Monday, 1 March 2010

What are your honest thoughts on this please (April 21st 2009)

Breaking news to which I would love to see some honest replies here. I am in a tricky position here as I have a large family which is increasing but I am firmly in the environmental camp.

So, please, no insults or comments about my television viewing habits (or lack of ;) )

Green group calls for one child policy

AUSTRALIA should consider having a one-child policy to protect the planet, an environmental lobby group says.

Sustainable Population Australia says slashing the world's population is the only way to avoid "environmental suicide''.

National president Sandra Kanck wants Australia's population of almost 22 million reduced to seven million to tackle climate change.

Restricting each couple to one baby, as China does, is "one way of assisting to reduce the population''.

"It's something we need to throw into the mix,'' the former Democrats parliamentarian said.

More people means more coal-fired electricity, cars, houses, water use and food production, all of which increase greenhouse gas emissions, she said.

Ms Kanck, who has one child herself, expects her campaign will receive a hostile reaction.

"The Catholic church is going to be in like Flynn on an argument like this.''

Sustainable Population Australia, which has about 1300 members, is so worried about climate change it is preparing a formal submission to the UN.

Related Coverage
One-child policy push for AustraliaPerth Now, 21 Apr 2009
Readers' Comments: One-child policy push for Australia - PerthNowPerth Now,
Population hits 21.5 millionThe Australian, 19 Mar 2009
Australia's bizarrely high population growth lies behind many of our worst problemsAdelaide Now, 3 Mar 2009
MP bows out on ungodly noteAdelaide Now, 2 Dec 2008
It has also applied to attend high-profile world climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

Australia's population has been increasing steadily and the Federal Government plans to continue the trend, largely through immigration.

The world's population stands at 6.7 billion, according to the US Census Bureau.

"Increasing the population is basically suicide, it's environmental suicide, it's utterly irresponsible,'' Ms Kanck said.

"We are eating away at the planet, we are eating into all the resources, be it petrol, be it superphosphate, be it clear air.''

Ms Kanck also suggested Australia scrap the baby bonus, and restrict paid maternity leave and IVF to the first baby only, to discourage large families.

She did not suggest restrictions to immigration, saying Australia should take responsibility for cutting its own population instead of barring entry to others.

China introduced its one-child policy in 1979.

A Chinese academic visiting Canberra last week said the policy had avoided 300 million births and had therefore made a major contribution to the fight against climate change.

from here


TheCrone said...

17 Responses to “What are your honest thoughts on this please”
1.Sage Says:

April 21st, 2009 at 8:28 pm e

Personally I am against the 1 child rule being set in concrete, but I would urge governments to not encourage families to have many children which they cannot bring up without the assistance of multiple benefits. A moot case in point, over here a family with 13 children, neither parent has a job and survives on the benefits such as dole, child benefit, rate benefits etc… not a great role model for their children because it just perpetuates the belief that they too can get paid to sit at home and reproduce. Doesn’t mean to say that only the rich can afford to have children and be discriminatory that way but only have what you can afford. My personal view and doesn’t represent or intend to offend anyone else

2.kel Says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:09 pm e

its so tricky, we are born to breed! but…i have recently made very personal and painful decisions based in part on my personal thoughts about impacts and responsibility using environmental beliefs as justification in part. sandra kanck is one tough and brave and very credible politician and as always i applaud the greens for bringing up the stuff we dont wanna hear. thems me honest thoughts

TheCrone said...

3.molly Says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:50 pm e

Negative population growth? I don’t agree. What I do think we need to do is attack our wasteful lifestyles on all fronts. Invest in alternative energies, restrict immigration to some degree, encourage a greener lifestyle by our citizens, invest in more public transport, stop importing foods, bring back victory gardens, recycling,re-using, reducing, single occupant vehicles pay greater parking & toll fees….one could go on for hours, why would she choose just population? That is just one small aspect of a very massive challenge I think. Besides which, if she waits for the 1 child policy to take an effect it will be too late anyway LOL
We all need to live simpler with less NOW and natural attrition would take its course over the years.

