In an article on population growth in Crikey.com, Charles Berger from the Australian Conservation Foundation gave the following statistics (and yes I know … lies, damn lies &…) about population growth and carbon usage which certainly give pause for thought and consideration about just how sustainable our current lifestyles are.
He was talking about figures by that Prime Minister of ancient history, Kevin Rudd, set for reducing Australian pollution levels by 60% of 2000 levels by 2050. This figure is based on the current Australian population of 21 million.
Now if the Australian population stabilises around the 27 million mark by 2050, this would mean that we need a per capita reduction of around the 72% mark. However, if our population were to increase to 36 million by 2050, this would mean a per capita decrease of 79% to meet that same goal.
This does mean that in a high-growth population scenario, carbon-intensive activities will become considerably more expensive.
Another topic in his essay is on water use. he cites the example of the Victorian government setting a target of 155 litres per person per day water usage for Melbourne residents. If Melbourne were to grow from its current population of 3.8 million to 5 million, to maintain this total amount of water usage for the Melbourne basin would mean Melburnians would have to decrease their water usage to 118 litres per head per day and further reductions needed as population grew. That certainly cuts out my long showers.
The article certainly paints a picture of a world where many of our everyday lifestyle options and habits will need to change and it should make us ponder our lifestyle choices, so many of which we take for granted.