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About the Citizens Electoral Council

The Citizens Electoral Council of Australia is a political group, which derives its policies and political philosophy from Lyndon La Rouche in the United States. It is often dismissed by the political establishment and supposedly alternative political figures as being extreme right wing and conspiracy theorist. However, many of their policies were once mainstream Labor positions and, if adopted, would be of enormous benefit to ordinary Australians: ending the scam of private banking, opposition to privatisation, opposition to war, as examples. However, they are seriously marred by their refusal to recognise the global ecological crisis and the problem of overpopulation,

See also: Call for the re-establishment of a true national bank of 17 Jan 2010

The Citizens Electoral Council of Australia is a political group, which derives its policies and political philosophy from Lyndon La Rouche in the United States. It is often dismissed by the political establishment and supposedly alternative political figures as being extreme right wing and conspiracy theorist. However, many of their policies were once mainstream Labor positions and, if adopted, would be of enormous benefit to ordinary Australians: ending the scam of private banking, opposition to privatisation, opposition to war, as examples. However, they are seriously marred by their refusal to recognise the global ecological crisis and the problem of overpopulation,

Recently, in spite of my considerable differences with the CEC, I was moved to defend them on John Quiggin's blog site. Here's what I wrote [1]:

I have my own concerns about the Citizens Electoral Council and have, on quite a few occasions, engaged in long heated arguments with one CEC member on Online Opinion against the CEC’s bizarre beliefs in favour of higher population and immigration (which, actually, are not that different to the beliefs of the Murdoch Press to whose tune the Federal and state governments have been dancing to for years). An example is to be found here.

Although I am far from uncritical of the British Royal Family I also have trouble with CEC’s view that they are at the centre of most of what is wrong with the world today and their labelling of Prince Phillip and Prince Charles as genocidal and racist for their sensible advocacy of population stability.

Nevertheless, I think the CEC also has a lot of worthwhile ideas, particularly in regard to our banking system, which is a ridiculous and needless scam that is the essential cause of nearly every economic crisis for at least the last 300 years.

If we abolished the whole stupid private banking system tomorrow and simply allowed Governments, instead of privat banks, to create the money we need to exchange goods and services, our society would be immeasurably better off (although we we would still have a lot of serious environmental problems to deal with).

I also take exception to condemning a group such as the CEC for holding “the usual conspiracy theories”.

Surely, it is obvious that the whole process by which all our governments consistently act against the public interest has to be the result a vast and ongoing conspiracy against the public, that is, unless people seriously believe that the Queensland Government’s decisions, as examples, to flog of $15 billion worth of publicly owned assets against the wishes of over 84% of the Queensland public or to forcibly amalgamate local governments just dropped out of the sky.

There are a good deal of views about critical issues that the mainstream media and the supposedly alternative media avoid discussing simply by labelling those views ‘conspiracy theories’, the most obvious being the false flag terrorist attacks of 11 September, which remain, to this day, the principle justification for the wars in which we have been engaged since then, and the removal of many of our guarnatees of human rights and democratic freedoms.

How anyone can seriously believe that 9/11 was launched from Afghanistan when, after 8 years of military occupation, not one person with a proven link to 9/11 has been captured, is beyond me.

See also: Call for the re-establishment of a true national bank of 17 Jan 2010

Footnote[s]

[1] The URL has been changed to http://johnquiggin.com/2009/10/13/7219/comment-page-2/#comment-120678 from http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2009/10/13/7219/comment-page-2/#comment-246618. Discussion on johnquiggin.com on 17 March 2013 caused me to see that the link was no longer working. - JS

Comments

While your words of support are appreciated, James, your understanding of the CEC is seriously marred by your inability to understand the fraud, and intention behind the fraud, of ecological crises and overpopulation. Fighting those who claim that overpopulation is a problem is fundamental to the battle in which the CEC is engaged; early Labor leaders would also have joined in the same way. There is no overpopulation problem, there is an undertechnologisation and de-industrialisation problem. Prince Philip and Al Gore want to reduce the world's population to well under two billion as soon as possible, and your stance is supportive of their end-game and measures.

Not only do humans have a right to be here, but humans are the highest and best force for change on this planet and beyond. This is why the CEC is supporting the LaRouche push to go back to the moon, to colonise and industrialise it, and from there go to Mars to do the same, and thence to move beyond.

Humankind's future is to colonise the solar system and, indeed, the wider galaxy. Earth is not our only home. That does not mean that the CEC supports "stuffing up" the earth to then go and do the same on other planets. The very idea that humanity is "stuffing up" the planet is a fraud. Human activity improves the earth, it creates ecosystems. You want ecology? Humanity is part of ecology! And the best part.

The CEC is promoting longstanding plans to green Australia's desert. The Fitzroy Scheme and the Bradfield Scheme have been on the books for decades, but the imperialist-oriented and anti-nation governments that we have had for the last few decades do not want Australia to be anything other than a quarry pit for the financial oligarchy.

