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If Environment Victoria continues to duck its population charter, then it should step down as a 'peak' body


Christopher James writes that he thinks that it is very wrong-headed for Environment Victoria to claim that, although they recognise the importance of population issues impacting on sustainability & the environment, they are not going to campaign on this because they feel that a state-based organisation cannot make a difference because the federal government sets population policies. Surely one of their core activities could be to pressure and educate the state government who in turn could pressure the federal government to reduce immigration.

The following email emerged after Christopher (Kit) James was approached once again to contribute to Environment Victoria's funds. Exasperated, he scrawled on the back of the request that he would not be contributing until Environment Victoria began to campaign against population growth in Victoria. Note that we are on course for 70million people at the end of the century unless Victorians and Australians combine to resist this awful fate. How can Environment Victoria claim to be effective in the face of this rate of human population growth?

From: Kelly O'shanassy, CEO, Environment Victoria

Date: 3 December 2013 3:52:46 PM AEDT
To: Christopher James
Subject: Population issues

Dear Christopher - I received your note regarding population threats and Environment Victoria's role in population campaigning. I appreciate your thoughts.

Environment Victoria absolutely recognises that the human population has an unsustainable impact on the earth and that infinite growth on a finite planet is physically impossible. We also recognise that the ever rising population, and consumption of natural resources, and the pollution subsequently produced, has put the world into ecological overshoot. And with population and consumption rates continuing to increase, that overshoot will spiral out of control. All of this is our public position listed in our Charter to Safeguard Victoria's Environment. Click here to read our Charter on our website.

In our Charter, we use ecological footprint as a measure of the impact of humans on the planet. The ecological footprint is an internationally recognised indicator that calculates humanity's demand on nature. It is a product of the population and the consumption patterns of that population. Victoria's ecological footprint is three times higher than the world average. The research shows this is largely due to our polluting energy supply and the way we produce and consume the food we eat and the goods and services we buy. Of course, it is also effected by the population.

In our Charter, we set a goal to reduce Victoria's ecological footprint by 25 percent by 2020 and to sustainable levels by 2050. While these goals are big, they are what's necessary and we have never shied away from a problem just because its hard.

[candobetter.net editor: The problem is not just 'hard'; the goal is an absurdity with the current population increases. Where has Ms O'Shanassy been living, we wonder? Is Environment Victoria a professional false-flag environment organisation?]

Of course, Environment Victoria will not be able to achieve these goals alone.

Like our planet, Environment Victoria has limited resources and we focus our efforts on the things we can influence and where we can create the biggest outcome for Victoria's environment. We are currently undertaking research on how Environment Victoria can campaign to reduce Victoria's ecological footprint. This already includes a focus on transitioning from coal to clean energy but it may also focus on other issues, such as advocacy for a clean economy or advocacy for sustainable food production and use. We have discussed whether we should run a sustainable population campaign and have come to the conclusion that a state based organisation would be unable to have a big enough impact on population growth. Population policies are set at the national and international level and is a global issue. The solutions involve the empowerment of women and cover numerous human rights issues of which we are not the experts. So while we publicly recognise that population is a problem and that a stable global population is essential for any kind of sustainable future, we have a responsibility to campaign in areas where we can make a difference.

I hope this provides some clarity for you. I fully understand if you wish to direct your donations to an organisation that does run population campaigns but I hope you will continue to see the value in the unique and essential campaigns we do run here at Environment Victoria, that aim to make the biggest possible difference to our environment by 2020.

Thank you so much for your generous support and I'm always happy to chat about our work.

Best regards

Kelly O'Shanassy
CEO
Environment Victoria

ttp://www.environmentvictoria.org.au

DIRECT: (03) 9341 8119 MOBILE: 0421 054 402
RECEPTION: (03) 9341 8100 FAX: (03) 9341 8199
STREET ADDRESS: Level 2, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053
POST: PO Box 12575, A'Beckett Street, Carlton, Victoria 8006

Do you really need to print me?
Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Comments

Kelly O'Shanassy replies that "In our Charter, we set a goal to reduce Victoria's ecological footprint by 25 percent by 2020 and to sustainable levels by 2050...". What's the point of focusing on per capita footprint size when any reduction in consumption levels, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts will be offset by more and more people! While population continues to grow at third-world levels, and about 1500 new people arrive in our State each week, reducing Victoria's ecological footprint would be an academic and futile exercise.
Individual ecological footprints may be reduced by 25% by 2050, but at present rates of growth, Melbourne will be bursting with 8 million people, and 11 million people in Victoria? Population growth has a multiplying effect, and silly to skirt around the raging elephant in the room, with empty goals!
It's pointless supporting any environmental, climate change or planning organisations, ngo, unless they have a sustainable population policy.

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