The Insanity of Endless Growth


9 August 2017
By Dr Haydn Washington for Dick Smith Fair Go.

The world is faced with a predicament of grave enormity – yet one rarely spoken of. The United Nations (UN), almost all governments, business, and media and both the political Left and the Right are busy extolling (even praising) ‘endless growth’.

Yet we live on a finite planet, so clearly endless physical growth is impossible, unsustainable and, in fact, insane.

I often give public talks on sustainability and ask the audience: ‘On a finite planet who thinks we can keep growing physically forever?’ Nobody raises their hands. So why then is our economy and society based on what many individually know is impossible? An excellent question – but one hardly ever asked in mainstream economics (Daly, 2014). Even the UN forgets to ask the question – and to answer it.

Limits to Growth
Most people in society don’t seem to understand that humanity has exceeded ecological limits, causing the environmental crisis. The book ‘Limits to Growth’ (Meadows et al, 1972) showed that our population growth and increasing consumption of resources would exceed planetary limits around the middle of the 21st century,  causing societal collapse. This report was strongly criticized by traditional economists, who called the authors ‘prophets of doom’ (Solow, 1973). However, a 40-year review of the ‘standard’ model of the ‘Limits to Growth’ has shown that it has been remarkably accurate (Turner and Alexander, 2014). To summarise environmental indicators:

  • The Global Ecological Footprint now stands at 1.6 Earths (GFN, 2017);
  • The Living Planet Index has declined by 52% since 1970 (WWF, 2014);
  • The species extinction rate is at least 1000 times normal (MEA, 2005);
  • 60% of ecosystem services are degrading or being used unsustainably (MEA, 2005);
  • Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been exceeded as a result of human activity (Steffen et al., 2015).

In effect, we are bankrupting nature and we are consuming the past, present and future of our biosphere (Wijkman and Rockstrom, 2012). On a finite world with expanding population and consumption, clearly something has got to give. So we really do have a problem, for humanity is totally dependent on the biosphere we are degrading (Washington, 2013). Hence society desperately needs to recognize we are way past sustainable ecological limits.

The endless growth mantra
Our best science may tell us that the consumer society is on a self-destructive path, but we successfully deflect the evidence by repeating in unison the mantra of perpetual growth (Rees, 2008). However, repetition of course does not make something ‘true’. Herman Daly (1991) argues that economic growth is unrealistically held to be:

… the cure for poverty, unemployment, debt repayment, inflation, balance of payment deficits, the population explosion, crime, divorce and drug addiction.

Economic growth is thus unrealistically seen as the panacea for everything. Daly (1991) notes that the verb ‘to grow’ has become twisted. We have forgotten its original meaning, where growth gives way to maturity, a steady state. To grow beyond a certain point can be disastrous.

A final aspect of growthism is that it is commonly claimed we: ‘Have to have growth for jobs!’. Is this correct? There are good grounds to question whether jobs have actually historically been linked to growth. Peter Victor (2008) notes that the idea only developed sixty years ago, and for most of human history we managed without growth in terms of employment.

Does growth necessarily bring employment in any case? There were more Canadians with incomes less than the ‘Low Income Cut Off’ in 2005 than in 1980, despite the real Canadian GDP having grown by 99.5% (Victor, 2008). Victor (2008) notes it is possible to develop scenarios where full employment prevails, poverty is eliminated, people have more leisure, and greenhouse gases are drastically reduced, in the context of low – and ultimately no – economic growth. It is thus mistaken to assume that growth and jobs are strongly related.

Once we have exceeded ecological limits, growth will make us worse off. We have then reached uneconomic growth. However, our experience of diminished well-being will be blamed on ‘product scarcity’. The orthodox economic response will then be to advocate increased growth to fix this. In the real world of ecological limits, this will make us even less well off, but this will lead to advocacy of ‘even more growth’ (Daly, 1991). This becomes a death spiral.

Healing our economy requires accepting the reality that the economy cannot grow forever. However, in recent years the term ‘decoupling’ has been used to argue we can grow further.

Decoupling
‘Decoupling’ means we reduce the amount of materials and energy used, and still have a similar quality of life. The UN advocates the ‘green economy’ (UNEP 2011) which speaks of completely decoupling economic growth from impacts, but how successful have we been in reaching it? Victor (2008) notes decoupling slows down the rate at which things get worse, but does not turn them around. Some modest decoupling of material flows occurred from the mid-1970s to mid-1990s, but total material throughput still increased. Victor and Jackson (2015) note that while there has been some ‘relative decoupling’, any serious absolute decoupling is not evident. Talk of ‘100% decoupling’ may just be wishful thinking that allows ‘business-as-usual’ growth to continue. Focusing just on decoupling runs the risk of becoming part of the denial concerning the unsustainability of endless growth.

Denial
How is it possible for civilisations to be blind towards the grave approaching threats to their survival, even when the evidence is extensive (Brown, 2008)?

Humanity has a key failing – we tend to deny our problems. We proceed often in a cultural trance of denial, where people and societies block awareness of issues too painful to comprehend. This human incapacity to hear bad news makes it hard to solve the environmental crisis. As a society, we continue to act as if there is no environmental crisis, no matter what the science says (Washington, 2017). Humanity denies some things as they force us to ‘confront change’, others because they are just too painful, or make us afraid.

Sometimes we can’t see a solution, so problems appear unsolvable (Washington and Cook, 2011). Sociologist Zerubavel (2006) explains the most public form of denial is ‘silence’, where some things are not spoken of. Take the silence about the environmental crisis, the silence about the fact that the world is overpopulated, the deafening silence about the impossibility of endless growth (Washington, 2015). The basis for much denial is ideological, where science and the environmental crisis are denied due a conservative ideological hatred of regulation affecting the free market (Oreskes and Conway, 2010).

Anthropocentrism – a pro-growth worldview
Solutions become easier if we change our worldview and ethics. Endless growth has been possible due to the overwhelming anthropocentric (human-centred) worldview of modernism (Curry, 2011), which sees the world as being essentially just a resource for human use (Crist, 2012). Anthropocentrism sees individual humans as more valuable than all other organisms. In contrast ‘ecocentrism’ finds intrinsic value in all of nature (Washington et al, 2017). Endless growth has been the ethical brainchild of anthropocentric ‘speciesism’, a toxic worldview (Curry, 2011) that has dominated Western society for two centuries. Daly (1991) concludes: It is widely believed by persons of diverse religions that there is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.

Solutions
We face a supremely difficult predicament. Society has become hooked on endless growth, but this has well and truly failed, as shown by every environmental indicator. Change is not easy but it is possible – but only by accepting the nature and scale of our predicament. Solving the key cause of the problem – the idea we can grow physically forever on a finite planet – means tackling the three key drivers (Washington, 2015) of unsustainability: overpopulation; overconsumption; and the growth economy. I suggest these key solution frameworks (see Washington, 2015):

  • Accept ecological reality and roll back denial;
  • Change our worldview to ecocentrism, and abandon the false dream of ‘Mastery of Nature’;
  • Control population growth through education, family planning and non-coercive, humane strategies (Engelman, 2016);
  • Roll back the deliberately-constructed consumer ethic (Assadourian, 2013);
  • Move past growthism to a steady state economy (Daly, 2014);
  • Solve climate change urgently, focusing on mitigation;
  • Apply appropriate technology, especially 100% renewables within 2-3 decades, along with major energy efficiency and conservation (Diesendorf, 2014);
  • Reduce poverty and inequality (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2010), while simultaneously supporting the ‘Nature Needs Half’ vision (Kopnina, 2016);
  • Establish comprehensive education for sustainability based on ecological reality and ecocentrism;
  • Create the political will for change – Act!

We have been locked into an insane growth fantasy for two centuries, but the past does not mandate the future. It is time now to grow up. We need to acknowledge the scale of the problem, abandon denial, and move towards a major shift in worldview. This is a big task, but also an exciting, positive challenge – one nobody should deny.

***

Dr Haydn WashingtonDr. Haydn Washington an Adjunct Lecturer with the PANGEA Research Centre, Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW, Australia. He has a forty year history as an environmental scientist, writer and activist. He has a degree in ecology, a Masters of Science in eco-toxicology (heavy metal pollution), a Dip. Ed., and a Ph.D. ‘The Wilderness Knot’ in Social Ecology (2007). Haydn was worked in CSIRO, as Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, as an environmental consultant, and as a Director of Sustainability in Local Government. He is the Co-Director of the NSW Chapter of the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy. Haydn has written books on environmental issues, the most recent being ‘Demystifying Sustainability’ (2015) and as lead editor of ‘A Future Beyond Growth’ (2016) and the 2017 book ‘Positive Steps to a Steady State Economy’. Haydn is also keenly interested in geodiversity, especially the pagoda rock formations of the western Blue Mountains.

 

References

Assadourian, E. (2013) ‘Re-engineering cultures to create a sustainable civilization’, in Starke, L., editor, State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?, Washington: Island Press.

Brown, D. (2008) ‘The ominous rise of ideological think tanks in environmental policy-making’, in Soskolne, E., editor, Sustaining Life on Earth: Environmental and Human Health through Global Governance, New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Crist, E. (2012) ‘Abundant Earth and the population question’, in Cafaro, P. and Crist E.., eds,  Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, pp. 141-151.

Curry, P. (2011) Ecological Ethics: An Introduction. Second Edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Daly, H. (1991) Steady State Economics, Washington: Island Press.

Daly, H. (2014) From Uneconomic Growth to a Steady State Economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Diesendorf, M. (2014) Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change, London: Earthscan (Routledge).

Engelman, R. (2016) ‘Nine population strategies to stop short of nine billion’, in Washington, H. and Twomey, P. (eds) A Future Beyond Growth: Towards a Steady State Economy, London: Routledge

GFN (2017) ‘World footprint: Do we fit the planet?’, Global Footprint Network, see: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint/

Kopnina, H. (2016) ‘Half the earth for people (or more)? Addressing ethical questions in Conservation’, Biological Conservation 203: 176–185

MEA (2005) Living Beyond Our Means: Natural Assets and Human Wellbeing, Statement from the Board, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), see: www.millenniumassessment.org.

Meadows, D., Meadows, D., Randers, J. and Behrens, W. (1972) The Limits to Growth, Washington: Universe Books.

Oreskes, N. and Conway, M. (2010) Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Rees, W. (2008) ‘Toward sustainability with justice: Are human nature and history on side?’, in Sustaining Life on Earth: Environmental and Human Health through Global Governance, ed. C. Soskolne, New York: Lexington Books.

Solow, R. (1973) ‘Is the End of the World at Hand?’,  Challenge 16 (1):39-50. doi: 10.2307/40719094.

Steffen, W et al (2015) ‘Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet’, Science 347 (6223) DOI: 10.1126/science.1259855.

Turner, G. and Alexander, C. (2014) ‘Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse’, The Guardian, see: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse.

UNEP (2011) Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, United Nations Environment Programme, see: www.unep.org/greeneconomy.

Victor, P. (2008) Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, not Disaster, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Victor, P. and Jackson, T.  (2015) ‘The problem with growth’, in Starke, L (ed) 2015 State of the World Report, Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability, Washington: Worldwatch Institute

Washington, H. (2013) Human Dependence on Nature: How to help solve the Environmental Crisis, London: Earthscan.

Washington, H. (2015) Demystifying Sustainability: Towards Real Solutions, London: Routledge.

Washington, H. (2017) ‘Denial – the key barrier to solving climate change’, In: D.A. DellaSala and M.I. Goldstein. Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene. UK: Elsevier. 

Washington, H. and Cook, J. (2011) Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand, London: Earthscan.

Washington, H., Taylor, B., Kopnina, H., Cryer, P. and Piccolo J. (2017) ‘Why ecocentrism is the key pathway to sustainability’, Ecological Citizen 1: 35-41.

Wijkman, A. and Rockstrom, J. (2012) Bankrupting Nature: Denying our Planetary Boundaries, London: Routledge.

Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2010) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, London: Penguin Books.

WWF (2014) Living Planet Report 2014: Species and space, people and places, World Wide Fund for Nature, see: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/.

Zerubavel, E. (2006) The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life, London: Oxford University Press.

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188 Comments

  • This has to be addressed NOW, not in 20 years or pretend it’s not happening or leave to the next politician to fix (which they wont) Something needs to be done. I get so sick of the racist card being pulled out when all we want is some sensible policy on immigration, simple! Oceans are already over fished, species extinct daily, people live in extreme poverty, it is an endless cycle with no end and we have to stop it. Good on you Dick Smith for keeping on this, people seem to have their heads in the sand on a range of issues (besides SSM!) but the REAL issues, the ones that WILL affect them, their children and their grandchildren seem to go by unnoticed. We need to all vote for a party that WILL do something about this.

