Human Carrying Capacity and Human Health

Human Carrying Capacity and Human Health
Colin D. Butler
Citation: Butler CD (2004) Human carrying capacity and human health. PLoS Med 1(3): e55.

Copyright: © 2004 Colin D. Butler. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Colin D. Butler is a research fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Lack of leadership on population


This article has been submitted by Dr John Coulter, former Leader of the Australian Democrats. It is also published in the newsletter of Sustainable Population Australia. The DEA committee will be considering the development of a position paper on population policy as it relates to health and environmental as soon as possible.

The situation with respect to 'boat people' generally, and those on the Tampa specifically, underscores the lack of leadership and clear policy direction of all political parties in Australia in recent years. Not surprisingly therefore media comment and discussion programs also reveal a community lacking a comprehensive and integrated view of a sustainable, equitable and humane direction for Australia. I have not heard one radio, seen one TV program, or read one newspaper that interviews an ecologist or considers the environmental consequences of how we deal with immigration in general and boat people in particular. The comprehensive view which sees this problem in its wider context has been totally absent. Readers of this Newsletter will know that there have been numerous high level reports recommending that Australia develop a population policy. All have been rejected by both old parties when in government. They will also know that Australia's 19 million people are not living sustainably, either in and on Australia, or in a global context. They will be concerned about the despoiled environment we leave our children and how we balance the ethic of intergenerational with that of intragenerational equity.

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