12 August 2010

Fewer people, more helicopters

I've been watching Dick Smith's diatribe against immigration on the ABC. Like the majestic equality of the law, which Anatole France identified as punishing rich and poor alike for sleeping under bridges, we have a majestic equality of freedom of speech in this country, allowing rich and poor alike to make their own one hour TV programs to put their views.

Mr Smith, who lives in a mansion and flies a private helicopter, is perfectly entitled to worry about the impact of humans on the planet. It bothers me too. But it also bothers me to hear reasoning such as the following (I think I am quoting correctly): "We are currently about 22 million sharing the wealth of this country. If we grow to 44 million, we will all be half as wealthy."

That means that in about 1963, when our population was around 11 million, we must have been twice as wealthy as we are now.

Issues like global warming, wealth distribution, water usage, education expenditure, soil degradation, urban sprawl, etc. are in fact far too important to be turned over to this sort of simplistic argument.

1 comment:

giancarlo said...

it is a good point. Yuo can't semplify everything. The problem is that it is a catch frase so easy to say and to remember.