  • I have noticed the number of Asian people (Indian and Chinese) at railway stations and schools in Sydney’s northern districts. Now I know how our aboriginal people felt when British immigrants swamped them 200 odd years ago. In regard to Islamic people, they do remind me of the Catholics in the seventies, who unable to convince others of their claim for divine superiority, bred like rabbits in an effort to outbreed religious rivals and opponents. The Islamic world appears to be on a similar course, to outbreed Europeans and swamp the world with their peculiar superstition. If the civil strife in Lebanon, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Philipines is anything to go by, we do not want or need Islam here or anywhere. It is obviously not a religion of peace as often claimed.
    Bob Carr said many years ago that Sydney was full. The mania which successive federal governments have for their heavy migration program. And this goes for the temporary employment for visitors who are subject to prey by unscrupulous people as indicated in this weeks SMH. This situation is a disgrace and shows a complete lack of care and attention by our federal government, which appears to have unsustainable views on permanent and temporary migration and illegal arrivals.

    • Thanks for your interesting and no doubt controversial letter. Of course what happens with people who come from other countries is after they have some kids, the kids normally become Aussiefied pretty quickly and then start having smaller families and drop some of their extreme views that possibly their parents have taught them in relation to religion.

      I think Australia is a better place because of its mix of people from all different cultures, societies and religions. If the change takes place slowly, I have a feeling we pick up the best of all, let’s hope so anyway. Thanks for writing.

  • I do believe all thе ideas you have presented in your post.
    They are reallү convincing and will definitely work.
    Ⲛonethеless, the posts arе too quick for starters. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
    Thank you for the post.

    • I did say in my last post it was my last, but I cant contain my joy at seeing how nature has come back it leaps and bounds in old power plant ,and town of Chernobyl after 30 years the forest and animals are like new, pristine. this is of cause is due to,—– people are not permitted to live there for the most part. so the good news is, after we retards have died off thru our steadfast stupidity and arrogance nature will have the place like new 50 two 500 years after were gone don’t matter how dumb we get. so I guess , we ticks can still keep arguing over who own the dog. its all good. and I still maintain—– dick smith for dictator 5 year term—–, make a sticker of that and put it on your car

  • with all the problems in Australia with housing affordability, lack of jobs
    why is the media so obsessed with gay marriage and safe schools ? lol !!!
    Aussies don’t care what others do with their lives, its a free country
    the media should focus more on jobs, trimming down the 457’s who are taking aussie jobs
    (of course they are !) , jobs , jobs and more jobs
    they make it like its the most important pressing concern of all Australians – lol
    I tihnk being able ot afford a roof over your head, having food on the table
    is more important than any of that .

    • As with so many (gay marriage, voluntary euthanasia, treatment of war vets) it’s misdirection – whilst we focus on what matters to us, they pass all sorts of punitive/self-serving legislation under the radar.

      • Its most certainly a case of “dīvide et īmpera” (divide and conquer). Keep us squabbling among ourselves about small issues (that shouldn’t even be an issue). While the big issues like; corporate tax avoidance, high level business and political corruption, war and economic issues, are neatly sidestepped and forgotten about.

    • Actually, it’s the voters who have been cleverly ‘divided and conquered’ by the ALP and LNP – made possible and supported by our primitive, infiltrated, self-serving Westminster style voting system. And this is the area that requires urgent dialogue.

      It’s far more desirable to discuss ‘system’ alternatives now, rather than in the aftermath of ‘street riots’. Sadly, the way things are panning out, I think the riots will win the race.

      • Yes, there are a lot of comments floating about that blame the LNP for everything (obviously having forgotten Paul Keating’s L-A-W tax cuts that were never implemented) instead of saying, Whoever you are in government, FIX IT! Any way they can make us squabble between ourselves, they can keep shovelling the stable floor at us.

  • oh by the way it wrong to say,Most people in society don’t seem to understand that humanity has exceeded ecological limits, causing the environmental crisis. every one under stands this perfectly. they just hope it wont all end in tears during their life time or their kids, its the human condition. we are most happy to let a generation far in the future fix our excesses while living in poverty and misery. while we live it up, stead fast in our desire for a higher and higher standard of living. any way this is my last post on the matter its time to let some else have a go. just lets not fool our selves, or do them the disservice of thinking they don’t understand, its just not in their self interest for the huge majority it all about me, and it all about the now. that just the human condition. the proof of this is out there for all to see.

    • How about all the comments here that say If you mention overpopulation, people look at you like you’re a space alien? That’s not head in the sand, that’s blatant oblivion or complete lack of observation skills. I really don’t think the majority see it. There’s even one comment here saying I’m not convinced.

      • Another 100%. I am 71, born 1946. Married 1972. Before that met a bloke called Jim Starling who was a geographer with the NSW Dep of wild life and conservation. a good bloke who, made me aware of conservation matters. After my marriage my wife and I made a decision not to reproduce in order(amongst other non medical reasons) to not put strain on the environment. We remain married. Nothing to do with Jim but he opened my eyes.
        Population is a big problem.

        jack

  • all the worlds problems today can be traced back to the one problem , and I do mean all of them, the simple fact that sense the year 1900 when the world population was a estimated 1 billon , to the worlds now 7 or 8 billion { I cant keep up ) is it 8. if not it will be in a year or two. yet even the most staunch anti population speakers like David attnbro, dick smith maybe even David Suzuki and thank god or whoever, we have them. don’t say this due to pressure, they will all ways say we could have a larger population if this to that is done. the fact is we did huge damage to the ecosystem when their was 1 billion of us, Remember the dodo, the lack of whales, the shooting to near oblivion of many large mammals all over the world. and god knows how many tiny animals were wiped out. now we have 8 billion and in Australia 26 million, and guess what we In Australia can stop worrying about when will we beat the k1,w1s at rugby and be number one in the world again. as it is a fact that we lead the wold in endangered species and total die outs in animals, way to go Australia. world champs ye- haw. we don’t know about the insects as we don’t how many different ones we have or had in the first place. if you what cheaper houses get the population down massively, I don’t no how that will ever happen but, not with our latest money making scheme, the aged care industry. jam old people into homes keep them alive at all costs, ( no money in dead inmates) play the rellies like a fiddle. just keep them alive ,even when they sign a paper saying no revival . or they keep saying I wish I could die tonite in my sleep ( my granny) they know ( the old age industry) the government will spend any amount of money to keep them alive, even when they want to go, they know the rellies will want them to hang around, cause they love them, I have been guilty of this with my gran. all their money is tied up in the home (the industry ) so they can not help their grand kids or what ever buy a highly over priced house. something that was quite common a generation ago , you have got two hand it to the government they saw a huge source of money they could nab for them selves and there super rich friends and went for it. don’t have the money to go into the home no worries just sell your house. the government put my mother into a home after she broke her hip. she passed all their demands in walking to go back to her home, to her husband to know avail they just refused to let her leave hospital till she signed up to a home. so of cause dad wanted to go to so sell up everything so they could pay the entry fee for dad. so they could is misery exactly were they don’t want to be. this I can ashore you is not rare. anyway the old family way many families had of the older generations helping the newer gens with low interest loans to buy a house for many is now gone. due to the (old age industry money making rout.) and for get inherited money to help pay of the bills when your loved one regrettably does pass on. as the government wants every one to live to 100 years of age. ( a stated aim of this government this is of cause is madness as more people are born , and know one is allowed to die. and this is the real reason our population is 26 million .along with 220,000 coming in. they say there high skilled of cause, apparently all our tafe collages and universities are quite incapable of training our own young people, who walk the streets jobless.

    • More people should tell them what I have: If you make me live in a pain-wracked body, or one where I can’t swallow and keep choking, there is NO WAY I will vote for you. The only reason they want us to live to 100 is More Votes.

      Our TAFEs are OK – but they can charge overseas students $140,000 for a year when they charge locals $24,000 for the same course. So much for Earn or Learn…

  • One aspect of this insane political and economic need for “endless growth” is; that exponential growth is needed to sustain the monetary system! It’s an unspoken secret! For if you have any understanding of our “elastic note” fiat currency. You will know the total amount owed back to the banks is always in excess of the total amount of money available in the economy. For every dollar in the economy comes into existence through loans of some sort! That’s why lower interest rates is called expansion of the monetary base and higher interest rates is a contraction of the monetary base. And as every dollar in the economy is loaned into existence and only the principal is created, where does the money come from to pay the interest owing? From new loans of course – ” That is why the need for endless growth is always spieled from the mouths of those in power.” To sustain the archaic monetary system.

    • Never heard of the elastic note, don’t understand it. The way I learned Household Accounts is You spend only what you can cover – back in the days of cash of course! In banking, that would be You Lend Only How Much You Have on Deposit. Obviously I don’t have an economics degree…

      • Modern banking is not “lending what you have in deposit.” This is the greatest lie! Banking these days is “fractional reserve banking”

        I suggest watching this video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5ayg3hbhoM

        This video is about the Fed, but I assure you, all fractional reserve banking works this way!
        And since this will seem controversial and at odds with how you think banking and money works, I submit this as supporting evidence;

        https://www.learningmarkets.com/understanding-the-fractional-reserve-banking-system/

        The point is we have a ludicrous system at the apex of our economy, the banks are the life blood of our economy (the money supply) and that system demands sustained and exponential growth or it collapses. And the system generates profits for the banks in a collapse, in the form of foreclosure. Only the people suffer in a economic downturn not the banks, who gain assets from something created from nothing!

        • In 1990 I joined the Western Australian farmers Federation as a legal officer. At that time farmers were being thrown off their properties due to being unable to pay bank debts. A group called the Rural Action Movement (RAM) was set up to assist farmers whose land was being seized and sold by the banks. Ram gained media publicity and said banks created credit. I recall that the NFF and Major banks sent people to tell us how to discredit RAM. Credit creation was off the agenda. It was a major concern for the banks and government.

      • You miss the point, no changes can be made without changing the monetary system! You cannot have a sustainable economy, with a monetary system that needs sustained growth, to stop itself collapsing.

        It is that simple, change the monetary system to one, that does not rely on constant expansion of the money supply, in order to stop it collapsing and then you can build a sustainable economy where constant growth is not required.

  • As a retired blue-collar, leftie-commie pinko (a social democrat) may I wish Dick and his cause congratulations and good luck.
    I believe until the economics departments of our higher learning establishments are relieved of the Friedmanite Chicago School of Economics professors and lecturers and their destructive mantras, Australia will continue to produce greedy twerps who go on to join The Public Affairs Institute and the other usual suspects.
    Regarding housing availability, I’m staggered that ‘Flippers’ are regarded as canny heroes and heroines today for cashing in on our real estate situation by selling up in Sydney, Melbourne etc., spending 20 or 30 thousand on a paint job and minor renovations, waiting until the capital gains time limit passes and then bung 120,000 or more on the sale of their ‘asset’ ( these are never ‘homes’). This is exactly what has happened next door to me, pushing the likelihood of my children and 7 grandchildren ever owning a home even further out of reach as their wages stagnate and cost of frugal living gallop into the distance.

    • I’d rather not be called a leftist commie pinko, I don’t see why you have to be “communist” to demand a fair go! I keep being told this is an egalitarian society – must be some new meaning of the word “egalitarian” of which I was not previously made aware. I worked hard but got no more than my bludging colleagues despite supposedly being in a new ethos of more productivity, more pay. I moved out of the big cities to get affordable rent, now even in the country rent isn’t affordable – and it’s not close to services either! That’s not communism, that’s reasonable. Don’t be silly Clover, who wants reason in this society?

      • Clover, I wasn’t referring to you as a leftie commie pinko, this is what I have been called by ‘mainstream’ thinkers in my family and workplaces since the 1960’s and have just got used to it, as I think most Australians are greedy, ‘aspirational’ buggers who are happy to capitalise on the economic misfortune of their fellow citizens. As for affordable housing, I also moved to the country 40 years ago and yesterday saw a mediocre 3 bedroom timber house on a very busy road for rent for $550/week in my town of less than 10,000 people. I grew up in Campbelltown N.S.W. in the 50’s and remember when its population reached 10,000. I understand it’s now about 250,000 and my family home is under a carpark. With population growth continuing, it won’t be long before I see history repeated here.