4.Deb Says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:12 am e

I agree with Molly, we need to improve the way we treat the planet no matter how many children we have. I have two children who are the very best of friends, how sad it would be if they didn’t have each other.

TheCrone said...

Nevyn Says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:26 am e

I agree with Molly, we need to make changes to our lifestyle, we’ve overindulged ourselves for way too long and future generations are going to pay for it.

I would like to see the population reduced. However, I don’t agree with enforcing a 1 child policy but I do think that this planet on a whole can no longer afford large families. The ‘Octuplets’ woman is a good example. If families are willing to live sustainable lives and can support a larger family, good for them.

TheCrone said...

Simply.belinda Says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 11:15 am e

Honestly I think this subject is intensely personal and taking people’s choices away has never proved a good policy.

China’s one child policy has brought a whole host of social problems with it. Personally I think incentives to keep to small family sizes, or significantly reducing support for large family sizes, are a much better way of handling things than mandated restrictions on birth numbers.

That said I personally think population is an extremely important issue. As I have written on my blog it is one of the very important reasons I have chosen to stay childless. I don’t feel I can reconcile myself to making a deliberate choice that increases the pressure on the systems that humans need to survive when my feelings about having children fall a lot more firmly into the want rather than need category.

I don’t think it is a one sided coin.. simply restricting population will not cure all ills these are complex problems that feed into the core of human survival there is no single pronged, uncomplicated solutions.

For me tackling this issue should be more about personal responsibility and actively shouldering the costs of those personal choices. Some people have a deep seated need to have a large family and honestly I think that is fine as long as they are willing to pay the full personal, social and financial costs that yearning creates. If you have many there will always be people like me who have few or none. Except when the scales are being unnaturally tipped in one way or another by public policy people really do tend to be quite sensible. Most wouldn’t choose to bring a baby into their household that the don’t feel they could afford to feed and care for. Since we have an unprecedented level of control over our fertility here in Australia most babies are a choice and as such the world around them will factor into that choice
Unfortunately at this point with a government focused on creating new taxable workers and consumers to “support the aging population” they are putting massive incentives in place to increase population, either through immigration or birth, without regard to the sustainable carrying capacity of our country. Although no one would expect a “one child policy” to be supported in the mainstream talking about it is a way to get everyone to remember that the population side of the issue is part of the sustainable world equation.

Kind Regards

TheCrone said...

7.Em Says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 4:51 pm e

I couldn’t support the idea of taking choice away wrt pregnancies and children, and I believe that we, as a society, need to support children who are born into our world - as best we can. Children are one choice in the footprint of our lives; raising consciousness about the multitude of choices we have may allow people to make better choices for their footprint - coupled with penalties and legislation in other less personal areas.

8.river Says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 6:05 pm e

Geez, I wish they’d make up their minds. It wasn’t so long ago we were being encouraged to have more children to populate Australia

TheCrone said...

Ramsey Says:

April 23rd, 2009 at 6:31 am e

Many times in the history of our Species times have seemed tough and the future bleak. The fact that we are here now is only due to a massive line of ancestors who manage to have children who survived in all sorts of circumstances, some utterly unimaginable to us now. Many things they experienced would overwhelm this current “soft” generation who haven’t had to experience great suffering or frequent local war or disease like the black plague. Still they managed to have children. These children in time, managed to improve the circumstances, create healthcare, create education and government systems, discover science and lift our species higher.
Previous generations, it could be argued didn’t have the choice we do. We however, are no better placed at forecasting the future then they were.
You have to look no further then the GFC.
Each generation makes do with the circumstances in which they find themselves.
It is our responsibility and choice to let the next generation have its turn to exists, experience this amazing thing called life, and to discover and shape the world.
This in my opinion, is why we should have children

TheCrone said...

Kelly Says:

April 23rd, 2009 at 9:56 pm e

Hmm, a personal one for me too, as I have five children.

I don’t believe there needs to be laws. There are so many better ways to go about it without turning us into something resembling a dictatorship.

