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If Waleed Ali wants to be part of the solution, he cannot be part of the problem.

Waleed Aly ("A Rhetorical State of Emergency," Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2019,) has dressed up banality as insight and has been very long-winded about it. His focus is climate change and he laments the fact that we have so "engineered a lack of [political] consensus" that Australia is never likely to successfully address it.

But there is a sense that Waleed believes his unique understanding sets him apart from the problems he describes ... I would like to help him find his feet of clay.

That we worry about climate change is because of the harm it is doing and will do to the natural environment; Waleed's focus, therefore, ought to be environmental decline from any cause, and not just climate change.

The two key drivers of environmental decline are the growth in human population and ever rising levels of consumption. Remarkably, the two key components of Australia's particular economic model are: more people -- population growth via high immigration -- consuming more and more ... forever.

If Australia wishes to address environmental decline -- as Waleed believes we ought -- we must address our levels of consumption and the growth in our population. The latter will require a substantial reduction in immigration -- the principal driver of our population growth.

There is a popular consensus for this measure. What stands in the way? Well, among other things, pundits like Waleed and his occasional employer, the ABC, who refuse to go anywhere near the immigration issue.

For all his posturing and puffing over our dysfunctional politics, Waleed is part of the problem he describes.

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