  • Debate about the fact of overpopulation is overdue, 25 years ago we decided to have only two children to maintain zero population growth. Politicians are a joke on both sides, Peter Costello initiated the baby bonus Keating increased into one considered capping it to two children, that would be perceived as discrimination.
    Costello’s brother heads up Save the children I will never give them a cent we need to Save the Planet.
    We are nothing other than a plague of locusts on this earth endlessly consuming resources at an ever increasing rate. Plagues eventually burn out because there are no more resources left, politicians are completely gutless to confront the reality we are overpopulating and unless this issue is addressed we will perish.
    thanks Dick

    • I agree Paul, I give to animal charities but not human ones – why keep more humans alive when they’re the ones destroying the planet??? Animals are just as much “people” to me as humans – well, more actually, I’m collecting stories of how cats and dogs (and a wild bird) have proven to me I’m actually speaking English when the supposed human people on the phone demanding I buy their latest product had me wondering if I am actually speaking English at all! It’s the animals who suffer because of the humans and can’t do anything about it – ever hear of an elephant going out and getting a job to pay for its dinner? I hear about how destructive elephants (and kangaroos!!!) are, but never how destructive humans are, just how we create “progress” – some new definition of the word progress that doesn’t exist in my dictionary… I’m an ecocentrist. I’ve been asking all and sundry for YEARS now, Once we’ve destroyed our planet, WHERE do we all live??? (I mean animals as well as humans, but you’d think 7+ billion humans would be worth worrying about to the pollies and economists) NO ONE has deigned to answer me.

  • I agree wholeheartedly – we desperately need to address the dangerous fallacy of Continual Growth.
    The important question is – how can we successfully lobby or convince our current crop of narcissistic politicians to act for the good of Australia?

    I welcome any strategy that can focus our political leaders on making decisions for the future of Australia rather than the “game” of winning the next election for their party at all costs.

    Apparently, we get the Government that we deserve. I can’t imagine that any Australian deserves the pitiful, politically-correct bunch of parasitic drones that we currently have.

    • Jim, we get the government we deserve because we don’t take enough notice of their plans. I agree, I don’t think I deserve to put up with these ninnies, but I took no notice of them (beneath notice with their behaviour, if I turn the TV on during Parliament Question Time, I change the channel asap, can’t stand fighting kindergarteners) and look what we ended up with. Now I’m a political activist (I think – I’m what I totally despise because I write to these cretins asking for them to stop wrecking the planet and start caring for people. My motto is People first, $$$$ last, for all the good it does me.)

      Point is, we voted them back in. No one takes a stand and says I won’t vote for anyone until we get someone worth voting for, even if they did, the political interest groups would vote these knuckleheads back in to get what THEY want.

      • Unfortunately, I have taken notice of politicians’ plans for our country’s future. I’ve listened with utter disbelief to mantras like “Jobs and Growth” and seen the rise of Poll-driven politics during the past two decades.

        My question now is: Who can we vote for to influence Australia’s future? I find it increasingly difficult to support any of the major political parties or their ideologies.

        The Liberal/National Party Coalition haven’t changed – they unashamedly support multinational corporations and foreign investment in in the vain hope of “trickle down” benefits rather than fair taxation, despite the fact that these “trickle down” strategies have not yet worked anywhere in the world. They have only led to increased greed and exploitation.

        The LNP (and Labor) also enthusiastically support privatisation of National assets – please show me one example where this has led to reduced costs or improved service for consumers rather than reducing the workforce, driving up prices and sending revenue out of Australia.

        The Labor Party has progressively evolved from representing workers to representing the Party, Politicians and Unions – and anyone else who seems to be doing well in opinion polls. They appear to be far more interested in promoting and supporting “Social Justice” and “Political Correctness” than the rights and future of Australia’s workers.

        The Green Party have evolved from being a “Conservation Party” to a “Social Justice” party. They appear to be completely unaware of the needs or aspirations of ordinary Australians who are desperately trying to find jobs, pay mortgages or provide for their children in an increasingly hostile economy. They desperately need to realise that screaming minorities do not represent the long-suffering silent majority – hence their declining voter support.

        I question how many of our current crop of mainstream Politicians have ever held a job that wasn’t funded from the public purse; where they actually had to produce a product or provide a measurable service to be paid. It appears that most of our present politicians have come from Academia, within Unions or Political Parties or directly from another planet where the sky is a very different colour.

        We do have a very diverse group of minor parties; and while some of these regularly provide much-needed comedy relief, they currently lack the coordination or agreement to be more than a minor threat to the major parties.

        The alternative of not voting is becoming very real for many people, who have become increasingly disenchanted by political philosophies that only benefit politicians or very vocal minorities.

        While we cannot live in a democracy and expect everyone to think or vote the same way, there must be some way for the majority of dispossessed ordinary Australians to have a fair say in future political decisions.

        Our Politicians must realise that when they talk abut “winning”, they should be talking about the best possible future for Australia – not their self interests or their particular “Political Party/ Football Team”.

        Dick Smith – if you’re willing to lead or facilitate a political alternative to the lackluster bunch we currently have, I will be happy to support you and work with any group that can change the current, unresponsive system.

  • Our society is extremely selective in it’s approach to over population. Rabbits, camels, koalas etc., when they’re diminishing our food and water resources and destroying the environment, we spend millions/billions putting strategies into place to reduce their impact, and before people jump on me – NO…. I’m not suggesting a people cull. That will happen naturally anyway, when we run out of resources. Happens when any species over-populates.

    • I don’t know Julie, I think a human cull is a brilliant idea. Somehow we’ve managed to avoid it so far despite all our wars and for myself, I’d prefer a quick (accurate) bullet to a slow starve – I hate being hungry. Sadly, look at who will be culled if they ever get to it (don’t dismiss it out of hand, if it’s between Us and Them, they’ll take us down faster than you can say Knife), it will be the caring ones who go first, the troublemakers (such as myself) and the last to go will be the politicians.

  • Hooray finally lead by Dick Smith a movement that understands that continued growth is not sustainable, we cannot keep growing locally or by city, state or country to supposedly solve our issues we will only create more. A program coming up on the BBC talks of Africa’s population doubling by 2050 and single countries populations trebling in this time, we just need to sit back for a moment and realise that this cannot be allowed to happen, next to Australia the driest continent on the planet it cannot continually support the population it has now, wracked by cyclic famine, flood and poverty, currently a vast number are moving legally or illegally to Europe without a further massive increases in population. There are so many small examples worldwide of how this is clearly not working and will ultimately lead to famine, war and anarchy. Likewise here in Australia with our climatic and geographic limitations we cannot keep growing, most people want to live on or adjacent to the coast. The movement needs a name and we need to move forward promoting sustainable non growth living, immigration must be massively limited and made up of skilled like minded people, congratulations Dick but it needs to become political, not sure if Dick is ready but “Dick for PM” has a ring about it.

    • I agree about Congratulations and Thanks to Dick for starting this movement, don’t know I’d wish the PMship on anyone that good. Couldn’t allow him to be hamstrung by the rubbish of politics. I’m so glad to see there are others out there (including high profile ones, and educated ones like the author of this article) who believe as I do.

  • John Michael Greer is a writer and polymath in the US who has been writing on this topic for over ten years.

    His new blog, Ecosophia, tackles these very issues. Here is a good starting point – http://www.ecosophia.net/the-twilight-of-anthropolatry/

    Dick, congratulations on having the courage to speak up about this issue. You are taking on the preeminent religion of our time – “Human Progress”. You will cop a massive backlash but I hope you can withstand it.

    • Human Progress nothing! The religion is Greed which to me is devolution, not evolution. They purport to be Christians (so they can deny voluntary euthanasia on the grounds of religion – it would also help with not only over population but also economics – dying people are often on income support) but they worship Mammon.

  • Excellent initiative Dick. On a personal level, I am grateful because now, when I talk to my friends and colleagues about this, they might not regard me as quite such an idiot.
    On a world scale, we need an effective world body that can genuinely make binding decisions without being influenced by the vested interests of individual countries or big businesses. Probably unattainable, but when things get bad enough, this is what we might end up with.
    I really worry for my grandchildren and their generation.

    • Nah Maurice, they’ll just think you’re in idiot in good company. None so blind as those who don’t want to see was my grandmother’s mantra.
      I’m SO glad I don’t have children or grandchildren to whom to pass on this sorry excuse for a society, but I become very distressed on occasion that I care more for the world that will pass to others’ children than they do themselves.

  • Good work Dick with the advertising campaign. You are stimulating a lot of debate and many people agree with your push for a Sustainable Australia. Messages of support are great and we should distill from them as many good ideas as possible so I have started an action list (not in any particular order) so here it is:

    – National debate on sustainability issues – under way
    – National polls to monitor the level of support.
    – Have political donations banned. The donors want something for their money.-
    – Push for a referendum on a migration limit.
    – More ideas for the action list?

    • If we’re to have a referendum (why postal votes? Because it’s perceived that young people ignore the post and do everything online – so it will automatically be defeated?) which is a total waste of money which could be much better spent elsewhere (they still vote on it their way, not as defined by their constituents) why not on a multitude of subjects, not just one?
      Also make it compulsory to abide by the majority decision on referenda.
      More questions for the referendum paper:
      Not that I can see Australians voting for it, but a One-child policy or even a one-child-per-refugee-adult policy to reduce the welfare spent on refugee families. I’m told China has overturned their one-child policy – whilst the Chinese population is still increasing!
      I don’t know how successful a referendum on migration would be, I see a lot of comments about how much we pay refugees when charity should begin at home, but I also see a lot of comments about how we should be doing more to look after these poor people so this might not turn out as you wish.
      Whether or not to have political donations banned
      Politicians to be forced to abide by their own rules (for the rest of us) re pensions (accessibility, age, assets etc)

  • Hi Dick,

    I saw you advertisement on TV last night, and thought WOW at last someone has stood up and spoken sense. I’m 54 and was CEO of a small technology company in Sydney. A few years ago I had an epiphany, sold everything and moved to country Vic to live a more simple life.

    I have been banging on to all my fiends and anyone else for that matter about how Climate Change and CO2 is not what is going to see the end to humanity, yes it is a symptom of our problem but as you’ve stated the seemingly endless growth of global population and our consumption of resources is what is at the root of the problem.

    I see a lot of challenges getting this message to our leaders let alone getting leaders of other nations to buy in.

    I’m on board, sign me up

    cheers
    Warren

    • More humans, more cars, more factories, more CO2 (and CO! Carbon DIoxide recycles into oxygen – animals-plants-animals, carbon MONoxide doesn’t). Doesn’t take genius to work it out, just primary school science, but that’s not what they teach.

  • Hi Dick,

    You have alot of great ideas. Here are some more : 🙂

    * time to get manufacturing started in australia again
    we might not be able to compete on price
    but we can for sure compete on quality. even the chinese
    who can afford it prefer to buy australian.

    * no foreign workers except for highly skilled jobs they can’t find workers for in australia.
    if companies want to save money they will have to get creative and find other ways
    besides the easy way out by hiring temporary foreign workers. and that will
    add to australia too. why hire temporary workers who you train and then go back
    to their own country ? why not hire one of the many young unemployed in australia
    train them up. (1 million jobs created instantly)

    * apply the same rules other countries apply to us such as china.
    read about this poor guy :
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/life/the-chinese-government-did-everything-in-their-power-to-destroy/
    that doesn’t mean we should discriminate by race, but if they aren’t a citizen, rules should be stricter.

    * Everything begins with jobs. The first step is plugging the leaks which means jobs that australians can do
    should be given/offered to australians first. There should be some rule that if they can’t find someone for
    a few months then they can offer it to foreigners.

    * There should be a limit on foreign ownership, one apartment per person. They should only be able
    to purchase it if they are going to live in it , and can’t rent it out (since they aren’t citizens).

    We won’t be the lucky country for long unless we also become the smart country.
    time to be smart Australia.

    • Some good ideas but could give you another 50 ways to fix this country and plug the leaks and bad decisions being made everywhere. I believe Dick thinks like most of us. I just don’t know why there is a better choice of politician to choose from who makes better decisions instead of just popular ones and someone who has the balls to say the truth instead of constantly being politically correct. It would be great if someone would start a list of suggestions of how to make this country great and say some obvious fixes.

      • the problem is we live in a global world now and
        look at what trump tried to do , the media demonised
        him. the same with brexit
        it all boils down to businesses wanting to make more profit
        by hiring foreign workers and rich business people buying up properties
        every country you go, the average locals can’t afford property
        but rich global business owners have properties in every country
        that’s all it is. easy to fix
        except the media, big business are enjoying globalisation
        do we even own our own country anymore or is it owned by
        the globalists ?

      • My aunt was offered the position of manager where she volunteered. She said she didn’t want the job, stresses, strains, politics. They said that was what made her perfect for the job, she could see the work it entailed and would do her best, the people who want the job didn’t want to do the work, they wanted the prestige, the power surge, the political wins. Our problem is that we have career politicians – those who want the fame, the glory, the money, not the hard or unpopular but sensible decisions. Not that they care about unpopular decisions when it lines their own pockets…

      • I also had a few suggestions to fix this country, but twice I’ve tried to put them up and twice my computer has frozen up and won’t post them. Must be TOO sensible.

    • Obviously you’ve never been in a new house that’s falling apart just about before you get in it…

      YES to foreign ownership of owner-occupied dwellings ONLY.