There is a clear relationship between increasing education in women and a decrease in family size, so lets increase education. Then the government can stop pushing big families and promoting smaller ones-with words, and with abolishing the baby bonus, reducing child-related tax breaks and generally forcing the parents to financially support their kids. All of these would naturally push the reproduction rate down without fuss.

But as Molly said, population is only one part. I read last night if Australians lived like those in the third world we could sustainably support up to 70 million. If we lived like the royal families it would be 2 million. Obviously those are extremes but I thought it was a pretty good illustration of how variable resource use can be.

TheCrone said...

11.Tara Says:

April 24th, 2009 at 3:28 pm e

I’m also with Molly. If you look at the fallout from China’s policy, you’ll see that it has meant they have a massive aging population with insufficient numbers coming up through the ranks to care for them, pay for things etc. (sorry, am way too tired to use proper economic terms which I can’t remember half the time anyway!).

I think there is a lot more to be said for EDUCATING the children we do choose to have in how to live a “greener” lifestyle.

Croney, just out of interest, what does Husband have to say on this issue?


12.Tricia Says:

April 25th, 2009 at 7:52 am e

While I support people having less childen - I do not believe making such a personal decision a ‘policy’. I will only have two children (hopefully - as I only have one so far I think being a single child would be rather lonely). People who have more can off-set their extra children by actively reducing their footprint and teaching their children how to live sustainably. I am sure there are many households of six who have a far smaller footprint than a consuming childless couple! Who else is going to breed our future environmental leaders?. It worries me that many people who care for the environment are having no or less childern. They are the ones who can tech their children so much!


TheCrone said...

Jen in NSW Says:

April 25th, 2009 at 10:27 am e

This issue to me seems strange. The number of people living in a home doesn’t automatically mean a certain quantity of resources used.

Back in the post war Baby Boom years families were much larger than our average these days with 3 children being “normal” yet they lived in smaller homes than our modern homes and were more likely to not have a car than now. They also had vegetable patches and chooks in the backyard. Larger family size as others have commented does not automatically mean larger impact on the environment.

Educate! Set up local spaces for community gardens! Encourage working from home to reduce fuel costs! Simplify! Don’t encourage more spending on “junk”!

Children are a blessing to us all, a widescreen TV or a new car just doesn’t have the same significance.

I will fight for our right to choose. Family size, house size, car size, footprint size! It is up to each of us to choose what is right for us and our world, not the government.

Hmm, rant over!

Jen in NSW

TheCrone said...

naturewitch Says:

April 27th, 2009 at 5:45 am e

Hi Crone

The choice has to be a personal one. As you know, I don’t have any children of my own, not by choice, but because of a range of circumstances. This has caused me a lot of heartbreak over the years. Surely, the human factor needs to be considered here? Our ecology and economy are much more than energy resources and dollars!

There are many, many childless adults in our society. I would hazard a guess that only a small portion of these people have actively chosen NOT to have children. As Kel says, we are meant to breed.

I agree with Molly - we need to look at our consumption patterns. The large families I know all look at ways to soften their footprint. Sure, the mighty dollar plays a role here too. But generally, their children have fewer gadgets; they go to op shops and re-use as much as they can; nobody has a room of their own; they are less likely to consume expensive (in so many ways) packaged and not very nutritious food; more likely to have some chooks and a vege patch; more likely to use public transport and/or their feet or bicycles.

The problem is NOT large families; it’s what we do with our resources and the wastage we generate that is the problem.

Why do governments insist on picking off the relatively low-hanging fruit, rather than addressing the big issues? Why not ban advertising, for example, that drives the relentless waste and over-consumption? Why not dictate that families have to be one-car, rather than one-child?

You go for it, girl! Personally, I’m really honoured that people like you are having the children I can’t. xx

TheCrone said...