The LaRouche movement is promoting a worldwide buildout of nuclear power, maglev rail and massive water projects. Were these projects undertaken, "ecologies" would be improved far beyond the greenies' wildest dreams. But the greenies are not excited. Why? Because they don't want "green" or even ecology; all they want is what the imperialists want, which is depopulation.

The environmentalist mindset is a creation of the oligarchy. Industrialisation and scientific development are the worst enemies of the oligarchy. Hence, industrialisation and scientific development are the main targets of environmentalism/sustainability/conservation which were created by oligarchy as a battering ram. The Fabian Society has been going for more than a century and conservation alongside anti-industrialism have always been key planks of the Fabian policy mix. Kevin Rudd and Tony Blair are, of course, leading (and proud) Fabians.

You de-industrialise, and you depopulate, because humanity is supported by advanced power, transport and water systems, and on a vast and industrial scale. The oligarchs therefore target such basic economic infrastructure with their various, and nefarious, environmental frauds.

CEC literature explains all this, and particularly in an Australian context, much better than I can. See http://www.cecaust.com.au

Sean, I find your comments disturbing. What is the advantage to unsustainable population growth?
In the contexts of over fishing, deforestation, soil degradation etc? Satellite images of Borneo or the Amazon speak volumes.
We have less than 5% of Australia's forests left. Should we clear the rest for wheat?

Big business just want to sell more burgers to more people. They have no interest in the welfare of their customers.

Sean, do you have a vested interest in more people?

Vivienne and Steve,

I share your concerns about Sean's comments (above).
Sean claims "there is no overpopulation problem, there is an undertechnologisation and de-industrialisation problem." He justifies "humans have a right to be here". Sean seizes on language to describe human sprawl and domination with a naive conception that humans should some how be considered 'advanced' for their global ruination and blind conviction to perpetuate that ruination.

May be anthropologists could argue that early Neolithic Man scattered in subsistence tribes hunter gathering could have reasonably justified their "right to be here". But then vasts flourishing forests and savannahs rich in food and biodiversity existed. Neolothic man lived more in harmony with nature, taking only what he needed to survive. History shows that this low impact relationship perpetuated through to the Middle Ages. But is was Industrialised Man that started getting greedy and taking far more than necessary and which has since destroyed nature in the process.

Perhaps parasites have a right to live, but when a parasite population becomes so pervasive, profligate, domineeering and displacing of other species, how does one morally legitimise the rights of a pathogenic species to supplant the rights of another to the point of accelerating extinction?

Gaia is the host of humanity and all living organisms. Doubters in this concept will have to rely upon NASA finding water on the moon soon or new live in far distant galaxy like they have on Star Trek and lost in Space. Humans happen to be at the Darminian top order of living things. That privilege provides oppportunities, but does not legitimise driving lesser species to extinction for some inner gratification like 'advancement'.

When a parasite grows into a pathogen, what is the value of a pathogens "right to be here"? Any species with a population of 6.798 billion and accelerating has in anyone's language evolved into a pathogen. This figure is the human population as estimated by the reputable US Census Bureau

Sean evangelises: "humans are the highest and best force for change on this planet and beyond." Such a statement comes across as meglomania seeking world domination. The Daleks from planet Skaro were a powerful race bent on universal conquest and domination, utterly without pity, compassion or remorse as well. Is this Sean's ideal? To exterminate... with each syllable individually screeched in a frantic electronic voice...?

Sean needs to get out more to experience first hand mass population. Perhaps a trip to Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Calcutta, Beijing.

For Sean to advance the notion that continued acceleration of human population is a good thing, perhaps he should reflect on to whom is it good?
Hey, developers like the numbers - more demand for construction. Local governments like the numbers - more ratepayers. Federal governments like the numbers - more demand for goods and services which make their GDP look good and their polls.

Perhaps Sean is employed in one of these industries that has something to gain from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia (CECA). The organisation's name seems to have a rather innocuous sounding name, perhaps deliberately, until one reads its manifesto.

The CECA's manifesto labelled the 'Summary of the Fighting Platform' in concise summary can be interpreted as follows:

1. Return to a Bretton Woods international monetary system (1944) (i.e. fixed AUD exchange rate)
2. Really cheap bank loans for farmers to do what they want (2%)
3. Bringing back strong industrial unions as they were
4. Strong civil rights for Australians
5. Reversing privatisation of public assets
6. Halting family farm foreclosures
7. Eliminating COAG's National Competition Policy to temper monopoly controls
8. Eliminating the GST
9. Reasserting government control over Australia's natural resources
10. Expanding public health delivery to all
11. Massive domestic infrastructure investment
12. Escalate the war on drugs including removal of money laundering
13. Encourage "generous immigration quotas, for the same reason which the Labor Party welcomed the "new Australians" after World War II—to help build our nation."