      Be careful what you wish for in a referendum (which is still voted on to the politician’s personal viewpoint, not that of his/her constituents’ majority). I’ve seen plenty of comments about Support Australians before refugees, but also many comments about how we should do more to support these poor people. Are you prepared to abide by the decision of a referendum that says we should INCREASE immigration? These are radical ideas, population control particularly, I doubt they would pass a referendum.

  • During the Irish famine around a third of the population DIED, men ,women and children.
    During the ongoing famines in Africa the populations of countries like Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and many others have more than doubled, simply because of charity from Western countries, STOP sending money, food and water, instead send CONDOMS !!! stop the over breeding and you stop the problem. This solution should also be applied in Western countries, a 1 child policy such as China had should be imposed word wide.

    Ken

    • I’m told China has revoked their 1 child policy – whilst their population is still increasing (I asked why, those who brought in the 1 child policy are still living, the population won’t be controlled until at least 1/2 of them have died, in another 20 years or so).

      Indira Gandhi offered a transistor radio to every man who got the snip, didn’t increase the vasectomy rate that much. Far more effective than rubber that has to be used every time and can still break, but not popular.

      Speaking of the potato famine, those men, women and children died because food was being exported (such as our wheat, wine and live animals), not given to the local population. Amazing what you learn when you study history, which our illustrious PM has promised to ignore whilst looking firmly to the future…

  • Having recognised the basic problem, a world wide discussion needs to be undertaken to consider all possible alternative solutions.E.G. some thoughts I have had include:-

    Given the simple fact that the Earth is finite, control of its world wide resources needs addressing.
    If humanity wants to survive, it needs to get past its focus on wealth and money. They may have served us well since they were conceptualised but now that focus hinders our survival.
    Until we are ready to undertake large space travel movements, we need to control our population.
    I believe that the World needs to operate with one currency- not something already in existence such as dollars, bitcoins etc.
    There is no logical justification in paying a neurosurgeon in a Third World country an amount that translates to buying a round the world air ticket after ten years when a neurosurgeon in another country is paid enough to buy one in one year.
    Eliminating currencies also eliminates associated job functions that are non-productive.
    Access to combined with the application of the World’s resources needs to be controlled.
    This will effectively eliminate the ‘supply and demand’ aspect of current economics.Additionally, selection of the appropriate locations for production facilities will need to be controlled.
    With our health improving as a result of better food quality, education and advances in medical science, it is inevitable that interstellar travel will provide part of the future for survival of humanity. Accordingly, a significant part of our population will need to be directed into developing the means to undertake space travel.
    We have many highly intelligent people currently devoting their lives to ‘making money’. If the ‘making of money’ were eliminated, those people could be directed to the productive effort of space travel.
    Jobs such as banking, insurance, finance, money lending, currency manipulation, stock markets and most legal and accounting would go.
    The New Money would be given out as compensation for contributions to New jobs. It will be necessary so as to enable choices in such areas as food, household goods, entertainment and travel, etc.
    Initially, everyone would get the same basic rate of pay. Ultimately, more would be paid for those who make a greater contribution in terms of time and perhaps risk.Payment differentials flowing from popularity, withholding supply and other manipulations would not be recognised.
    Supply and demand would disappear economically as suggested above but everyone would be given a minimum amount of money to provide basic necessities. However, unless they are recorded to have made their work contribution, that is all they would get.Money would be completely electronically recorded (with several back-ups for obvious reasons).
    Food production wold be more monitored than it is currently as it would be centrally done. This would facilitate analysing weather forecasts with a view to helping to plant in places and at times to maximise production efficiency.
    Education would be free, obligatory and international standards would be applied no matter where a person studied and qualified.
    Whatever the issue, there will always be a range of different approaches.
    But we will progress nowhere until we get past the belief that Money is the ultimate goal.

    • I think the only thing I agree with is the We will progress nowhere until we get past the belief that Money is the ultimate goal. I keep trying to explain to politicians that if you kill off all the sharks in the ocean, a billion $ will not buy you any shark fin soup, but they can’t/won’t understand that. They’ve learned nothing from Germany after WWII where the price of bread went from 5 marks to 1500 marks overnight, apparently the same thing happened in Zimbabwe earlier this century.

      Space travel my foot!!! What is the good of sending those greedy mongrels who killed this planet off into the galaxy to ruin other planets the same way???? I wouldn’t wish that on any other planet!

      I don’t agree to compulsory education either. Education is far more about indoctrination than about teaching life skills, good engineering or anything else. See Robert Kiyosaki’s comments on A and B students working for pittance wages for D and E student millionaire business owners. See the brilliance of certain untrained bridge builders whose bridges are still around vs the disasters of certified architects whose bridges collapsed. Not always the case obviously but the gifted will out if allowed, not if forced into education systems for the supremely untalented.

  • We live in a world full of many problems and challenges, most of us already know the overwhelming multitude of issues facing humanity present and future. So the real question everyone wants to definitively know is how we can actually fix this massive problem?
    Simply asking people to consume less, be energy concious, limit population growth etc etc is a step in the right direction but not a solution.
    As far as I see it, we as a human race have two options only, with a background of thinking like this-
    If there is too many sheep in the yard and not enough feed, the farmer does one of two things, cull the sheep or provide another yard.
    We all know the overwhelming evidence to support suppressed advances in technology, the push should be on for humanity to provide another yard, another planet for humanity to populate. The planets exist, the technology is feasible and the benefits to us and our existing planet tremendous.

    • I’m sorry Adam but that is utter nonsense. Mars is sterile, lifeless and completely uninhabitable by humans (except in Elon Musk’s fantasies). We have one yard, and will only ever have one yard. Humans are not going to the stars. That is just an excuse to avoid dealing with the very problems Dick Smith and others are raising.

      • Can we go back to the ecocentric rather than the humancentric ethos PLEASE!

        Whether or not it is possible to colonize other planets, is it ethical? Britain got rid of its unwanted population by transportation – or providing another yard. Go out to Wilpena Pound (SA) and see what British methods did to Australia – then expect Earth methods to work in a new world to do the same. Now we have the same problems here and in the Americas. The problem is overpopulation. Until we start focussing on Quality rather than Quantity, we’ll kill off our home no matter how many countries/planets we colonize.

        • Sometimes i wonder though. We all have a common goal here survival. We really care about Earth yes? But in reality the time that life has existed as far as we know on Earth is miniscule. Even Earths life of predicted 4.5 billion yrs. Is probably so insignificant in space time. If Earth never even formed or blew up tomorrow ,would the Universe notice. I dont think so. I think our care of Earth more comes from survival than the actual love of earth. Although by default , yes we do love Earth.
          So what I’m saying is , I think our colonisation of other worlds probably would go unnoticed by the Universe. So maybe not such a bad thing. Think what we are all hoping is , lets just not stuff that one up too..
          As Prof. Brian Cox said, ” Its actually an absolute miracle multi celled organisms evolved.But extremely rarely possible Single celled organisms eat each other. But by rare chance it happened and two cells combined ,without one comsuming the other.”
          So what an absolute shame if we lost life as we know it. Theres no doubt life out there. But multi celled evolved life. So so rare.
          It may not happen again for an eternity. So im all for preservation of this absolute rare miracle of life even if it means colonizing other planets in a Universe that probably wont even notice.

  • Dick, no doubt you’ll spend time around the dinner table with friends and family; do you discuss LTG or give it a rest? The problem is is that this subject is anti-establishment and like religion and politics (Trump excluded!), such subjects are taboo in social situations. And fair enough; LTG is a real downer. That leaves deliberate meetings on the subject and honestly, how many of those are happening? Currently this is an internet/social media uprising and in the real world that means very little. My question to you is this: How many of your mates, working and living in the 1% of the wealth class, are aware of LTG? What are they doing about it? Thanks, Matt

  • Thanks for trying so hard Dick,you are loved by many for that! Leaving California,37 years ago with a family to the furthest outpost of the western world;Tasmania. I’ve discovered theres no track one can take to avoid the analogy I see as our planets being like a a big roll of toilet paper; the closer its comes to its end the faster it goes!
    As a mean and lean man- on- the- land machine, i indulge and enjoy austerity and grow so much around me with my own urine based recipe. That recipe alone would help part and parcel, if indulged widely, to float “Life Raft Earth” my long developing concept to save my favourite Goldilocks planet! Life raft Earth is my quest. I want to help more.

  • For some time, I’ve realised that current rates of growth in Australia, and globally, are unsustainable. You’ve shone a light on this incredibly important issue Dick, thank you. But what do we do from here? What is the way forward for those of us who are deeply concerned about and against the insane endless growth? How do we stop it?

    • Lemmings are purported to make a charge for the sea, or mass suicide by drowning rather than starve to death. Seems pretty silly that humans aren’t as smart as lemmings and try instead to force the birthrate and population UP when food is coming to an end.

  • It honestly makes me sick to see what is happening to our country.
    -Overcrowded cities
    -Unaffordable housing thats also getting smaller in size
    -Greater division of groups and classes of people
    -More pollution
    -Lower wage growth
    The list goes on, I don’t see what the benefits are of this endless growth.
    Thanks for leading the way on this issue Dick. I am also here to fight for the future generations of our great country.
    The big question is where do we go from here?

    • Add Quality of housing going down the drain. Overpriced, substandard condition.

      Actual wage decline or negative wage growth. Also add bracket creep further undermining wage performance (what you can or can’t buy with it).

      Population control is a start, but it’s a long-term solution. I think the question is, How do we get some gains quickly? Wish I had the answer to that.

  • Most of the problems of the global situation at the.end moment is because a small percentage of countries are the target of most migration. We need to live in a world without borders, where there is equal opportunity and access to resources and one is not automatically disadvantaged just because of the “country” they happened to be born in.

    • How does that help the people who are starving and freezing in the richest countries? We need truth! Afghans still believe Britain is waiting with open arms to feed, clothe, house and educate them. Most of the world believes Australia is the lucky country despite the starving pensioners and the students forced to slave their guts out for abysmal wages instead of learning all they can about their chosen subject. They don’t realize that many who come here become slaves in even worse conditions than those they left behind. No ‘open borders’ will change that, only the paradigm shift that people are important and dollars are worthless will change that.

  • Wow, I had no idea there were so many people with the same decades old concerns and views as myself.

    I absolutely applaud your courage and foresight in taking this issue on Mr Smith when almost all of our political leaders seem oblivious to the fact that over population is the one fundamental problem faced by all of the inhabitants on our little planet.

    Please please please Mr Smith continue your efforts to tackle this issue as we desperately need a visionary like you.

    • I’m calling for the impeachment of all our politicians who swear an oath every time they are elected/re-elected to SERVE the public – every Australian, not just those who paid to put them in office to serve their own agendas. I’ve just been asked how to do that?

      How do we remove these non-servicing politicians from office, can anyone tell me? What is required? (what do we replace them with afterwards? running this country properly is a big job, Dick can’t do it by himself!)

      • Read ” The Universal Solution ” , by Aussie author William Webster. It doesnt have all the answers but it a good start. He suggests like detector ever three months or so. Only experts in the field they represent doing each role. Eg. David Suzuki as environment minister. Etc. And with todays technology, with the ability to vote on the results via smart phone. Tv. And so. Cant explain it like the author. Im not that smart. But Dick is…

  • The problem and the solution both revolve around leadership. Firstly, it was government leadership, coerced by big business, that has led the world to the state it is in now – teetering on the edge of a cliff. Secondly, the only solution to reversing the situation, is via responsible, accountable leadership that works for the planet and the majority of its inhabitants. So, in very basic terms, I have portrayed the CAUSE and the SOLUTION – although in reality, the cause [poor govt. leadership and coercion by the ‘elites’] are symptoms of a far greater cause. A huge ‘elephant in the room’, if ever there was one!

    The solution however, is an extremely difficult one, and centers around ‘the elephant in the room’. In order to achieve the government leadership required to restore the balance, it is absolutely essential that the spotlight be shone on the political systems that place governments and allow the infiltration of self interest ‘elites’ to assert their influence on government policy.

    We MUST begin dialogue on these primitive, weak voting systems, which without a shadow of doubt, are the principal CAUSE of the world’s dilemma. In our case it’s the Westminster style voting system, but they’re all very similar – and ensure only a handful of the same people or parties ever have a realistic chance of entering government, which is a huge bonus for the ‘elites’ because they only ever have to deal with 2 or 3 entities – which of course costs less in ‘donations’. Plus allows them to build solid relationships over long periods of time.

    There are far better accountable, democratic and ‘elite proof’ leadership selection processes than this Westminster style disaster. And the only way to change it, is to bring this huge ‘elephant in the room’ out into the open – and begin discussing it!

    When was the last time you ever heard or read an article about our voting system? And you’d better believe, politicians and their financial backers will move Heaven and Earth to keep this issue out of the spotlight.

