cases will be huge, and likewise for relatives back home who receive remittances.
Conservatives like Andrew Bolt fear our modern society would be undermined by a large influx of culturally backward people. However, this would only be a problem with some of the immigrants. Besides, modernity tends to win out rather than the other way round. It is so “corrupting”. The immigrants and their children take on the new fangled ways and often export them back to their home countries.
Given the local opposition to open borders, I imagine immigration will simply continue along in the sedate fashion that it has in the past as immigration policy balances competing pressures. On the one hand there are employers who want cheap labour, immigrants who want to bring out relatives, humanitarians who want to help the displaced and freedom lovers who believe that people should be able to live wherever they like. On the other hand there are people worried about their jobs and amenities, the "culture warriors" and, of course, the xenophobes and racists.
Having said that, it is still worth putting the open borders position if it helps to make high but still restricted immigration look more moderate and acceptable.
I cannot resist ending this article with a famous sonnet which captures the right spirit. It is on a plaque attached to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour.
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"