Brigid Delaney in tomorrow’s (oh, Australia) The Age:
When I rang home from various parts of the world during my three years away, the news from my family often sounded like excerpts from the Book of Revelation: Lake Wendouree was so dry that it was set on fire, flowers were withering on the vine, people were drinking the bath water. What next? The horses eating one another?
But all is not lost, we have a solution, suggested authors Mark O’Connor and William Lines in their book Overloading Australia: how about not letting any more people into Australia, closing the doors.
The Age reported on Saturday that the book urges Australians to forgo self-responsibility and “ignore water conservation”, instead putting the onus on the Government to rethink its immigration policy.
This solution comes down to a simple calculation. Are immigrants a drain or a benefit to our society? It’s a basic question — but the answer is complicated. Yes, more people will use more resources. Bingo — fewer migrants mean longer showers.
There may be certain places where it would be wise to restrict population growth. Phoenix comes to mind (a city so parched for water they call the airport a harbour) but even there a little conservation would go a long way. We’re water fiends in North America, and I bet it’s the same situation in Australia.
Even excluding all the desert, Australia is a very big place. There’s plenty of room for millions more people, and enough water if used wisely. Hell, with all that potential solar power in Australia you ought to be able to desalinize as much water as you want.
Here’s the deal, Australia: Don’t let those Nazis commandeer your environmental movement and I’ll keep an eye on things in Canada. Agreed?