    PS – I sincerely thank you Dick Smith. If only Canberra was overflowing with people like you.

    • Such as? Sounds like a great idea, but I’ve never heard of far better accountable, democratic and ‘elite proof’ leadership selection processes than this Westminster style disaster.

      • There’s a simple explanation why you’ve never heard of such a leadership selection process Clover – because the one’s who currently have the ability to change the current Westminster style disaster, are the very one’s who gain the most from maintaining the status quo – politicians, political parties and their ‘donors’.

        I’ll ask the question again. When was the last time you heard or read anything apropos the voting system itself? As I stated previously, these people, and their peripherals, which include main-stream media, will move Heaven and Earth to quell any intelligent dialogue on our primitive, ‘infiltrated’ and failing voting system.

        A leadership selection process modeled on a corporate process is a good starting point. For example, the people of Australia, which we’ll call ‘the shareholders’, vote for a board of directors, with people like Dick Smith nominating for a position. When the Board of Australia has been selected, the first role is to select a Prime Minister. The PM would then select the Ministers, who could be sourced from anywhere. As it stands now, the only people afforded any realistic chance of serving in government, are members of the LNP or the ALP. Additionally, the Ministers chosen by the PM would need to be specialists in the portfolio to which they would perform in – and possess written documentation detailing their responsibilities and duties.

        Legislation would be dealt with via the Directors of Australia, possibly in conjunction with randomly selected members of the general community. Nominees meeting the requirements for directorships, would each receive equal campaign funding via the tax payer. Private election funding would not be permitted.

        This is just one example of an alternative – but we need to begin discussing it!

  • I think it will be very hard because big business and the media love globalism.
    let’s face it , that’s the reason for all these ‘problems’. Only the few benefit from globalism,
    for the rest its a race to the bottom. But at least Dick is trying to do something about it.
    Notice the fear mongering whenever anyone says anything different.
    If you take a look at many countries, even to our north such as Malaysia
    the locals complain about not being able to own their own home as well.
    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/looking-at-the-homeless-generation
    At least Dick is trying to do something. Business says we need it to be competitive, but how
    are you going to compete with China or India who pay peanuts for their workers.
    Maybe we need a form of an intranet, an intranet economy. That doesn’t mean we don’t
    trade with others but we be a little less greedy, so that quality of life is maintained.
    They say the economy is growing, but that’s just a number, a statistic. I am sure
    people in the 50’s and 60’s had a far better quality of life even though their salaries were ‘less’.
    It’s not immigration alone, it’s basically globalism – companies hire foreigners because they are cheaper.
    Don’t assume there are too many people because of just migration, it’s probably also because of
    companies hiring lots of foreign labour.
    But what’s the solution ? At least Dick is trying to find one. Thanks Dick

    • I’ll try again:

      Remove tech, remove ‘self-service’ options that put people out of work, appreciate people for the work they do that is currently unappreciated and unpaid.

      Motherhood is a career in itself – take pride in doing a good job and ignore the man who objects to supporting his wife when “all” she does is take care of the house and the kids (I wish that didn’t sound sexist but in my own experience the househusbands are useless parents – I believe there are some better but I’ve yet to see it. I’ve no objection to the concept, just haven’t seen it work in practise). This is why the Living Wage was passed in the 19th century, so a man could support his family and his wife didn’t HAVE to go out to work – THAT was progress, ruined by war. I’ve asked if the Living Wage legislation was ever repealed but again, no one will answer that. I suspect it was never repealed which means just about every employer is guilty of breaking the law by paying wages so low that both parents are forced to work to maintain a decent standard of living or you’re in danger of starving if you choose (or circumstances choose for you) to be a single parent but I have no proof either way.

      I don’t believe in the Supermum concept, in most cases either the work suffers or the kids suffer – or both. Women who want to be supermums want to be slaves – get help! The majority of working women cover only childcare costs if they manage to earn that much, they don’t increase the standard of living of the household, they just don’t realize they are slaves – if they looked at it from outside they would scream their heads off and demand proper wages and conditions.

      Now, about technology. This is where my computer tends to freeze up and lose my comments.
      Repeal payroll tax!! Put employees in to serve the public and pay them a Living Wage. Tax the daylights out of all self-serve equipment – 90% tax on all employee-replacing equipment. Put in staff to serve customers, sell groceries, food to personal requirements, petrol (diesel, autogas), stamps, public transport tickets, movie tickets, airline tickets, take and distribute money in the bank, smile at people, chat to them, remind them they are people, not just robots interfacing with other robots. Put conductors back on trams, trains and buses – safety as well as employment. Pay enough staff to deliver mail and parcels every day and to take care with their deliveries (correctly delivered on time without damage). Pay enough teachers to do a proper job (don’t pay the useless ones that couldn’t teach their way out of a paper bag) instead of having huge classes lumping the gifted with the less-than-gifted. Put money in their pockets to pay mortgages, rates, food, clothing, utilities and entertainment.

      Dump the Must Multi-skill mentality (mental is the right word!) as it’s not functional for the majority of the population. Put people in jobs that suit them, not just Anything so long as it’s work, then berate them for doing a poor job for which they just do not have the skills.

      Paradigm changing I know, not easy, but it’s the only way to keep people employed and human that I can think of. I keep hearing politicians talking about how far we are behind other countries in working mothers and economic growth, but never how far we are behind countries who allow tenants to treat their dwellings as homes, who have long term leases (without horrendous rent increases as often as possible) without inspections – let alone quarterly invasions of privacy masquerading as inspections – or in supplying reasonably priced, quality utilities. Or the Bhutanese idea of measuring the GDP in terms of happiness rather than money. I don’t hear them talking about how far we are behind in caring for our elderly folk or our land more than our wallets. Get human (or humane) Australia and forget society-destroying technology!

  • It’s incredible how any discussion of overpopulation is almost taboo. Even papers and websites on the ecosystem and climate change virtually never mention it, even obliquely.
    Yet overpopulation and the resulting unsustainability in energy, raw materials, water, food and the rest is at the heart of so many of today’s problems. If you think that the migration attempts of a million or two at present is as bad as it’s going to get you are off the planet: hundreds of millions if not, in time, billions are going to try what I would in their position.
    Estimates of the planet’s capacity to sustain its population vary enormously depending on the starting point and the assumptions but 2 – 3 Bn isn’t out of order – assuming a worldwide standard of living averaging that of a middle class European – and starting before the Industrial revolution. Projected population is somewhere around 10 – 11 Bn: something is going to give – and already is, you can see it all around the world.

    • Dick should start publishing his own monthly newspaper
      its obvious the mainstream media is biased maybe even corrupted
      look at brexit and trump
      once they got in the media were in an uproar
      it’s only taboo because the media doesn’t agree
      so publish your own paper

    • Delete the word Almost and I’ll agree. It’s absolutely taboo. I asked Greenpeace to commission a study on the projected carbon footprint of a/ a human born in 1960, b/ a human born today, c/ a kangaroo (herbivore) and d/ a lion (carnivore). Then explain to me why we’re culling kangaroos whilst pushing IVF and one child for mum, one for dad and one for Australia. They declined.

  • Dear Dick.

    The problems you identified as being caused by population pressures are in fact caused by unbridled capitalism. If you change ‘the greed is good’ to one of more equal sharing: wise administration instead of ‘international corporations rule the roost’, you might get a better outcome. It is not population pressures that cause instability in the world. The politics of the 1%, the super rich growing disgustingly rich, the rest being left to shoulder the tax bill, which is the cause of the problem. You appear to be at the centre of the problem, supporting Pauline Hanson and using her and her supporters for pushing your ideology of fear. Your TV advertisements are judged to be despicable, adding to the stress of living in this once ‘Fair Go’ country, a slogan you wish to tap into..People will reject the politics of fear and division, but please spend your money, but don’t expect Australians to part with theirs. You are building up bad karma for yourself for which only you are responsible, and which only you will reap.

    • The world has enough to support man’s need, but not his greed. – Gandhi
      A great man one century, forgotten less than 50 years later.

  • Totally agree with you Dick Smith and I’m glad that you have brought this up to warn before it’s too late. Most of the Australians sighs because our government have been too soft for too long. Maybe most of the politicians have retirement in their mind and not care much for the future……

  • Wow! Action at last! Thankyou to Dick Smith and everyone else who have commented above, especially those who have come on board with Dick Smith in this fight for a return to sanity as I have. I am all for this type of discussion. I’d like to lay a particular comment out there though. On reading all previous comments it seems many are clearly, like me, from the older demographics. People who remember how thing used to be when our governments operated with a surplus and a huge emphasis on housing and jobs for people. We may not have had as much as people expect nowadays, but things WERE sustainable and we WERE really happy and MUCH safer. Thanks to everyone for participating in this wonderful discussion.

  • I too have been on this for years and I too get the strangest looks. We are so hyper addicted to the “growth” model of economic we are like the “hopeless” drug addict will have to hit rock bottom, and in doing so destroy the afflence of the western world before we can start over. We will not be able to contain it ourselves. It will have to self destruct before it will end.
    I often use our duopoly supermarket system as an example of the system destroying itself. They will eventually destroy all supply chains in the quest for increased sales and growth (the dairy industry and $1 milk a prime example) and in doing so destroy their customer base. A sporal downwards that cannot end till the bottom and that will be an ugly place. If I were at all religious that place will be hell.

    • This IS Hell Mike! When you live in a Lucky Country that follows all other’s most stupid, self-destructive, dehumanizing ideas whilst assiduously avoiding all sensible, health-giving, humane ideas.

  • Totally agree with your proposition Dick Smith. We need you and level headed people like you in the Senate to put some common sense into policies that the lower house dreams up. We are wasting such much of our resources and I get so frustrated with changing Governments that just spend and change policy all in the name of political survival. The political systems needs an overhaul and its an embarrassment to watch question time, that is just a waste of our taxpayer funds. They could well spend the time in proper debate to better our economy. If businesses ran the way Parliament does, they would be liquidated in no time.
    I certainly concur that by dropping the Company tax rate will not see growth in jobs. If Government was so serious about jobs growth then they should have left the Company Tax rate where it was and hived off the tax they were going to forego into job creation programs. Businesses will employ more people if they are supported with wage subsidies during the skilling up period.

    Hope you get the support you deserve Dick, from the people of this great country.

  • Where is the discussion about the levels of rich Chinese that are squeezing the population and and forcing prices up? Not only that, they are contributing in diminishing the multi-cosmopolition mix that we have in this wonderful country.

    Dick needs to talk about the ease in how Chinese are able to work the system and essentially buy visas through sending their children to study in Australian universities (which are basically now just profit-making cash cows for the government.

    Why isn’t this being discussed?

    • He’s already been called a racist. Mention a particular country as causing problems here, they pull out the race card rather than improving their behaviour. It’s called Misdirection.

  • i agree with you chris. the oz aborigines lived with the land as ‘one’. they learned to preserve the balance of nature. but as they had no highways, prisons, politicians, greedy buggers, drugees etc. etc. they were considered to be ‘primitive savages’, and were almost exterminated by us ‘good people’ from europe.

    you have heard of the chemical that is put into our water supply to ‘improve the health of our teeth’? that substance is the residue of an industrial process : flouride. our government allows this poison to be put in our water supply for the benefit of all australians. that is a big lie, and now we have, along with the placing of alum also, into our water supply, created a monster called ..alzeimers and the other one : dimentia. these tow conditions have become almost a plague amongst people over 50 years of age. along the g.m.o. food (banned in europe and some american states as is the company ‘monsanto’ which creates this monster). g.m.o. foods are dreadful. in one word. yet our governmentt allows it.

    population. 99% live within a 50 km limit of the oz coast. the inland? nah..its too far from sinney or melbourne. nothing to do out there ..nothin’ but bush and flies and bloody kangaroos. now this is the popular conception of life outside the fleshpots. the original aborigines? they were spread far and wide over the whole continent. they had boundaries and these were respected. but–it was NOT the british way. the problem we have in oz is that we are signatories to the UN charter to take refugees and other things. so we must obey our ‘overlords’ as it were, and who, in embodiment, have absolutely no idea of what australia is.

    another point is that we have too many ‘american’ bases here in oz. three too many. pine gap is the most dangerous american base on earth and will be a prime target in the event of a war, as it is the sort of ‘world signal station’ for the americans. and don’t think that we are so far from the rest of the world that we cannot be attacked. just look south my friends to antarctica. there is lots more to that part of the earth than we suspect.

    cheers from west oz

  • Overseas interest owning and profiting on Australian homes is sickening, this is fuelling the growth in building projects, clearing land and making housing unaffordable for hard working Australians. A good friend of mine with 2 young children, a full time job with his wife working part time cannot afford to buy a home! All he could afford is a 2 bedroom apartment that is too small and provides no facilities for his children to play, so he rents and cannot secure his future. What a disgrace!
    The beneficiaries are the 1% wealthy and the government coffers. I wonder what the overseas investors also own in Canberra?
    Stop foreign entities profiteering from Australian homes!

