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Human population growth squeezing out the Earth's non-humans

Shallow policy-making based on economic health at the detriment of the majority of the people of Australia is about pandering to the the "needs" of big businesses and those who benefit from growth.

The impacts are not only on people, but on animals.

Non-humans are usually ignored in the economic-growth paradigm that dominates policy making today. “Sustainability” is often referred to as being about ensuring comfortable human survival, and not other species.

The Ponzi-economic growth-based rational not only displaced existing people as the pyramid becomes larger at wealthier at the top, but displaces non-humans.

Land clearing and agriculture

Agriculture, land-clearing, logging, urban sprawl, roads, introduced and feral animals all result in wildlife habitat destruction.  Increased noise, pollution, traffic, and crime also means that animals come under threat from contacts with humans.   Our mammal extinction rate is the highest in the world, and Australia's rich natural heritage of biodiversity is under threat from more extinctions.  

Habitat loss is their greatest threat as more land is being made available for human "carrying capacity". As several large-scale scientific studies have confirmed, severe environmental degradation is taking place due to animal farming. Animal farming for meat, leather, and milk is depleting our natural resources at an alarming rate.

Green-house gas emissions from animal farms are a major contributor to global warming. Enormous amounts of water and plant food is required to produce meat. It is estimated that about 100,000 litres of water, 100 kilogram of hay, and 4 kilogram of grain is required to produce just one kilogram of meat.
The quality of life for animals suffers, with factory-farming that becomes more inhumane in order to feed so many people.

Greater human-animal contact.

As our urban boundaries continue to expand, livestock, wildlife and pets also come into more contact with people.  This means they are more and more under threat from thrill-killings, theft and interference.
Kangaroos are reportedly being tortured on a weekly basis due to increasing population growth in the Peel region, with one animal being found torn in two after being tied to two separate cars.

There is a constant push by governments for ever increasing population growth to drive economies, despite the fact that animal habitats are being decimated and many areas of the world, including Australia, are struggling to provide enough water for the existing population.

Associate Professor Eleonora Gullone from the School of Psychiatry and Psychology said the number of inhumane acts committed against kangaroos and domesticated animals over the past two years in Whittlesea ( a high growth area of Victoria) was concerning. There is evidence that kangaroos are disliked by farmers and rural property owners, she said.

High population growth and social disunity go hand in hand with tensions, crime, displacement and homelessness, and these factors all make animals ideal and silent victims social dis-ease. Kangaroos are our national iconic animals, and landholders have been pandered to too much by our DSE and permits to get rid of them are far too easily handed out.

Increasing demand for livestock products.

  Population growth means increasing demand for livestock products such as dairy, eggs and meats.  Livestock are under pressure to produce more, but to save costs and space, they are being confined in factory farms.  This means mutilations to stop their "aggression", antibiotics in their foods, increased risks of zoo noses(disease originating from animals), methane gas emissions, pollution to waterways and soils,  and declining animal welfare standards.

In the mid-twentieth century, exponential population growth was noticed early and taken seriously enough to spur a dramatic acceleration of global food production from the 1940s onwards. Traditional farming practices and traditional crop varieties were displaced as farming became intensive: the birth of industrial agriculture or factory farming occurred on a massive scale. Not only animals, but we too will feel like factory-farmed chickens squashed into metropolitan areas where housing is becoming more dense.

Companion animals and human densities.

Pets are good for children as it teaches them social skills and to have empathy with animals.  However, being forced into high density living denies children the ability to thrive, and to have the full benefits of space and room to raise animals for companionship.   It's a formula for mental illness and less active children, more prone to obesity and diabetes. Many elderly people rely on companion animals too.  Due to more people renting and moving into animal-hostile lifestyles, more draconian "management" of homeless animals is being considered.   Pets become the waste products of society when they can't be accommodated. They are doomed to the rubbish-bin of “death row”. Our cities are becoming more removed from the natural world.