I think items 4,6,9,10,11,12 seem to have merit conceptually and should be publicly debated. But on this issue, but with item 13 above to suggest a return to post-WWII "generous immigration quotas" is to ignore Australia's already overstretched burdens and stresses of population on existing resources, communities, State governments and the natural environment.

Perhaps to a farmer out of Narrabri or Bulia, more immigrants may seem a notionally good thing. 'It's hard to get good labourers out 'ere'!
But on this issue, the CECA needs to get outside the farm gate and look around Australia's cities to see where the populations really congregate. Such an immigrant flood policy will only perpeatuate the aged old colonial scenario of all immigrants and imported wealth going to the big cities. Post War thinking of immigration to build farm labour is fanciful. How many of the 400,000 immigrants a year into Australia go out bush looking for work. Do the research. Stuff all!

But Sean seems to convey more extremist motives.

Vivienne, I do not think that you understand what science is. Referring to Galileo is not to refer to science but, rather, to empiricism. No original scientific discovery, in the sense of the discovery of a universal scientific principle, came out of an empiricist mindset. You ought to read a bit of Kepler and Leibniz.

Vivienne says, "By some divine or magical formula, or natural superior human status, we are protected from over consuming our natural resources". This is interesting because when we ask the question what a resource is, we find that there is nothing but a discovery by a human being at the bottom of it. Humans create resources. Therefore, by definition, we only run out of resources when we stop thinking. We have an abundance of uranium and thorium, but have hardly begun to use either. Next, we may shortly have thermonuclear fusion, and would have had it long ago if the naysayers hadn't cut funding to fusion research.

Oil and gas were not "resources" 3000 years ago, because civilisation had not developed to the stage where humanity knew how to use them. We have now moved beyond fossil fuels as energy sources, and are now well into the nuclear age.

Where are the "environmental vandalism and corruption" that the anti-industrial crowd like to crow about? True, the underdevelopment of the continent of Australia and of Africa are vandalism. Leaving deserts as useless masses of land, locking up huge swathes of land as "conservation parks" - that is vandalism. Developing continents with high-speed rail, nuclear power, water projects, agriculture and industry - that is to improve the land. To leave the Moon and Mars barren - that is vandalism. To develop those bodies so that they are fit for human habitation and industrialisation - that is development and progress. And to colonise beyond the solar system - that is our aim and destiny. No amount of backpedalling and pessimism by environmentalists can change the destiny and purpose of the human race.

Vivienne says, "It doesn't matter that the arithmetic of feeding the world doesn't add up, or that the changes to our planet mean devastation and extinction to non-human creatures, but if it propagates more of the human species, these losses are justified!"

You're quoting Parson Thomas Malthus, who was wrong. We can feed the world many times over. Your hatred of technology is what causes people to have to go hungry. If we develop infrastructure and agricultural potential (e.g. through desert-greening) around the world, then the world will not able be able to easily support the currently population, but twice as many people. Consider the Green Revolution of India which turned India from a nation reliant on handouts to a net exporter of food. The continents of Asia and Africa today now desperately need another Agricultural Green Revolution.

Every man, woman and child alive today, if in the state of Texas USA, could have 1000 square feet of their own. The world ain't overpopulated, it's underpopulated.

Vivienne takes exception to the view that, "Our natural and finite resources will somehow keep expanding". When you understand what a resource is, then you will understand that there is nothing either natural or finite about them.

How do "the changes to our planet mean devastation and extinction to non-human creatures"? No-one wants to extinguish species of animals, nor is that necessary. Developing the continental landmasses of the earth will make it possible for non-human creatures to flourish. However, it is absurd to say that a human being is not higher and more important than the animals, fish and birds. The beasts cannot create, they cannot discover, they cannot even increase the population-carrying capacity of any given area of land. Humans can, and it's our tendency to do so, by *improving* and building on the earth, on other planets and through space.

Vivienne complains that "Darwinism and environmental science are conveniently ignored". I hope they are, because they're largely fraudulent. Darwinism is riddled with contradictions and is certainly not worthy of the label "science". Environmental science is largely merely sophistry designed to further the political objective of depopulation of the earth. Darwinism and environmental science are basically Fabian ideas that serve the oligarchy, and that were created for that purpose. The Fabians came out of the Fellowship of the New Life which was created in service of the oligarchy. The Fabians are major political proponents of these oligarchical ideas even today, including the transparent fraud of anthropogenic climate change.

Vivienne suggests that "We need science to objectively and independently assess our carrying capacity." This is circular. Science increases the population-carrying capacity of the earth. Science is not a method of accounting nor is statistics any kind of science. Science is the discovery of new universal physical principles which can then be used for the benefit (including increasing the potential relative population density) of nations' land areas. Read LaRouche's book "So, You Wish to Learn All About Economics?"

