Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Our mission is to help conserve the natural environment of the Greater Blue Mountains
and to increase awareness of the natural environment in general.


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GROWTH IS THE ENEMY!

 

©Ross Coster
[Convenor of Blue Mountains Conservation Society No Western Sydney Airport Sub-Committee]

We have opposed the Western Sydney airport on many grounds: noise, emissions, air pollution, World Heritage impacts, and alternative transport options.

A recent reading of a document by John D. Kasarda has made me realise that we are opposing much more than an airport - we are opposing a broken ideology that threatens the entire global environment.

AEROTROPOLISThe document: "A WESTERN SYDNEY AEROTROPOLIS - Maximising the benefits of Badgerys Creek" talks up the new airport as the centrepiece of a huge development area of industrial land and houses, all intended to replace the semi-rural landscape around Badgerys Creek with massive-scale development.

To quote:

"An aerotropolis is a new urban form placing airports in the centre with cities growing around them, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace."

This is all premised on huge growth in Sydney's population, with an extra million people in the next 10 years, many millions more in coming decades, with growth in demand for housing, product, jobs, transport and of course energy. There is little if any consideration of greenhouse gas emissions in any of this, and all of it will be roads connecting to an airport, all fuelled by oil.

Both Major Political parties (Liberal and Labor) have stated policies that they want to take real action to address global warming, yet they both support this nightmare development on the Cumberland Plains.

How can we possibly continue to grow population, road transport, air transport, fuel consumption, and of course greenhouse gas emissions if we want to reduce overall emissions? When will planning for our future infra-structure embrace reducing emissions as a key goal?

Some see population growth as inevitable, and it is to some extent, as the young of today will want to have children, and their children will want to have children. But birth rates are falling everywhere and my reading suggests that global human population will peak at 11 billion later this century, then slowly decline over time, as affluence increases, and birth rates continue to fall.

However the people that promote projects like the Western Sydney Aerotropolis don't want to see a slowing in population growth, they want to accelerate it, encourage it, profit from it! High immigration rates, the baby bonus, endless talk of jobs and growth, endless infrastructure rollout with the disruption it causes, are all seen as good by the boosters. Increasing population and affluence will crank up the pressure on our environment to breaking point.

To quote David Attenborough: "I have little doubt that if we have the capacity to limit our birth rate, then we should consider doing that. We have a finite environment, the planet. Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a
madman or an economist."

He is right of course, but he doesn't go far enough.

We have the ability to limit our growth in affluence, consumption, energy use and destruction, and we must do it. We have the ability to make reduction in environmental impact a key goal of all development, and we must do it.

 

What Can You Do?

Some of us have written so many letters about the airport that we have writer's cramp.

But write again to Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman and other Federal politicians.

We don't want or need a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek.

We don't want or need infinite and unsustainable growth on the Cumberland Plains.

We must make the environment a key goal in all decision making. We want a world our children's children can live in.

 

© Ross Coster
nwsa@bluemountains.org.au

Image: INKCINCT Cartoons www.inkcinct.com.au