The Launch of the new Centre for Population raised a flicker of hope of a remit to develop a population policy for Australia – but the hope was fleeting, writes Dr David Shearman. The proposal makes no mention of the constraints of climate change, water scarcity or the concept of sustainability, which are crucial to the long term maintenance of our present population and indeed the projected increase of between 37 and 49 million people by 2066.
The placement of this centre in the Department of Finance should be a cause for anxiety when the first stated objective of this plan is “economic growth”.
Instead, the centre’s role should be part of the development of a national climate change adaptation policy.
Its absence is negligent as a 2 degree temperature rise seems inevitable and adaptation for cities, rural areas, coast lines and the economy is vital.
Dr David Shearman is emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide. He co-founded Doctors for the Environment Australia in 2001 and was awarded an AM for service to medicine and to climate change.
Read the full article in The Canberra Times, 9 October 2019