Steve asks, "What is the advantage to unsustainable population growth?" He does not see the internal contradiction in the phrase "unsustainable population growth". How can something that is natural and inevitable be unsustainable? In any case, the earth is not our only home. There are many other habitable planets and bodies out there beyond the earth. We need to develop science and industry so that we can begin to colonise space. Where is the limitation or the "un"sustainability?

Steve asks, "Sean, do you have a vested interest in more people?" Amazing question really. We all benefit from what's good for humanity. Do you think that I'm in the burger-selling trade and so just want more customers to be born whom I can fleece?

Tigerquoll says, "May be anthropologists could argue that early Neolithic Man scattered in subsistence tribes hunter gathering could have reasonably justified their "right to be here". Bu then vasts flourishing forests and savannahs rich in food and biodiversity existed."

The CEC is promoting projects that would turn Australia's deserts into flourishing forests and rich, pulsating agro-industrial centres of intelligence, culture and productivity. What is it about such a proposal that annoys you? Do you want Australia to remain a quarry pit for the financial oligarchy?

Tigerquoll says, "Neolothic man lived more in harmony with nature, taking only what he needed to survive." Relatively undeveloped cultures tend to only be *able* to do this. More advanced cultures extend, build and improve on what nature has provided. How? By discovering new scientific principles and then using those discoveries to extend human capabilities. Right now, we are on the verge of being able to replicate, in a controlled way, the nuclear reactions that occur in the very Sun itself, for the benefit of humankind by providing high energy flux density sources for transport, infrastructure construction, and interplanetary travel.

You need to understand that your mindset that is essentially hostile to human development is not natural but has been imposed upon you by a kind of cultural brainwashing that is particularly pervasive in Australia.

Tigerquoll reveals all by saying, "Gaia is the host of humanity and all living organisms." This is nothing but pantheism. Vivienne objects to a supposedly Medieval view of Man that gives importance to humanity in the overall scheme of the universe, while Tigerquoll wants to return to a pantheism that is representative of the most primitive, undeveloped cultures that had no appreciation for scientific discovery. So views held in Medieval times are unacceptable, while views held even by cultures that did change nor developed any technology for thousands of years are acceptable.

In any case, the philosophy I'm attempting to give support to is not Medieval in the usual pejorative sense of the word Medieval. Yes, in Medieval times there were enlightened thinkers and benighted ones. Today, we have the same. I suggest again that you read some of Kepler and Leibniz' work. You might get something out of it.

Tigerquoll says, "When a parasite grows into a pathogen, what is the value of a pathogens 'right to be here'?"

Okay, so Tigerquoll is saying that humanity is a parasite-cum-pathogen. Brazen words my friend. This view could pretty much be described as *a* definition of evil. Tigerquoll then says, "Any species with a population of 6.798 billion and accelerating has in anyone's language evolved into a pathogen." Not in any human language. Tigerquoll, why do you hate humanity so much?

Humanity has the capacity to improve the planet and the universe, through our scientific creativity. Any species with a population of 6.798 billion and accelerating can only be beneficial, because that species has shown by its ability to increase its own potential (and actual) population density that it can discover and implement new scientific principles. So that species is on a par with the force/entity/Creator that created the universe. You see, cockroaches could never increase their population ad infinitum, because they cannot create new resources because they cannot discover new scientific principles. Cockroaches could never get past the earth’s atmosphere to colonise space.

Tigerquoll complains that, "Sean evangelises: 'humans are the highest and best force for change on this planet and beyond.' Such a statement comes across as meglomania seeking world domination." The problem with this complaint of Tigerquoll's is that a megalomaniac seeks to dominate other human being and perhaps the entire human race, and that is precisely what Tigerquoll's *own* dicta are seeking to achieve. By Tigerquoll seeking to suppress the true creative nature and tendency of humanity, he is working towards *precisely* the same goal as the oligarchy and the goals of those who promote clearly fascist ideas. I use the term "fascist" in the technically political sense and not as a random pejorative.

I have been to several of the "overpopulated" cities Tigerquoll mentions. To respond, I need only repeat, "There is no overpopulation problem, there is an undertechnologisation and de-industrialisation problem."

Tigerquoll's own stance is more apt for the Dalek "exterminate" metaphor, for it is Tigerquoll’s stance that is stridently in favour of curbing human population.

Let us reflect on, "For Sean to advance the notion that continued acceleration of human population is a good thing, perhaps he should reflect on to whom is it good?" Having reflected as you've suggested, I can respond that it is good for humanity as a whole. Because by doing the things that we need to do to support and promote an increased population (science, infrastructure, industry, space colonisation) we are enabling and promoting the fulfilment of the purpose of every individual human being.

Tigerquoll then goes down the "Sean is a profit maniac" route. He or she says, "Hey, developers like the numbers - more demand for construction. Local governments like the numbers - more ratepayers. Federal governments like the numbers - more demand for goods and services which make their GDP look good and their polls."

Why is it that many large corporations and most local councils are now promoting environmentalism, sustainability and even population reduction?