Cat Says:

April 30th, 2009 at 9:25 pm e

I think it is crap. lol.
Some people have a lot, some people have none etc.
Id like to see a rule where people without jobs/education cant procreate. A licence to procreate!
ie you can have as many as you like if you arent a fucktard/druggie/alcoholic (or any other ….ic) and have as many as you can support on your own family income.
The whole society of handouts really has a negative impact on society and people are raised believing they are owed something.
Anyway, I can feel a total rant coming on so Id best shut up now

TheCrone said...

Julia Says:

May 2nd, 2009 at 2:58 am e

I think it is a very bad and despotic decision to only allow 1 child per family. With abortion we already have issues with enough tax payers to support the aging generations. Europe is having problems with population growth. You can fit the whole world’s population in Texas. With all the horrible things that happen in the Middle East and Africa population is constantly decreasing. I don’t believe in Welfare. I think governments should teach young mothers/families how to live a self sustaining lifestyle. If you give someone a fish you feed them one day, if you teach them to fish you feed them for their life. It would be nice to see inner cities with urban farms. It is a way to instill confidence in children and people who probably don’t think they can amount to having a business. It would green up inner cities and make it a beautiful place to live. I could never agree with the government infringing on the rights of people or unborn children. I think people need to stop playing roulette with sex thinking they can use abortion later. I wish people would be more responsible and use contraceptives correctly.

Plus, if anyone is the problem it is companies like Monsanto ruining the environment and self sustaining farming. They would rather you buy their seeds from them year after year. I find their business ethics deplorable. I am so tired of seeing my federal government paid off by them. People need to remember how agriculture was practiced for thousands of years. People have gotten so lazy about everything in the modern world. They look for others to give them easy solutions, ways out of a problem, etc…. I feel bad for the third world farmers who get charmed by Monsanto’s promises and then have their crops fail. It is horrible. They also created Aspartame which along with wellbutrin and Adderall caused me seizures. I started taking Wellbutrin because I had low Serotonin levels. Aspartame in diet coke causes depletion of Serotonin levels and ADD. I am 21 now and started drinking diet cokes when my dad found out he had type 1 diabetes when I was 11. At 18 I got Wellbutrin and Adderall for my problems. I just hate the unhealthy way things are run now a days.
Monsanto canola oil is linked with causing infertility in women. So maybe all the would be aborted babies could be given to the long list of women who are infertile now largely due to the way we have turned against nature. The government makes us feel bad about global warming which a vast amount of scientists don’t believe in. In fact there is proof of the opposite. I wish the governments of the world would think about the consequences of testing bombs and other weapons under the ground and in the ocean. If the world were to slightly tilt get knocked a little off it could effect a lot. I just really don’t trust politicians who get money in their pocket constantly by all different people with various agendas. I think green is a good thing, but cap and trade taxes not so much. Maybe governments should stop testing horrible weapons and tax themselves for the damage they have caused and start taking public economic flights instead of fancy private jets.

These are subjects that fire me up. hehe

TheCrone said...

Nathalie Says:

May 3rd, 2009 at 8:58 pm e

I agree wholeheartedly with Ramsey. We are social animals and communities are built around families. Anyone who thinks China’s 1 child policy was a ‘good idea’ is only looking at one small aspect of it. The impact of that policy on the families themselves and the resulting society decades later is huge. Do a little research and you’d NEVER consider that drastic step for a country such as ours at this point in time. That kind of policy is a last resort, do or die solution…and brace yourself for the future impacts. As an individual country we are nowhere near that point of need.
The problem is NOT population, as proven by the fact that developed countries consume so much more than developing countries with 10 times our population. The problem is HOW we consume our resources.

In terms of reproducing. We have 2 and will leave it at that - enough to replace us, and carry on a green legacy. Family is important, families care for each other and in some ways reduce the burden on society. I think of my Husband’s grandfather who passed away only 2 years ago at the age of 100. He lived at home with his daughter and son-in-law, next door to us. There was always someone there to care for him. Being around his family kept him well, and he was never placed in a home, or a burden on the public health system, or anyone because his clan cared for him. Strong families make strong communities. We will need that more than anything in the futu