    • Hear, hear! And the callous attitude, “just get a better paying job!” WHERE??? When all the corporations are doing is trying to pay less and less for more and more work – they EXPECT you to work unpaid overtime. I spent my working life trying to find better paying work, but the only ones who would employ me were the ones who wanted my skills for nothing.

      Note: Volunteering is the 2nd highest employer in Australia after retail. There’s plenty of work, just not the will to pay for the work done.

  • Right on Dick. Good to see someone in a prominent position being a voice for us all. My Dad always told me its no good having a gold plate if you havn’t got any food on it. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but science have proven alot in the last few years and one thing is that through genitics it is now proven that we all evolved from a common ancestor. By that i dont mean primitive apes. I mean all vertebrates from the same sea creature (sorry cant remember the name ) . and previously, no doubt the same mutli cell organism etc. So as far as I’m concerned, all creatures are my cousin’s and are just as important as me. Though i believe some religions believe this untrue and god has all in his hands. They dont think we need to act as god will do the work if required. Wtf. Im sorry again but that’s another danger we face. So answer me this you god fearers. If man only obtained the word of God a few thousand yrs ago, then that means all man and creatures previous who knew nothing of the word of god for the first 3.3000008 billion yrs are condemned to hell for not following? Religion has alot to answer as it played a huge part in our lifes and politics and is still today. My brother in law debated with me once that you just have to have faith or all order and hope will be lost. My argument to him was,religious people as mentioned think god will fix it all and theres a beautiful place to go after. So kind of gives you a feeling of ,it will work out or be ok and if not will be better after. Personally I think a better way to think is. No its not ok. We need to act and there is no where after (your gonna be worm food,as perfect balanced nature would have evolved it to be ). Now that to me makes this beautiful world and our lives way more fragile ,valuable and precious. Because its sll weve got and theres no where after ,so you better bloody look after it.
    I could go on for ever.
    But I urge you all to read this book.
    The Universal Solution ( William Webster ) . Another great and very smart Aussie.
    It is exactly what the title states. Hard to explain but has alot of great ideas. And solutions,facts for solving all problems on Earth from eco,economy, famine, war,corruption, health. As the author states himself, its not a final answer but a base to work from. Like the conception of democracy. It wasn’t finalized on one day. It was an idea that was grown apon over time. Finally as also he states all is lost if major world governments dont start fixing from the top. We always fight the outcome not the cause. Like charitys for cancer for eg. We can keep donating more and more. But thats trying to fight the outcome. Cancer is only going to get worse. We need to stop the cause
    ( stress,pollution,radiation, etc. ) I really hope Dick reads my post and reads that book.
    P.s. I like germs and worms more than alot of people. They play a balanced part and are not greedy. Unlike us

    • Smart Dad! Smarter than the richest of those out there.

      I believe we are the custodians of the planet – to care for the land, the animals, the forests and the oceans – I’m sure God said to Adam something about looking after his Garden of Eden, I don’t recall the word Exploitation in Genesis at all. How do our religious leaders condone our destruction of God’s (Allah’s, Yahweh’s…) creatures, our destruction of the plants He gave us to eat?

      I prefer Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (and to all those who tell me a gorilla can’t speak, Jesus spake in parables, why can’t Daniel Quinn??), it tells us to minimize our population too so it’s not popular.

      PS, cancer is man-made and there’s been a cure for it for 90 years that the corporations and governments have kept secret so they can make money from ineffective treatments. It still comes down to Money before People. If they allowed cancer to be cured, they’d lose all that money donated to charity – keeping the poor even poorer.

      • There is a change in the air. It is portrayed that the people want growth, but its not our voice. Every day there is more people trying to fight, escape or avoid this madness. The live in protests all around the world. The amount of grey nomads and campers you see everday. The growing popularity of gaining a rural or coastal block. Wikileaks and the likes.

    • Lots of people are sceptical. But would you rather someone getting rich from making the world a better place or your current employer. Just purely for profit. I know which I would rather. Hmmm. Anyway.hes gonna match all donations himself. Says alot itself I think.

    • Suspicious!! Why?? Read the who site info..
      Its plain.
      Govt hiding facts & scared of debate!
      Cynicism & suspicion blinds & binds..

    • Silly suspicious! Why?
      Read the who site info..
      Its plain.
      Govt hiding facts & scared of debate!
      Cynicism & suspicion blinds & binds..

    • I think it is blatantly obvious Angie. Dick wants to leave Australia in a better predicament environmentally and socially for future generations of Australian people. He also wants Australians to have access to affordable housing.

    • Well, Angie, I doubt it’s to make money and if it’s a buzz from influencing public policy, who could criticise that if the influence is in the public interest – which it is. I’m intrigued by your comment. What unstated motivation do you think Mr Smith might have?

    • What do you really mean Angie. Your comment is saying something without really sayng anything. It could mean many things. Be brave!

    • Angie, thanks for asking.

      My motivation is self-interest. I have done really well out of this country and I now have grandchildren. I am really concerned about what will happen to them in the long-term. I will be dead so it probably won’t matter to me, but I am concerned that one of my grandchildren might say, “My Grandpa Dick Smith was supposed to be a person of influence. He must have known that the perpetual growth in population and the perpetual growth in the use of resources and energy was going to cause problems. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he stand up and say something?”

      Angie, you might find it difficult to understand, but that is the quite simple sole reason.

      I have been fortunate to have been able to do well for myself, and also donate a few dollars to important causes, but nothing will give me more satisfaction than using my hard earned money (yes, made in a system of perpetual growth) to actually influence our politicians so they reflect what most of us want. That is, to live in balance without impossible perpetual growth.

      Regards

      Dick Smith

      • Oh thank heavens Dick, that you are using your voice and might to speak up about what some of us know to be false and misleading economic growth weaselspeak from our supposed leaders. I am in my 60s, worked all my life and paid plenty of tax. I am now washed up yet the government have pushed my pension a couple of years further from my reach. I have never made more than $20 per hour, yet, managed to finally own my own home. I have always believed that when there is no ecology, then there will be no economy and never understood the flagrant disregard by respective governments and big corporations of abusing the precious resources we have. I totally understand your point about overpopulation. I could have had 7 children, but I chose to just keep one. You are right to predict disaster if nobody does anything other than perpetuate the myth of growth. I hope your voice is heard in the right places and then hopefully we can start to stem the mess that has been made. I fear understanding is a long way off in a country that seems to be getting dumber and dumber.

        • That’s another symptom of overpopulation: getting dumber and dumber. We’re not breeding (or feeding) genius, we’re breeding cattle, simply for numbers, not for intelligence, health or anything else, just numbers.

      • Dear Dick, (sounds more polite, but much less exciting that ‘the electronic dick’) I trust that your grand children will not be so ungrateful as to regard you as a failure by saying “My Grandpa Dick Smith was supposed to be a person of influence. He must have known that the perpetual growth in population and the perpetual growth in the use of resources and energy was going to cause problems —“.
        I expect my grandchildren to have the wit to solve the challenges they face with the same application that you and I did so many years ago. They should take the cards that life has dealt them, mix in their own unique talents with an overriding dose of legality, and then ‘go for it’.
        If your grandchildren have cause to critise, it will be your failure to realise how snared you have become by the marxist ideology more recently inspired by the UN and so adequately displayed in the paper you have referenced. The biggest irony is the so called threat of ‘global warming’. Global warming is a supply and demand equation. The natural supply is probably coming to an end within our lifetimes and then the demand will rise to unsustainable levels. The results will be fatal and very grusome, but your over population problem will be solved.
        My advice for a worthy legacy (other than the financial legacy you will be leaving to your grandchildren), is to concentrate on problems that might be solvable such as replacing our failing political system with one like the Swiss system. The Swiss system unlocks the combined intelligence of the entire nation rather than just from the ‘born to rule’ mob. God bless you Dick, you are true blue.

        • Did you ever complain about having solve the problems the Victorians left us? Did we ever restore the populations of gazelles and lions reduced to near extinction “for sport” – or kangaroos displaced by sheep? (NO – even though we can eat gazelles and kangaroos even if we can’t shear them.) Why do you expect to leave your grandchildren with more problems rather than endeavouring to leave them with a better planet?
          The Swiss still have National Service – do you want your grandchildren to go through that? Do you want to put yet more trained killers on the streets?
          Do you realise how much food this world produces and how many it can feed – a finite figure, not endlessly increasable. Keep the population under this figure and all can live – go over this figure and someone starves and I’d rather it wasn’t me thank you very much.

      • I know where your coming from Dick. Im sure your grandchildren will love you regardless. No doubt even the best of us will still get some of this mess wrong, while trying to get it right.

    • This might, (perhaps), be challenging for some but anyhow… In the majority of instances it is not necessary for a homo sapien organism to ingest animal products, or at least anywhere whatsoever near the current levels that humans are over serviced. Between the ages of 3-7 years most westerners are told that they must consume animal products for survival, health and well being. How many of us out mature this childhood conditioning and unfortunately less than half intelligence? Also unfortunately nowhere near enough to not damage the ecosystem and biodiversity. A human physiology just does not need very many animal products whatsoever for its welbeing and I bet there are all sorts of alarm bells, going off in everyone’s unconscious “but i’ll be malnutritioned, i’ll be unhealthy, i’ll go broke, marketing tells me that i’ll get a disease”, etc, etc, etc. Along with, vehicle emissions, factory emissions and deforestation, whether anyone’s ego likes it or not, animal agriculture has been stuffing up the ecosystem and biodiversity FOR CENTURIES. One of the easiest ways to help ecological damage and issues is for humans to stop lying to theirselves that they must ingest animal products. Vegans become sick, ill and diseased far less often. On the issue of sustainability, now how’s this for something different, as there is almost no animal product in my body, there is far, far less stinking, festering bacteria in my body as well, thus I stink far less than any normal meat/dairy consumer and shower approx once per week as I only need to that much. This is on top of being a physical worker in a non air conditioned environment as well. If every human were consuming that amount of water would our water resources last longer? How dire do things have to get before anyone, anywhere can appreciate any sort of value in that sentence. I won’t specify right here and right now, however as long as homo sapiens consume animal products, there will always be some sort of suffering to both humans and the greater ecosystem and biodiversity that whether their ego likes it or not they, (humans), exist in and are a part of. Although yes factory emissions, vehicle emissions and deforestation, obviously cause suffering and damage to biodiversity and the ecosystem, humans not outgrowing animal product consumption, is possibly the most overlooked and most proliferant cause of damage biodiversity and the ecosystem. Of course not the only, however possibly the EASIEST & SIMPLEST way to create planetary sustainability is for humans to outgrow eating animal products.

      • Again, moderation, sustainability. There is not, apparently, a single native society in history that has survived as vegans – a bit of meat, fish or eggs have always been added to the largely vegetable diet (that’s vegetable – and fruit – NOT grains, grains are a recent addition to the diet and cause probably even more deforestation than cattle). But that’s probably meat once a week or so as it’s not easy to catch an animal every day. I can still hear the screams – only once a week! It’s true about the body odour bit though. That would reduce our water issues and our ozone layer issues somewhat – so many fewer deodorant cans!

      • 👍Clover. Theres so much bull on the net these days, people believe anything or dont know what to believe. Pinch of salt required and common sense. Look at all comments , theories and news. Then deduct the truth by filtering the bull. Bit like supermarkets saying consumers only want shiny apples and bent bananas in bunches of more than 4 or whatever. Who said? I didnt or know anyone who has? Bull. Poor example, I know. Lol

  • It truly is time that this issue is addressed. I am a 70 year old ex farmer and certainly don’t have the answers but I have been expressing this view for many years and most of the time people have looked at me like I have been out in the sun for too long. (probably true). I do fear however, that the vast majority of people either aren’t interested enough to care, don’t believe it could come to such a state, or just don’t want to know. They are too busy with survival and as long as their little world is revolving reasonably happily around them then that’s all they hope for and they are not capable of seeing further ahead than that. It is always the least wealthy who feels the pain of change the most. It’s a problem that will need to be addressed by governments simultaneously world wide and god only knows how that is likely to come about. The occupants of this country are already seen as the “haves” and the “have nots” are flocking here one way or another as it is, so imagine how much worse that will be if the type of society proposed is achieved in this country, as it most urgently must be, but not in the rest of the world.

    • People may be too busy trying to survive, however with record household debt to gdp ratio at 190%, spiralling costs for utilities, record house prices, declining wages, congested roads, increasing automation replacing jobs, declining gdp per capita, 820000 households under mortgage stress, the issue of massive population growth which is greatly contributing to many these detrimental factors, will have to addressed sooner rather than later.