Tigerquoll suggests, "Perhaps Sean is employed in one of these industries that has something to gain from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia (CECA)."

And perhaps not. And perhaps the likes of large oil, mining, pharmaceutical, banking and media companies are promoting environmentalism and sustainability because they're tools of, and intertwined with, the oligarchy.

Tigerquoll - if you don't want industry, manufacturing and space colonisation, what do you want? Do you want banking, finance and other "services"? These are certainly what the oligarchy likes and prefers over manufacturing, infrastructure construction, and scientific and industrial endeavour.

Tigerquoll goes on to list items in the CEC's fighting platform and says, "But on this issue, but with item 13 above to suggest a return to post-WWII 'generous immigration quotas' is to ignore Australia's already overstretched burdens and stresses of population on existing resources, communities, State governments and the natural environment." Well, we've addressed the nonsense of these ideas. Of course, if you're lazy and don't want to build or develop the nation, of course then you'll have burdens and stresses in your society, and your population will inevitably decline. You see Tigerquoll, environmentalists generally just don't want to improve things, they don't want to build, to produce, to create new infrastructure for transport, water and power, they just want to cut cut cut, including the population of humanity.

Tigerquoll do you want to return the planet earth to a "pristine" wilderness on which a few oligarchs can control a small, benighted and superstitious population which will live and breathe as nothing but the slaves of the oligarchy? Nothing in your own "platform" suggests otherwise. It's a pity.

Tigerquoll suggests, "But Sean seems to convey more extremist motives." Between the genocidalist anti-human anti-science brigade and the CEC, it is pretty clear who the extremists are.

Science won't increase our carrying capacity. "Resources" is a word to label things that already existed but have been "discovered" by people as being usable. The bottom line in not language or science, but the planet we have been provided with. Humans do not create resources, but discover ways of using what is existing. Resources can be consumed and expire. They are finite.
Our small planet Earth does NOT revolve around humans, or exist specifically FOR us! Our planet is finite and so is its ecosystems and the living and non-living things that it supports. We use and manipulate them, not actually "create" them! Sean, you are not being objective but totally anthropocentric, a common human error!
The world is hardly underpopulated! We can't have people wall-to-wall. What about the habitat of other non-human creatures, what about land that is uninhabitable, or too rich and too vital in biodiversity to destroy, such as the diminishing rainforests?
Other societies and civilisation have disintegrated by human destructive traits, and you are being naive and foolish if you think that today, because of science and technology, we are protected. I suggest think again about our planet, human history, and get the BIG PICTURE!

Well done Sean!
About time someone exposed the flawed thinking of the CDB team.
They don't like to post comments contrary to their way of thinking, I have had several not posted.
So much for their slogan (stop internet censorship).

The only comments we don't post are abusive ones or comments, such as 'news' about politicians relatives, designed to cause harm. If your comments were relevant and not abusive or damaging gossip, then please repost.

We have published Sean's comments because they need to be exposed and answered.

After they have been exposed and answered I would not be inclined to keep publishing them, but other CDB people with editorial permissions may feel differently.

So, you see, we do not censor valid comment.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page
Copyright to the author. Please contact sheila [AT] candobetter org or the editor if you wish to make substantial reproduction or republish.

Sorry Sheila, but I would have thought that given the fact CDB praises the likes of Lee R, and her stance on drugs was "let's go after the big guys" That this was relevant to her integrity. I don't think 8 kilos is for personal use.
It wasn't "news" it was FACT.

Labelling Sean is in response to Sean's own labelling without any substantiated evidence.

The issues here are of serious national socio-ecological concern.

So present a strong sound case with supporting evidence and you are engaging. But resort to wild unsubstantiated claims and personal abuse and expect dismissal with payment in kind. Debate requires justifying claims to be treated fairly, else dish it out and cop it sweet!

Re-read the wild claims by Sean and ask if the ABC TV would report them seriously. This is a fair reasonableness test.

As for the cliche call of 'catching a tiger by the tail', I would invite mates to the Melbourne Zoo to watch someone try. Put your Wild Turkey away and engage! Before you two run away with your tails between your legs, spitting abuse, I challenge your both back to the issue.

Sean from CES claims Australia has no population problem and no ecological problem. Sean and CES growth lobbyists ought read the following about Melbourne sprawl and offer justification for their sprawl is good argument.

Suburban sprawl to solve Melbourne's housing crisis

Climate change deniers are down there with holocaust deniers and I invite them to deny climate change after reading what's happening north of the Murray to Banjo Patterson's legendary Lachlan River:


'Everything's dried up and communities begin to crack'

[Sydney Morning Herald 28-Nov-09, p.13 ]

"River flows are being cut, and many will go without, writes Josephine Tovey. FISH lie belly-up on the cracked bed of Lake Cargelligo. Like the lake it is built around, the town is drying out.

