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Past the time to give precedence to the environment: Garnaut Report

Sustainable Population Australia Media Release

State Premiers must recognise that continued economic growth is not sustainable and give precedence to the environment recognising that the size of the economy is bounded by Nature's ability to sustain it, say conservationists in the wake of the Garnaut Report on Climate Change economic impacts.

'One can only hope that the ignorance shown by Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland, is not shared by our Prime Minister', remarked Sustainable Population of Australia President Dr John Coulter when he saw the Premier's comments on the Garnaut Report.

In response to the Report, Premier Bligh has said that there must be a balance between the environment and the economy. 'The Queensland Premier seems not to realise that if we don't have an environment we don't have an economy and we don't have a future for our children', commented Dr Coulter.

'It is this naive nibbling away at the environment through misguided bleats about balance that has brought humanity to the edge of a cataclysmic collapse. Fifty percent of fifty percent of fifty percent leaves only twelve and a half percent for the environment yet Premier Bligh wants to halve that again. It is well past the time when the environment must take precedence.

'Continual economic and population growth are not consistent with an environmentally sustainable future. Anna Bligh, like every other Australian Premier wants more growth. She has just seen in devastated Mackay one small result of climate change yet she would pack another half million into the Gold Coast Region with its multitude of canal estates. These may well be under the sea within the lifetime of our children.

'At present rates of economic growth the black coal deposits of Queensland will all be gone before 2040, the carbon will be CO2 in the atmosphere making Queensland's climate even more inimical to future generations.

Wake up Premiers! Sustainable economic growth is an oxymoron. You can have one but not both! For the sake of the future of our children and the world, recognise that the only economic model which is consistent with a sustainable future is one that is dynamic but steady-state, in which the size of the economy is bounded by Nature's ability to sustain it, concluded the president of Sustainable Population Australia.

For further information:
Dr John R. Coulter
National President, Sustainable Population Australia
08 83882153