For economists to assert that "Big Australia is the right thing to do" is tautology. (Jessica Irvine, 7 Nov). Of course it is, by their narrow definition of 'right'. To say that a bigger population will increase "the demand for and supply of goods and services in the economy" is rather stating the obvious.
But is that all that matters? In fact, is it important at all? Apart from her subjective claim that Australia is "a much more interesting, dynamic and creative society than it was" (which insults 50,000 years of Aboriginal heritage), she fails to explain the alleged benefits of population growth (regardless of source).
To dismiss non-economic considerations as "sitting in traffic jams" is facile. Ms Irvine ignores the effects on our quality of life caused by the devastation of the natural world by what is euphemistically called 'development'. She ignores the human cost of the loss of trees, green spaces, birdsong, clean air, quietness. Does she really believe that it is good for humans to live in isolated cells 10 storeys off the ground, divorced from the natural world of which we are an integral part? Has she factored in to her equations the loss of seals, for example, resulting from man-made plastic pollution in the ocean?
The planet cannot sustain 9 billion people. If we don't expire through global warming, we will choke on our own pollution. Neither is a pleasant prospect.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.