Lake Cargelligo, a settlement of 1300 in the geographical heart of NSW, was once a holiday haven for swimmers and waterskiers. Now empty shops line the street and even the post office is for sale.

On Tuesday hundreds of those who are still here gathered to listen to a travelling roadshow of water bureaucrats about what was going to be done with the little bit of water that remains in the dam upstream.

The Lachlan River, muse of Banjo Paterson and lifeblood to tens of thousands in the region, is being cut off at Condoblin, with only small flows being released below. Towns further south-west will go without.

If they did not do this, State Water staff told the meeting, the dam would be sapped by February.

The plan was met with uproar.

''Why are we expected to take the pain for the whole valley?'' one man yelled. ''You've forgotten a whole section of the river,'' a woman said through tears.

In splitting the river, the State Government has split the people of this region. It is not the first time water has been held back to conserve what is left. A similar plan involving controlled releases is in place for the Namoi River.

But since the Water Minister, Phil Costa, made a decision to restrict the river earlier this month, tempers have flared among those downstream.

Farmers with thirsty cattle want to know why people upstream in Forbes are still allowed to put sprinklers on their lawns, and why fruit farms still receive water, albeit at reduced rates.

They also want to know if this is the future of water management in a state where almost 74 per cent of the land is in drought, and hotter and drier conditions are on the way.

''If this is the Government's climate change policy,'' said Patti Bartholomew, a cattle farmer, ''then God help NSW.''

The Lachlan River winds from Wyangala Dam, through Cowra, Forbes, Condoblin and almost to the Victorian border. It is a region heavy with grain, cattle and sheep that has endured three devastating droughts in the past century.

''Just now there is a howling drought. That pretty near has starved us out,'' wrote Paterson more than 100 years ago of Boolilgal, a town at river's end.

But this is a dry like no other.

Ten years ago Wyangala Dam was at 99 per cent, a wall of water 25 storeys high licked the top of its wall. Since then the inflows have been the lowest on record, less than half of what they were during the Federation drought. The dam is now less than 5 per cent full.

As water disappears, cracked creek beds and muddy embankments are left exposed. Animals searching for water are getting bogged up to their necks.

The Herald saw a farmer crawl out on logs and sink his hands deep into the thick mud to wrench out his neighbour's sheep. Most of the people the Herald spoke to are sceptical about climate change, but according to CSIRO and other climate models, they are some of the hardest hit. ''Certainly the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin, which includes the Lachlan, [is] looking at hotter and drier projections in the future,'' a senior research fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, Dr Jason Evans, said.

Upstream, at a meeting in Forbes on Monday, scenes were very different. There were no interjections from the floor. People stayed for tea and sandwiches. One man, who asked not to be named, said he would be voting Labor for the first time at the next state election.

Ian Smith, a cattle farmer, has bores on his property that provide him with a secure water supply. ''I can't really see they've mismanaged anything,'' he said. ''There's just been no rain.''

Bores are being sunk all along the Lachlan as towns such as Boolilgal and Oxley look to shore up their supply of water. But it is not an option for many Lake Cargelligo farmers. Some have invested heavily only to discover the water is salty and useless.

Rod Middleton and his wife Leanne live with their three sons on a cattle and grain farm.

The creek that has been their water source, a tributary of the Lachlan, is dry. The pump sits on the exposed creek bed. ''I think the worst thing about it is the mines and fruit trees still getting water and we're not,'' Mr Middleton said.

The young farmer, whose parents came to the area 30 years ago, said he would have preferred to see the river run its course, whatever the consequences. ''The fairest thing would've been to let it run till everyone's out, rather than have the top end get themselves through till next year and us being out now.''

The Australian bush is dying. Engage and help detox the colonial hangovers!

This article started off critiquing the Citizens Electoral Council (CEC), while acknowledging it "has a lot of worthwhile ideas", concerns are raised about the CEC's "refusal to recognise the global ecological crisis and the problem of overpopulation."

So returning to these two subjects, which are very relevant now in Federal politics:

Subject 1. Overpopulation

Sean from CEC claims "there is no overpopulation problem" and that "Humankind's future is to colonise the solar system and, indeed, the wider galaxy."
Well if the current world population of 6.798 billion is beneficial to humanity and the planet, why are people starving, why is there scarcity in food, water, energy and in public services, why are so many problems stemming from human population like deforestation?

Sean seems somewhat loonier than CEC's 13th item in its 'Fighting Platform': to "Encourage "generous immigration quotas, for the same reason which the Labor Party welcomed the "new Australians" after World War II—to help build our nation." CEC seems to be stuck in a post-WWII era, while Sean is off into the distant future claiming: "Humans can, and it's our tendency to do so, by *improving* and building on the earth, on other planets and through space." and "We need to develop science and industry so that we can begin to colonise space."

Yeah sure Sean, along with Star Trek and the Daleks!
Sean is engaging in fallacious argument with irrelevant gibberish, poetic language and answering with more questions. Sean digresses into irrelevancies like "empiricism" and rhetorical questions like "Tigerquoll, why do you hate humanity so much?"

