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Attenborough: endless growth ‘lunacy’

One of the world’s leading naturalists Sir David Attenborough has cautioned Australia against pursuing further population growth, labelling an unlimited expansion a kind of madness.

Speaking before touring Australia next month, Sir David questioned why the country still found itself actively debating whether it needed to grow its population.

”Why would you want to do that? I don’t understand that. The notion that you could continue to expand and increase and grow in an infinite way on a planet which is finite, is a kind of lunacy. You can see how mad that is by the expression that you can’t believe that you can grow infinitely in a finite place – unless of course you’re an economist,” he said.

-Advice: Sir David Attenborough.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population is estimated to grow to between 30.9 million and 42.5 million people by 2056.


The first Sustainable Australia report released this month said the nation’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent, one of the fastest rates in the developed world, but still well behind the more than 4 per cent growth rates of many African nations.

The report lists environmental degradation as one of the greatest challenges facing development of regional parts of the country.

In 2009, former prime minister Kevin Rudd sparked a national debate about population growth when he stated his belief in a ”Big Australia”.

Since that time, the government’s stance on population growth has cooled significantly, with his successor Julia Gillard rejecting that notion and calling for sustainable growth.

In 2011, federal Environment Minister Tony Burke released a population strategy that was criticised for not setting a target, instead focusing on a more nuanced approach to growth in regions that were crying out for skilled workers.

Sir David said his June tour was to discuss highlights of his six decades of nature filmmaking, not to speak out on environmental issues.

However, he felt his global audience did place responsibilities on him.

”I’m not on a proselytising tour. On occasions I speak on these issues where it’s appropriate and where the subject has come up,” he said.

Sir David said while he did not believe bureaucrats and governments should meddle in a family’s right to have children, had China not introduced its controversial one-child policy in 1979, the consequences for the planet would have been catastrophic.

”One thing you can say is that in those places where women are in charge of their bodies, where they have the vote, where they are allowed to dictate what they do and what they want, whether it’s proper medical facilities for birth control, the birth rate falls,” he said.

Bisbane Tines

10 Comments on "Attenborough: endless growth ‘lunacy’"

  1. AWB on Sun, 26th May 2013 11:05 pm 

    “…with his successor Julia Gillard rejecting that notion and calling for sustainable growth.”

    There is no such thing as sustainable growth — it’s a wonderful oxymoron.

  2. rollin on Sun, 26th May 2013 11:39 pm 

    I think that Australia is a significant player in GW through it’s coal exports. It’s increasing desertification is the major problem, population will only bring it to a head sooner.
    I have never seen a western movie where the land owner burns himself out. Australia seems to be doing that as fast as possible.

  3. GregT on Sun, 26th May 2013 11:45 pm 

    “The notion that you could continue to expand and increase and grow in an infinite way on a planet which is finite, is a kind of lunacy. You can see how mad that is by the expression that you can’t believe that you can grow infinitely in a finite place – unless of course you’re an economist,” he said.”

    Or a banker, or a politician, or a CEO of a large corporation………………….

    Unfortunately these are the idiots that are running the show, and all they seem to be able to understand is G-R-O-W-T-H.

  4. DC on Mon, 27th May 2013 12:05 am 

    Lets see….

    The US of Oil is happily adding one MILLION legal and illegal immigrants, in addition to its own births each year.

    Canada +250k (for no good reason that anyone can explain)

    The UK + 225k (again for no reason into a population over 2x Canadas and in an island smaller than most Canadian provinces.)

    Australia, also seems to think it needs hundreds of thousands of mostly 3rd world economic migrants annually.

    Migrants dont ‘improve’ western countries to any great degree. The only ones that do benefit are the migrants themselves(and corporations), often recipients of free govt handouts. These handouts are often used to bring more useless 3rd world migrants to the host country. The net effect of 3rd world migration is crime, increased pressure on the environment, and depressing of unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Skilled labor has exempted itself from downward pressure on ITS wages, through complex regulations that keep most skilled migrants out of the professions.

  5. Plantagenet on Mon, 27th May 2013 3:15 am 

    Those not busy being born are busy dying
    —Bob Dylan

  6. Arthur on Mon, 27th May 2013 9:02 am 

    Politicians see a nation as a tax farm. Every farmer wants more sheep that can be shaved. Every politician wants more citizens that can be taxed. Growth, growth, growth, the mantra of the modern world. Obviously Australian population growth is not coming from Europe but from Asia, ME and Africa. Of all the peoples of the European world, the Anglos are the most suicidal, c.q. the least able to protect themselves. Pure economy and moneymen. And when you really start to dig in the deep state structures of Anglosphere you will find certain committees writing the policy papers behind this push for immigration. The same people that provide money for these traiterous politicians.

  7. Arthur on Mon, 27th May 2013 9:26 am 

    And yes, no surprises here, same perps as in the US and UK:

    Anglosphere, the next South-Africa. Long after it will be gone, the great coal and oil empire will be remembered as the territory that could not generate an elite, strong enough to withstand the youknowwhos.

  8. Arthur on Mon, 27th May 2013 9:59 am

    Willem Jansz was the first European to discover Australia in 1606 and other Dutchmen like Hartog, de Hautman, Tasman and de Vlamingh followed up, until the more numerous British took over from the Dutch one century later, just like they had done with New Amsterdam. The period 1600-2020 will be known as the European episode of Australia. Having a look at the map you will see that maybe 25% of the territory of Australia is inhabitable. Australia is slightly smaller than China. China is for 50% desert, the other 50% is home to a staggering 1300 million people. This means that 650 million Chinese potentially could live in Australia. Australia currently is part of a US security arrangement. But if the US will balkanize (2025?), as every multicult arrangement sooner or later will meet it’s Syria moment, Australia will be up for grabs for the Chinese, just like the Japanese were forced to invade the Dutch East Indies in 1941 in their desperate search for oil. And a big sigh of relief will be heard in Paris, Berlin and Moscow that Australia and not Siberia functioned as the geopolitical safety valve for the desperate Chinese need for resources and ‘Lebensraum’.

    White man is on the way out of history. Out of the top of my head, some 30% of the world’s population in 1900, now maybe 12% and possibly 6% or less by the end of this century, all as a consequence of liberal value system: anti-racism, feminism, individualism, economism, systematic destruction of the family, anti patriarchy, holocaust religion, hyper-sexualization/porn (hedonism rather than procreation)… something has got to give. Euro-Siberia plus Anglosphere is too much territory for the 6%. And it is going to be Anglosphere that will be sacrificed. Australia and the US in hindsight will be seen as the last European colonies that were abandoned in a long range of abandoned European colonies: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, South-America, Africa.

  9. dashster on Mon, 27th May 2013 11:50 am 

    As unbelievable as it sounds, I heard a guy on a financial channel say that “All Malthusian predictions will always fail”.

  10. Arthur on Mon, 27th May 2013 1:42 pm 

    A replica of the ship that was used to discover Australia (in hindsight) was baptized as a monument today in Queensland.

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