    • Yes Neil,
      You’ve been out in the sun and fresh air too long – you’re still able think! Your brain wasn’t fried in the pollution and smog of the cities (or poisoned by sodium fluoride in your rain water). Long may you continue to care!

  • Hello to everyone here.
    What can I say ? I agree with Mr. Dick Smith, and many others who have written on this blog.
    What can we do ?
    Stop being greedy ?
    Population cut backs would also be a good start, not just here in Aussie, but, globally.
    We don’t need any more people coming to Australia.
    We have enough problems to solve, both immediately, and in the very near future, I won’t go into these problems, as I would think they are obvious.
    I am quite prepared to cut back on many unnecessary capitalist gluttony luxuries I have enjoyed over the years.
    So, are others ?
    We tend to think it is other people who are over consuming, but, not ourselves !
    Oh, and by the way. I am 56 years of age, do not have any children, own a small car, and live very modestly, do you ?
    A sustainable way of life is possible, lets start by getting rid (or at least, don’t replace it, unecessarily) of unnecessary junk we purchase, just because we can !
    And STOP having kids for the fun of it.
    Us meaning, me, you and everyone else, has a responsibility to curb our consume, consume consume mentality.
    How can we achieve this ?
    Australia for Australians.
    Cheers.

    • Agreed!

      Heavy advertising, pressure-selling & marketing the latest and ‘greatest’ gadgets to spin more $$ ….for them, is largely to blame in consumer societies.

      In the 3rd world (and here, in the lower demographics), population control is the absolute key otherwise it outpaces infrastructure build and LIMITED resource allocation. Very simple.

      Few seem to have the brains to understand these basics!

      • I blame the education system that doesn’t teach a child to think, but to swallow statements whole as given (so they’ll believe the advertising shoved down their throats). Tell a person they aren’t a real person until they’ve bred, they’ll believe it. They don’t look around the shopping centres at the crying kids and screaming parents, they just go off to the nearest IVF clinic. Stories about the lack of joy in parenthood are as taboo as talking about over-population.

    • the answer to why the world is the way it is today is globalism
      but don’t expect the media or big business to support Dick
      they are after all the ones who are benefiting the most from it
      whilst ordinary aussies are the ones suffering
      even in china. corrupt business owners are becoming super rich
      and are able to buy up properties all over the world including in Australia.
      Meanwhile ask the ordinary factory worker in China what they feel about china’s ‘prosperity’

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/deaths-of-foxconn-employees-highlight-pressures-faced-by-chinas-factory-workers-1471796417

      Look for Dick to be mocked in the media, journalism today is nothing like it was back in the day
      when reporting was impartial and fair with little spin.

    • Too true! It’s always the greedy pensioner (who just wants to live in a modicum of comfort), never the greedy politician who wants to further tread on the downtrodden. It’s for others to stop having children, not for you to say I’m not allowed IVF when God/the Universe/Mother Earth is obviously telling me to cut down on the human population (I don’t have any kids either and proud of it!)
      I think it depends on what you call luxuries or unnecessary junk – the way modern humans are brought up, what you and I would consider luxuries, they consider necessities (like a new “smart” phone every year with all the paid-for apps). It would also help if advertising was drastically curbed, it’s hard to shop less when all you get on TV, radio and the net (and in your mailbox) is BUY, BUY, BUY.

      • Hmmm… wonder why we have other issues like selling children,women, smuggling, slave porn, blackmarket,theft,extortion, blackmail etc. Its all linked. Rich getting richer and poor trying anything to get rich.
        Before anyone says,
        Crimes been around for along time yes. But back in civilised history it was prob. the king taking all or the Pharaoh etc. Rather than Business men or polys.
        Arnt we supposed to be smarter though today?
        Not sure if theres much theft amongst village tribes not exposed to our evils? Probably delt with appropriately in the village.

      • Cool. Just seen on Landline the stuggling farmers and locals in my birth state S.A. are now 51% in favour of a nuclear waste dump in Cleve/Kimba area or the beautiful Flinders Ranges area. Amazing what a bit of lack of support, duress and money can do. Rule 1. Dont make bad stuff that doesnt go away.

  • I watched Dick last night on Jones & Co – excellent!

    One thing that troubled me was the suggestion by Dick that somehow the problems are all down to the “greed” of the wealthy 1%. There are no doubt many people and many businesses making huge money because of the present situation, but I see these people as accidental beneficiaries of a much deeper cause: the UN and its Agenda 21 philosophy.

    A lot of people, for instance, are making huge profits off the “renewables” scam, getting tax payers to subsidise their businesses – but they are only able to so BECAUSE of the UN agenda and government favouritism. Globalists are also favoured in this system, and will make massive profits. But it is important to realise that those making huge profits are NOT THE CAUSE of our troubles – it is our politicians’ desire to please their UN overlords that is making these selected few very rich.

    This is why we have the strange situation whereby (as Dick points out) obvious vote-winning moves are utterly ignored by both political parties. Why? – Dick seems puzzled. This is because our politicians no longer work for their voters, but for the UN. The goal of the UN is to eventually have a one-world socialist government, and towards that end there needs to be a more “equal” distribution of wealth – in other words, Western democracies like Australia will be broken down, de-industrialised and impoverished to make them more equal with the poor of the third world. This is why electricity prices are rising, and will continue to rise, until “equality” is achieved.

    Neither party is now interested in what the voters want – and if they don’t shut up and behave they will be replaced by waves of massive migration from the third world, which is already happening in Europe. If we don’t want to go down the path to the “equality” of world poverty under a one-world socialist regime, we have to stop voting for either of the major parties who are both onboard with the UN plan to turn the entire world into Venezuela.

    • Spot on Mark. I have been stating the same for many years now but the apathy continues.
      Good on Dick Smith for creating this awareness campaign. Sadly, I fear most will see it as an Alarmist campaign instead basically out of fear that their comfortable lifestyle is under threat.
      The way I see it is that to a homeless person an old mattress and a single blanket represents enormous comfort whereas many of us enjoy access to more luxuries than our grandparents could have ever imagined. Now we are addicted to this and as Dicks campaign so rightly points out, it is unsustainable.
      Having major political parties promoting growth ideology around the industrialised countries of the world flies in the face of common sense and therefore supports suspicion of the agenda at play here. May God help us all!

      • Agreed, it’s a shame that people will brand common sense as alarmism to keep up their ridiculously greedy lifestyles.

  • To influence our politicians to reduce the rate of population growth it is essential that all political donations be stopped; not only from foreigners but Australians too. Our politicians have had a “Big Australia” mission for decades.

    In the early 1970s a friend, who was studying a social science subject at the ANU, told me that the lecturer taught the students that big business was pressurising our politicians to increase Australia’s migrant intake. These wealthy organisations wanted to grow their profits by having more customers to buy their goods and services as well as change the balance of supply and demand of labour in order to drive down wages.

    Therefore, remove the financial hold these wealthy corporations have over our politicians and this could result in our politicians doing what is beneficial for Australia.

  • Good Growth is to do “better” not “more”. Better is better value, better service, better fit for purpose, better health and safety, better community, better environment, better world, better self ??
    The current measures of growth are what need to change. Develop true measures and reporting of good indicators to keep people focused and inspired on the “better” and it has the best chance of being realised. Negative and divisionalist comments and measures undermine “better”.
    It’s sad that most of your commentaries have a negative view and encourage negative statements. I’m guilty of it too and it makes me feel bad. Do good to feel good and then do better. “Negative” and “bad” is easy, Invest your wealth and energy to identify “good” and “better”. Ps. That is good with two “o’s”. Ask yourself every time – is what I’m about to say – constructive – does it contribute to making “better”? I hope this is taken positively and helps us be a little better.

    • Kind of true i guess. Some people dont know the negatives though. Think they need highlighting sometimes. Its our aim thats important. If i had two boxes with undisclosed contents and told you to put your hand in one. Would you want to know the negatives or the positives?

  • Your comments Dick are 100% correct but getting your message across to mainstream Australia and to those who are able to effect change in our society will be daunting if not impossible. The clock is ticking, so what do we need to see happen to make politicians and people sit up and realise that this is the only planet on which we can survive.

    • Thing is Julie, they don’t believe this IS the only planet on which we can survive; they think they have the right to go out and ruin other planets the way they’re ruining this one.

  • Very well said. This issue deserves to be front and centre of our society, world society and political ethos. The challenges are huge but not insurmountable. I’ll do whatever I can to help this cause. I don’t want my grandchildren to inherit the mess we are currently witnessing, so the common feeling of powerlessness has got to stop! Thanks Dick Smith, I wish all wealthy people had your principles and commitment to better humanity through good honest leadership.

  • Our politicians are too busy trying to be politically-correct global citizens. In doing so, they have lost sight of the fact that their primary duty is to look after Australians.
    Turnbull, Liberal, Labor, and the Greens are far too accommodating to immigrants; who cost this country billions of dollars, and many of whom have no interest in the Australian way of life.
    We have certain migrant groups who have no interest in finding employment, no interest in the rights of women, and yet our politicians bring them here in droves, and give them housing and everything they need, while they openly oppose the values this country is built on.

    • Hi Simon,

      You’ve nailed it, right there!

      I live in a rural town in South Australia, approx., pop: 11,000. Just out of town is an abattoir, who, for a few years now, has been importing Asian workers (mostly Chinese). I’d estimate 90% of those employed at this company, are imported workers.

      To make matters worse, we’ve been literally inundated with Suddanese immagrants. Most are nice people, but that’s not the point here. My beef is that these people get everything handed to them on a plate.

      Whereas, a couple who immigrated from the UK, who bought a farm 15min from town, had to pay $100,000 plus a $30,000 bond, to be accepted as Australian immigrants. That makes no sense at all. This couple are not a tax on welfare, or anything else. Yet they get hammered.

      This has nothing to do with racism, which, seems to set the tone and cut-down, when anyone questions the Governments immigration policies.

      I was born in the early 60’s. Australia was rich then. Now this country is literally hemoraging cash, because a percentage of immigrants have no intentionb to speak English, or worse, fit into Australia’s way of life. All they want to do is rort the system…

      Grim facts are… We have homeless Australian’s, and children going without a proper education, meals, medical/dental care, and little to no decent future. The the Government needs to stop being policitally correct, and instead start taking care of its own, first and foremost.

      Good on ya Dick Smith, we need more Aussies like you 🙂

  • There’s simply not enough WATER. “Oh, we’ll do desalination plants” I hear them say. Is that the same ‘them’ who condemn us to massive traffic jams every morning and afternoon of the working week through lack of infrastructure? Is that the same ‘them’ who are happy to develop 300 m2 house blocks ad nauseum, as long as they don’t have to provide a means of getting to and from their fake suburbs?
    Anyway, salt is a poison. Where does all that go? Back into the sea? There is enough salt in there to cover the entire Earth in a layer 150m thick. Marine life is happy with 35% salinity. If there’s anything still alive down there, i don’t think it’d flourish at 40%+ salinity. Damn, no more sardines.

    Wars are being fought right now over WATER. There is a global pool of more than 200 million refugees (estimate ~10 years old, obviously a lot more by now) because of lack of water. The humanists among us want to bring them all here, but these well-meaning folk live in cities where there appears to be plenty of water and food – just ask the Woolworths or Coles. The fact of the matter is: Because there’s only so much to go around, especially in a desert continent such as ours, every person who comes here technically erodes our ‘quality of life’, making us poorer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few people here and there, but 500 000 people a year? We’re on a course to calamity. It’s disappointing that the government of Australia does not act in the interests of its people.

    NOT ENOUGH WATER…….to drink, let alone grow food with……..Which part of that don’t ‘they’ understand?

    • “They” don’t understand because “they” don’t WANT to understand. Who cares about water when all you do is drink champagne and chardonnay? (You need fresh water to grow grapes, Dopey…)

      Careful though, salt is not just a poison, it’s necessary (and ignore those idiots who tell you to have a low-salt diet, what you need is quality salt, not the “purified” pure sodium chloride poison in the supermarkets – iodized or not!) Romans were paid salt rations to remineralize their bodies – the origin of our salary. Proper sea salt – but if they put this whole salt, removed from sea water to make fresh water, in the supermarkets instead of the white trash that’s currently there (read the same for sugar and flour, such a pity I prefer white rice…) they’d charge an arm and a leg for that too, as well as the more-expensive-than-petrol desalinated water.

      Sadly, you can’t explain to the extremely wealthy or the politicians who are paid by them that money is not edible, potable or breathable. I think the only way is to lock them in an airtight room with lots of gold coins, stocks, bonds, diamonds, coal and change the occupants every week until we’re left with the sane ones, but that’s not a political reality.