I question the relevance of Sean's penchant for finger pointing to the cause of the world's problems lying with an apparent "financial oligarchy". Sean's unsubstantiated statements like "the environmentalist mindset is a creation of the oligarchy" and "perhaps the likes of large oil, mining, pharmaceutical, banking and media companies are promoting environmentalism and sustainability because they're tools of, and intertwined with, the oligarchy" reveals a delusional paranoia. Where is this omnipresent oligarchy?

Believe it or not Sean, Australia is a participative multi-party democracy, not rule by a few. Look up the definition! Fiji is probably our closest oligarchy at present ruled by militarist Frank Bainimarama. Such blatant errors of fact and cliche thinking are not helping CEC's cause to be taken seriously and spread its influence.

Subject 2. Global Ecological Crisis

Why Sean is the world engaging in the United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 next month if there is no global ecological crisis? Perhaps our Sean is shy about presenting any evidence to support his view. Perhaps Sean cannot explain away the sobering climate facts outlined on the website Copenhagen Conference

Perhaps Sean is happy in Sean's world - a make believe sci-fi universe where humans take over the universe like Daleks. Sean should get out more, put the Dr Who DVD's back in the cupboard, go and visit the Murray Darling, the starving millions in Africa, visit mass population in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Calcutta, Beijing, tune into the Copenhagen summit. Sean would do well for the debate and himself to read up on relevant and important topics like 'carrying capacity', 'global human impact on biodiversity', 'environmental management', 'management of human consumption', 'nature as an economic externality' and 'social justice'. Good meaty topics these. Much better reading than 'oligarchs'.

Perhaps Sean's world view has him 'locked up' in the 18th Century industrialisation mindset in the linen mills. I dare Sean to step into 2009 and read a bit on climate change, overpopulation, triple bottom line and about corporate sustainability:

"Corporate sustainability encompasses strategies and practices that aim to meet the needs of stakeholders today while seeking to protect, support and enhance the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future. Business and industry has a crucial role to play in helping Australia to become more sustainable and competitive. As a result, many Australian organisations and industries are responding by reducing their environmental impacts and risks through improved environmental management practices and efficient use of natural resources."

Prime Minister Rudd in a speech earlier this month said of the climate change deniers:

" They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests. Powerful enough to so far block domestic legislation in Australia, powerful enough to so far slow down the passage of legislation through the Congress of the United States. And ultimately, by limiting the ambition of national climate change commitments, they are powerful enough to threaten a deal on global climate change both in Copenhagen and beyond."

Perhaps Sean's extreme views are based on vested interests. Perhaps he is one of those who phoned Federal Liberal MPs to lobby them to support climate change deniers and reject supporting the Government ETS. These loonies are indeed powerful. Look at the schism they have caused.

Sean is being labled for the the same kind of responses that you adhere to. As an observer (objectively) of these topics it's clear that someone who puts across a logical argument contrary to CBD bloggers is shot at dawn for such. As far as I'm concerned his comments are positive and that gives more hope than the doom and gloom that you and Shelia come up with.

Why make fun of space advances, only 20 years before man landed on the moon that was considered a big joke.

(Sean is engaging in fallacious argument with irrelevant gibberish, poetic language and answering with more questions. Sean digresses into irrelevancies like "empiricism" and rhetorical questions like "Tigerquoll, why do you hate humanity so much?")

This is exactly your style Tiger!

Bit less paranoia and hipocrisy from CBD Please.

Sean gotcha there Tiger ol boy!

Editorial comment: This comment seems pointless. In general, I would prefer that people add comments that shed light on the topic at hand and avoid making comments which are merely to cheer on one side of the argument or 'boo' the other side. - JS

Firstly, I thank Sean, Tigerquoll, Vivienne and others for their contributions to this discussion.

I think it is necessary that differences be discussed openly in this way. I thing it is important to recongnise that very few individuals or groups are completely right about everything or completely wrong.

Even where a group such as the CEC is so badly mistaken on such critcal issues as population and the environment as Tigerquoll, Vivienne, Steve and I believe they are, they can still offer some worthwhile ideas in other important areas, as I have said.

I am not opposed to technology. I just think we need to be realistic about what we can hope to achieve with it and must be prepared to use it sustainably. We must be prepared to acknowledge that humankind's technological achievements thus far have been dependent upon the extraction and processing and fabrication of finite non-renewable resources, particularly fossil fuels and metals.

Personally, I even hope to see a space exploration and colonisation program undertaken as Sean has suggested.

However, such a program would need to be self-sustaining, and not dependent upon earth's finite resources, to have a long term future. The raw materials to build the hardware for the space colonies would largely have to be mined from the Moon and the asteroids. To be self sustaining we would need to create artificial environments that can sustain human life and the other forms of life upon which humans are dependent that would require little input other than energy from the sun. It would have to be capable of recycling almost 100% of the materials contained within it.