Overfishing:

Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) occur in estuarine and coastal waters surrounding Australia, Africa, India, Pakistan, China, Korea and Japan. In Australia they are a highly targeted iconic fish species due to their large size, attractive silver coloration and good eating. Reported commercial catches of mulloway in New South Wales show a steady and substantial decline from 380 tonnes in 1973/74 to 60 tonnes in 2005/06.

NSW DPI Narrandera Fisheries Centre research scientist, Dr Lee Baumgartner, said a film crew visited the Riverina region last year to film the documentary and raise awareness about issues facing the iconic Murray cod.

“Over the years Murray cod have suffered substantially due to overfishing, habitat loss, poor water quality, pest species and river regulation,” he said.

Overfishing has drastically reduced the numbers of Southern Bluefin Tuna. The world's oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could
represent a "new normal" in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish. By removing a curb on jellyfish population growth, overfishing "opens up ecological space for jellyfish," says Anthony Richardson.

A seeming increase in shark attacks worldwide may well have a human cause, with low-cost air travel, but also overpopulation, overfishing and even climate change among the hidden suspects, say experts. The experts behind the Australian Shark Attack File argue that the enormous increase in the size of the Australian population over the last century has contributed to the increase in numbers of overall shark attacks (including non-fatal attacks). The shark is under relentless attack from humans themselves.

A third of open-water shark species, including the great white and the hammerhead, are facing extinction, driven in part by demand in Asia for shark-fin soup, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Loss of biodiversity

The monocultural practices of modern agricultural methods have been the driving force behind this loss of genetic diversity. Monoculture is the practice of broad scale cropping using the one variety of plant.

Globally, more than 5,000 wildlife species are threatened with extinction. Some 25% are mammals, and 11% birds. Of the reptile, amphibian and fish species described as threatened, 20% are reptiles, 25% are amphibians and 34% are fish.

Biodiversity loss is one of the world's most pressing crises and there is growing global concern about the status of the biological resources on which so much of human life depends.
It has been estimated that the current species extinction rate is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be.
- IUCN

Our duty of care to the animal kingdom is being compromised by excessive population growth.

Few of us realise that the main cause of the current environmental crisis is human nature.
All we're doing is what all other creatures have ever done to survive, expanding into whatever territory is available and using up whatever resources are available, just like a bacterial culture growing in a Petri dish till all the nutrients are used up.

Our growth means the world in which rampant consumption in rich countries, and over population in developing countries, is rapidly outstripping the global resources.

Ultimately, the loss of biodiversity will result in a dead, cruel and sterile planet in which local or regional ecosystems have collapsed.

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Comments

Australia's population is now 22.5 million. Immigration is boosting our numbers as more people call Australia HOME.
In 1900, our population was just under 4 million. By 1923, it was over 5.5 million. By 1923, it was nearly 9 million. By the 2000 Olympic games, we had just over 19 million people.
Governments control our population numbers through immigration. It's done for our own good, without any democratic input.
At a growth rate of 1.4 % per annum, it sounds like nothing to be concerned about. Humans fail to comprehend the arithmetic of growth. It means a doubling every 50 years.
With climate change, our food security is expected to decline and we may have to import more food than we export. Import from where?
We are facing population growth when multiple indicators of our "carrying capacity" are declining. We have peak oil, loss of soil quality, limited fertilizers, fisheries collapse, species losses and climate change.
Our governments are more worried about skills shortages and the GDP than food shortages and ecological collapse!

How we fix it...

  • Contact your politicians on the topics of growth, and how it is impacting on our green wedges, our environment and on our cities.
  • read population policies for the political parties before you vote
  • vote for parties or independents with a population cap, such as the STABLE POPULATION PARTY OF AUSTRALIA
  • don't be intimidated into ignoring the issue, due to political-correctness. It's NOT racism, but about numbers
  • "Green"/environmental groups need to stop avoiding the source greenhouse gases, and loss of environmental integrity
  • write to the papers. All the "shortages" are about population outstripping resources
  • Population growth is a political policy, not natural. As such, it can and must be changed.