  • Tony’s thought of the day.
    What’s wrong with politics today?
    Just a couple of examples:
    Reaganism – “trickle down economics” – a bullshit theory of the rich for the rich.
    Thatcherism – “user pays” – a horrible policy that wrongly assumes that everyone was born equal.
    Do you have other examples?
    Well here’s an enlightened, common sense viewpoint on the hideous state of affairs in Australia at the moment. From the rediculous situation where people have to pay 3 times what a house is worth, to what effect Howard’s 200,000+ per year immigration policy will do to our children’s and grandchildren’s future work and quality of life prospects.
    You really have to wonder why most politicians of the last 30 years or so are so hellbent on screwing up what was a wonderful life where a home could be easily bought on one wage, and a job lasted for life if you wanted it to. They seem to be brainwashed by, or perhaps puppets of, the worst ideas of the big end of town and the craziness of the far left.

    • Greed! When a chintzy landlord has more ‘right’ to make money from his trashy property than a decent, caring, rent-paying person has to a decent home, there will be problems.

      Ever noticed that the University Educated under the Free Education for All policy are the ones demanding the user-pays education system? Not only that, but they want people to stay in school longer, reduce working traineeships and apprenticeships – where the working-whilst-training person pays tax – and demand people take “any” work whilst making most work unavailable to those without a University education. What such a Catch-22 society does to the young mind should be criminal.

  • The people in power tend to have a way of silencing descension. We will need a lot of people power beyond Facebook likes to solve this one. From the hawkesburry graduate

    • That’s “dissention”. From Dissent or to disagree with leading to discord. Descension – from descending – is what we’re doing – into anarchy if they don’t fix it first. I think they believe they’ll be dead before that happens, so much for caring for one’s offspring…

  • Most comments are statements of the obvious, it will take a very resilliant person to get on the PUPLIC/POLITICAL soapbox and sell the message
    Good luck DS, with saving ourselves from our unfortunate projected demise.

  • In one generation these corrupt politicians, big business, the extremely greedy and wealthy, international and domestic lobby groups and traitors have destroyed Australia and our values and perverted our political system into an oligarchy (a small group of people having control of a country or organization).

    If those that suffered and died (the working class) in the 1st and 2nd World Wars could see how this country has turned out, and the calibre of those controlling our nation, they would turn in their graves.

    Well done Mr Smith, you have clearly stated the views of millions of Dinky-Di Australians. Many other citizens in Europe would also agree with your statements.

    Best Regards from Peter Wilczek

    • I thought oligarchy implied wealth of the politician as well – certainly true in this case.

      Those that fought in WWI (the War to END all Wars) must be spinning like tops in their graves.

  • The argument is very common that we need to bring in thousands of people to Australia to look after the ageing population. They don’t seem to realize that these people will themselves age, retire, go on pensions, need publicly funded health care, etc. The solution? Bring in thousands and thousands more. It’s like trying to put out a fire by throwing petrol on it.

  • Well stated and put forward Dick. I have been following comments on Global Warming and the looming energy crisis often discussed at Educational Lectures by a retired University Professor. He has always proposed we needed to use a plethora of energy sources to supply the demand in the future. When I put forward to him that new energy sources were not the answer (full one anyhow) but that the problems were being caused by overpopulation and that is what he should be addressing, he was somewhat taken aback. It appeared he had not contemplated that.

    You also should be pushing the biological fact that if a species overpopulates its environment and depletes it, then a large number of that population will die until a sustainable constant population is achieved. I realise that most of the public would not be familiar with that bit of Science but it should be pushed. For the human species, consequence/s would be far more reaching.

    Please keep pushing all political parties on this. Our species survival depends on it.

    • The thing is Stephen, we’ve managed to avoid it so far, so we think we’re immune to the laws of nature – we control the world! We’ve sent so many other species to extinction and here we are, bigger and stronger than ever. We must be smarter than the gods who created the world (just look at what human ‘management’ did to Yosemite National Park when they got rid of wolves, but we still want to manage everything to extinction whilst breeding like rabbits… We think we have the right.)
      I agree with you, but I also know how difficult it is to try and get that point across to Jo(e) Average.

  • gday Dick,its not just population we need to cut.
    this country doesnt have the water to sustain what we have,when the drought hits,you will see.
    we dont have jobs either.
    who in there right mind would want to live against the wall of your next door nabours house ?
    kids dont get a yard to play in,its no longer safe to talk to a child,that isnt yours.
    i could go on but i wont be heard…

    well done Mr Smith

    • Actually Sean, a LOT of people seem to want to live right up against their neighbours – and they work and commute so many hours they don’t have time to look after a yard for the kids to play in. Anyway, modern kids think ‘play’ means muck around with computers, they wouldn’t know fresh air if it hit them – not that it’s so fresh any more…
      I think that boils down to Many people aren’t in their right minds… That’s what cities do for you – but they’re still leaving the land to go slum it in the city!

  • WELL DONE DICK SMITH!!…😀….So many of the population FEEL THE SAME BUT DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!….😢

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for being the WONDERFUL CARING AUSTRALIAN that you are!!………👍

    WE ARE ALL behind you!…….👌

  • Dick you have said on world wide platform what, every educated person should be aware of. Growth is not the answer.Our leaders are procrastinated with mindless oposition to the ever decreasing good policy when it is presented. Tony Abbot and Bill Shorten both should be ashamed on this point.
    What are we going to leave our children when we mine and consume our presious resources like they will never run out, all this is done with out consideration of the future and only for balancing a balance sheet and growth. This lunacy needs to stop.
    True economics is the management of precious resources.

    • I’ve asked a few times why we’re killing long-term income solutions (tourism, eco-tourism) for finite ‘solutions’ (coal is a finite resource, when it runs out, it’s gone. Tourism can go on forever. The bit I REALLY don’t understand is that we prefer to sell it when prices are low (???) so we sell our precious finite resource faster for less money – I don’t have a degree in economics, maybe that’s why I don’t understand). Pauline Hanson says we don’t want to be a nation of chambermaids – like working down a dirty, dangerous mine is better! And, as stated elsewhere, the mines fail, the government has to bail them out, the workers get thrown on the scrap heap, the mining bosses scarper to Spain – meanwhile, what tourism we have left goes on, showing our beautiful country to the world and providing jobs for chambermaids and cooks until they retire (IF they can afford to retire, but at least they can work at their boring jobs unlike the out-of-work miners).
      I’ve also quote my grandfather about ‘Pig Iron Bob’ (former PM Sir Robert Menzies who sent iron ore to Japan – which came back to us in the form of bombs over Darwin) and asked why we still send coal and iron ore to China – again, not learning from History – or looking about our own world – much of the destruction of Africa and India in the current decade is funded and promoted by Chinese money and ‘business men’.
      Again, no one ever answers my questions.

  • My friends will verify that I have been saying this for 40 years! Better late than never or ultimately humanity will go under!

  • It really is time for action on this crazy lust for population growth,don’t expect any response from political
    lightweights.
    Vested interests are creating a serious problem.

    • David Suzuki said Australia needs to cut its population to 7-8 million going on natural resources and WATER. Who listened to him? I only found out he was in Australia last after he left. Was it just after that that Costello came up with 1 kid for mum, 1 for dad and 1 for Australia?

  • Well done Dick. This needs to be high profile for society to realise that we are just following what business and and money making machines want us to follow. There is a way to fix this without having to colonise and strip another planet. I just hope that more high profile people and businesses get on board to promote a shift to sustainability.

    • I totally agree with the Dick Smithean cause but I believe we still need to move out and colonise other worlds for the preservation of the human species . As history and current science has proven , one decent asteroid ( and there are billions of them) and it’s all over red rover !

      • WHY??? What’s so special about the human species that you’d want to preserve it? As history has shown, it’s the most destructive, uncaring, callous species on the planet, it complains when other species do what it’s doing (trying to survive – cull the kangaroos – they’re eating all the feed for our sheep!!) and it deliberately wipes out other species for no other reason than callous self-interest. See how many insecticides there are available. It wipes out “useless” species – see how many dolphins and turtles are tossed back into the water dead from fishing nets – because of inefficient hunting practises.

        You want to preserve this species??? If a human-minded species landed here from Mars, they’d conclude the Pest was man and wipe us out faster than myximatosis did the rabbit.

  • Thankyou Mr. Smith, your advocacy against unsustainable growth, both financially and logistically, is unique ( there is no other voice ). You are a leader with vision and truth. You have my support.

    PS; I always thought of growth as building on top of what already existed. I see that the growth that is referred to by this existing political arena is nothing of the sort. They remove and replace existing infrastructure at huge cost to us without any real ‘growth’ or improvement to the security and standard of living of Aussie citizens.

    ” First provide sufficiently for the existing status quo, then you can see clearly the road ahead, for if you cannot provide for the existing, an increase in population will exacerbate the problems. “

    • Like the over-priced, under-performing NBN? I’ve heard it’s cheap Chinese tat designed for the purposes of spying on Australians so they can target the troublemakers when they take us over. Amazing what rumours are flying around…

      Re the quote at the end (I like it, where’s it from?) They’re adding another lane to the northern Gateway Motorway in Brisbane. A mess of roadworks, has been going on for years already causing commuter chaos, for ONE more lane! By the time it’s finished, they’ll need to start again, it will already be obsolete – think ahead, whilst you’re doing it, put in 2 lanes for the future! It’s not quite like Paul Hogan painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge – he didn’t get in anyone’s way and stop the traffic.

  • Endless growth is based on greed which unfortunately is a basic human trait. And in business, you are pilloried as a heretic if you’re not on the growth bandwagon.

    I completely agree with Dick Smith Fair Go but he’s picked a fight with the most powerful in the world. Good luck.

    • As a farmer and rural dweller I have been advocating all of these views for 30 years, but I get howled down each time. I do not have enough political clout to make a difference and to speak up, is to be considered a “silly old bugger”. I wish you luck, but greed seems to win. Greed and selfishness breed stupidity.

      • Both comments sadly too true. You’re howled out of the conversation by those who won’t accept moderation and insist on bigger, ‘better’ – matter of opinion – all the time.
        Mother complains about “continuous improvement” which is a modern mantra. Who can continuously improve – is there not a finite limit? Yet it’s demanded, required, if you can’t continuously improve, we won’t employ you.

    • Whilst I agree, I’d rather not live through one. I’ve seen enough of war on the TV, no wish to get any closer. If you can make it happen without blood and deprivation, I’m all for it. IF!

  • Extremely thankful that this topic is finally being addressed and talked to. It is not racist but reality, humans are sadly parasitic by nature.
    It will take an enormous amount of courage for the population to leave their consumer driven ideological existence to finally recognise that we must change in order for our species to survive.
    My full support, I hope this message is being delivered across the nation, I know we have all been waiting for this united voice of reason for some time.
    I’m onboard

    • I think you have to already be part way there. The worst of the consumers will not want to hear this, nor listen if you forced it down their throats. I’m not sure how many born after 1985 would know who Dick Smith was, especially now that DSE is history and seems to me they care not one whit. I saw this on a TV ad – most kids don’t watch TV so much as they now stream on their computers (of one sort or another – a ‘smart’ phone is a computer to me, not a phone at all). How else is this being promoted? I tried to mention Dick in another forum (how can we improve our service? I tried to say Talk to Dick Smith who believes in businesses offering customer service, but I couldn’t, it insisted I not use profanity…)

  • i don’t believe that family planning is part of muslim religion’s ethos.
    which means if our judeo-christian population practise it, australia will eventually become a muslim country.
    for your overall plan to work, muslims need to change their practises & way of thinking. remember your muslim leaders said we will dominate the world through breeding.

    i have no idea how you would get them on board.

    • Just like the Roman Catholic Church of the 70s. But if you say it about Muslims, you’re branded as a racist – religionist doesn’t seem to be a word. I wonder why “racist” works only towards coloured skin (Arabs aren’t black, they’re brown) – I’ve been on the end of extreme racism but I wasn’t allowed to complain about it.
      There was an email going about some time back that had a number of extremely strict laws – apparently taken from a Muslim country, one being that if you were born out of that country, you couldn’t buy property, only rent. It suggested Australia adopt similar laws. Didn’t come to anything, we seem to be more anti-Chinese who persecute their Muslim population. I think it’s a great law (being Australian-born, my immigrant father probably wouldn’t agree), but there are so many Muslim children being born here now, it wouldn’t help and so many seem to be susceptible to the extremist viewpoints.

  • What can I say ? All of the above I wholeheartedly agree with. I have been banging on about overpopulation for years. I seem to rember back in Primary school (I am 68) that the estimated population of aboriginals before white man settled in Australia was about 1 million……in 50,000 to 60,0000 years that was as high as the population got ….I wonder why, something to do with being the driest continent on earth.
    Sign me up Dick.

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