My understanding is that that has never been achieved. It may well prove impossible in any environment as small as even a very large enclosed space colonies that T A Heppenheimer wrote of in the 1970's in his book "Colonies in Space".

As it seems unlikely that we will get space colonisation to work in the near future, then we may need to, instead focus on the technolgies that will help us repair the Earth. That could be a good start towards achieving the goal of eventually creating artificial environments capable of sustaning life, including human life, in space.

The debate (?) above is a fascinating exercise in highly focussed word-smithery (as I see from the perspectives of 75 years of concern about population densities .... and from its derivatives , killing of as many Germans and Japanese as necessary to save my sister's children from being half-breed Japanese bastards ; they of course had obverse views).

There are significant failures to understanding of the realities of "technology" displayed .... whilst it is true that civilizations always have seen technological development , it is rarely observed by those dependent upon it that , from the very beginning technology has ENABLED civilization to exist at a level determined absolutely by the technology available at that time , and actually used.
However , to believe that the technologies of mass transport can be developed to a level necessary to outrun unrestrained animal fecundity by exporting people to far-away planets or galaxies is to be technologically illiterate at a very basic level .... a light- year is a very long way , and a people needs a lot of support along the way .

Relative to population "control" (or even restraint) , it must be bourne in mind that exactly half of any population is below average intelligence relative to any particular subject one cares to choose . It follows of course that birth control , pre-conception , is doomed to failure . That is being clearly demonstrated , right now , at about 256.8 Hz.

If , immediately , Testosterone Progesterone etc. , can be removed from existing animal structures there is some hope left .... it may be profitable to very quickly research the Panda's solution to procreational protocols .

The most likely out come is , I think , a rapid escalation of competition for increasingly scarce resourses of all basic kinds .... land , water , metals , clean air , etc . ...... Oh, and I forgot , WOMEN , (there is a potential standing
army of some millions of wifeless Chinamen developed by bureaucrats there with the very best of intentions ( it seems )) .

It may well be that , in future folk-law , Ghengis Khan will be seen as almost gentlemanly .

The discussion at present seems to be unwisely focussed on the numbers of people tolerable , rather than the kinds of armaments needed

Reductio Ad Absurdum enables the following logical conclusions... No people, no problem ..... No standing room , we--ell , no problem .

The Medieval view of "Man" was that he was the pinnacle of Creation, the whole purpose of the Universe, next to God as His Image, and thus the solar system revolved around the Earth, and the Earth was flat. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy,"the "father of modern physics," and "the Father of Modern Science." But science was actively thought of as hearsay, and the church of the day made Galileo renounce his observations of the planets' rotations. He was accused of heresy in 1615 by the Roman Inquisition as it was "contrary to Scripture".
Secular thinking today, and a reassessment of Genesis by modern churches, means that science and theology are, except for some fundamentalists, no longer in contention. If God created all, He created a consistent universe, with laws that can be studied and theories that can be formed from observations.

However, it seems that "Man" has not changed much in thinking, even in today's rational and science-based age! There is a Medieval mentality still, that other animals can be "overabundant" and need "management" to control their numbers, but we humans are somehow exempt from being over our carrying capacity. By some divine or magical formula, or natural superior human status, we are protected from over consuming our natural resources, and causing environmental vandalism and corruption! Our natural and finite resources will somehow keep expanding, and science will have answers to how we can just keep breeding and proliferating the planet! It doesn't matter that the arithmetic of feeding the world doesn't add up, or that the changes to our planet mean devastation and extinction to non-human creatures, but if it propagates more of the human species, these losses are justified!
Darwinism and environmental science are conveniently ignored when it comes to our own power and aggressive Earthly dominance! We will just wipe out other species and our own habitat due to a lack of predators or forces to limit our numbers.
We humans are still obsessed by our own egos, our own importance in the web of live, and will be the victims of our own suicidal narcissism!

We need science to objectively and independently assess our carrying capacity. Governments inherently will not act for the benefit of the public and those deciding on immigration numbers have direct conflicts of interests. Growth will be continual and constant!

The opposition to science today is not from the clerics (except from the Catholic church that opposed birth control) but from commercial and corporate forces, and the lure of capitalistic power and wealth.

"Humankind's future is to colonise the solar system and, indeed, the wider galaxy. Earth is not our only home". Basing policies and population growth on the chance that we may be able to colonise the solar system, and the wider galaxy, is surely rather speculative and based on massive uncertainty! This is the stuff of science fiction, not a solution to the Earth's current problems! As for the Royal family, what ever their limitations and defects, they are not against humanity and do not support genocide. Climate change is something real, not scam. These "opinions" are simply fiction, sensationalistic gossip. Sorry, but fantasy is not relevant in today's current affairs.

Exterminate!
Exterminate!!!
Exterminate!!!!!
Exterminate!!!!!!!