Addicted to consumerism and growth. Humans- the next endangered species

Like a drug addict who has forsaken proper nutrition for energy, the new economy of real estate growthism relies on an immigration fix (and birth incentives to a lesser degree) for energy. So claims Tim Murray in his article ‘population growth, consumers and our ecological ruin.

Each succeeding fix requires greater injections to achieve the same jump start, and the cycle of boom and bust plays out with greater and greater consequences. More severe labour shortages, that call for more foreign injections; and the devastating ecological results, largely unsung, manifested in massive losses in prime farmland at a frightening pace and a cost in wildlife habitat that lies at the perimeter of expanding urban boundaries. Not to mention the greater energy consumption, waste disposal and pollution involved with never-ending urbanisation.

That the home building industry is the prime mover and catalyst of our ecological ruin was never more clearly illustrated than by statements recently made by University of West Florida economist Rick Harper, director of the UWF’s Haas Centre for Business Research.“If we don’t stimulate population growth … we are going to take 10 years or more to recover from this recession”, he said, “we’ve had a huge overbuilding of the housing sector, there was just too much investment in residential structures.”

The former Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, once offered Australia a choice. It could sustain jobs and economic security by using its brains, by being a smart economy, by adding value to the products it produces and by transforming manufacturing; or, it could continue to be a “lazy Australia” that depends on job growth simply by driving up population numbers and, depending on the growth you get, by building homes and shopping malls. And that is indeed what is it has done, adding a third to its population in less than three decades.

We must stop feeding the addictions of predatory developers. We cannot eat houses any more than our endangered species can!


About jboydedu

The Australian Centre for Sustainability Literacy is a division of Julie Boyd and Associates, who have been working for three decades to educate students in becoming positively contributing world citizens. We use a careful integration of solid research and evidence from a broad range of fields across education, community, business and leadership to support the 7th Generation concept which says that all decisions need to be made for the benefit of 7 generations forward.
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