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Optimum Population

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Essay title: Optimum Population

Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and fellow debaters. Today we are gathered here to debate the topic “That Australia should aim for zero population growth.”

I as the first speaker will be exploring the consequences of population growth in relation to the environment and resources that Australia provides.

Our second speaker will be detailing the social and economic damage associated with population inflation.

Firstly I would like to expand on the issue of the environment, and the dire consequences of the world’s rapidly skyrocketing population. While several years ago the reality of global warming was still in debate, in 2007, it is widely accepted that the effects of greenhouse gases are quite real indeed. The basic science of global warming is that there is a thin layer of gases in the atmosphere surrounding the earth. Heat waves from the sun penetrate this shield, and then reflect off the Earths surface. However, some of this heat is trapped, keeping the Earth warm. The Earth is gradually increasing in temperature. The result of this? Well, it’s far more serious than it might appear. The world’s oceans are continually rising in heat, and this is causing vast fragments of ice to slowly crackle from the tethers of larger structures, and then slowly melt. This is affecting weather patterns. Storms and hurricanes are fiercer, certain animal species are finding it difficult to adapt to a warmer climate, and coastal areas of society are soon going to be faced with a crisis; sea levels are rising. How is this relevant to Australia you might ask? Consider where our society is situated. As the middle of this nation is largely parched, arid, uninhabitable wasteland, Australians live by the sea. The penalties of the abovementioned event are disastrous indeed. The real issue is nonetheless, how all this relates to population growth. Well as global warming is a man-made crisis, every single person on the face of the planet is contributing to the greenhouse blanket. Australia produces 1% of these gases. Considering we only house about 0.3% of the worlds population, this nation generates three times as much of these emissions as we should. Increasing the amount of people in Australia will increase energy consumption, consequently increasing emissions. If we were to limit population growth, it would be a profoundly positive move in relation to this matter. In order to accommodate this surge of people, we must create housing structures for them to inhabit. This means that prized native bushland will have to be obliterated to pave the way for construction. Native habitats will be destroyed, and indigenous creatures will be without the means to survive. Also, if some of this influx is centred in metropolitan areas, it will mean crowded streets, roads, and a reduction in the amount of space available for everybody.

The second central issue I will be discussing is the increased resource demands that a higher population will cause. It is widely acknowledged that the state of available water in this country is at an appalling level. While the effects may be difficult to see from here in the city, in rural areas, the land has been sapped of its H20. This not only affects farmers, but the rest of the nation as well. In order to grow crops and supply agricultural products, water must be diverted and used. However, Australia is in the grips of a terrible drought; meagre precipitation is struggling to meet the basic needs of this land. The issue has become less isolated to the Outback, and the costs are being felt on the consumer level. In order to compensate for poor production and rising expenses, there has been a price swell in farm-produced goods, meaning that large corporations are continuing to rely less and less on local sources and increase dependence on cheaper import products. The water restrictions mean that every Australian has had to make drastic sacrifices in order to combat this impending issue. Water restrictions mean that the personal liberty of free water usage has been impeached, and we now have to abide by laws and guidelines that dictate what we can and cannot do. An increase in the population would only further strain the situation, placing even more pressure on our dwindling reserves.

There are many other resources which the populace requires, and would only evaporate further were the population to continue growing at the current rate, or more. Raw materials in order to accommodate the expansion of society needed in order to sustain a larger population are needed in ever-increasing amounts, meaning that timber, metals food and a number of other such items are required in vaster quantities. While some of these can be regenerated, others cannot. The forests are being depleted at a faster rate than the trees can be regrown, meaning that eventually, they will disappear entirely. All of

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