Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's the population, stupid!

From the ABC:

Migrants to fuel emissions increase: researchers

Researchers have warned that greenhouse gas emissions will increase dramatically as immigration increases Australia's population.

The Federal Government is being accused of ignoring the role of population growth in Australia's increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Monash University researchers predict the population will grow to 31.5 million by 2050, with almost 10 million migrants making up the increase.

That is despite industry groups warning the workforce is set to shrink as baby boomers retire.

The researchers project emissions will grow to 800 million tonnes annually, about four times what the Federal Government hopes to achieve by 2050.

Dr Bob Birrell has told ABC Radio's AM that population growth is the main driver of emissions.

"It is a puzzle as to why the Rudd Government has made no reference, nor its adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, to this factor," he said.

"I can only deduce from their behaviour that although they would like to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, it's a lesser priority than population building policies."

Dr Birrell says the environmental and economic effects of the population increase will eventually flow on to consumers.

"Every extra million associated with migration will add to economic activity and thus, greenhouse emissions, and businesses who are vying for permits will have to pay more because of the competition to get those permits," he said.

"That means of course passing on the costs to consumers, or struggling to compete against imports."

Needless to say, the Rudd Government is patently brain-dead if it actually believes it can reduce carbon emissions while also running the biggest immigration program in this country's history. Unless we stabilize our population, Australia can forget about trying to reduce its carbon emissions.

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