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What if Australia had One Billion People?

Popularity 8Viewed 3984 times 2013-11-19 20:52 |System category:Life| environment, planet, population, pollution

I am not a scientist, nor am I armed with a stack of books and statistics to prove any of my observations. These are purely my own insights from what I have experienced.

I am Australian and in Australia we care about the environment (apparently). We're not like big, bad China who has choked up our planet. Or so we think . . .

I've been wondering recently about what would happen if Australia had a population of 1.3 billion people (56 times the volume of people we currently have). In my opinion, our cities would become a smouldering cloud of ash.

Everyone wants a car all to themselves and we have an economy that allows this wish to become a reality. Our roads sport lonely buses and a smattering of bicycles whereas in China the streets are teeming with bicycles, electric scooters, buses full of people and a handful of cars. How much oil do we waste everyday in Australia? How much would we waste if our population was 56 times the present size?

In China, people eat every morsel of their meat; in Australia, a butcher would most likely be sued if a chicken foot made it's way into the poultry aisle. How much feed, water and money are we wasting by throwing the excess meat away?

Our supermarkets throw out imperfect produce (because, like, how could we possibly stomach an apple with a dent in it?) and long-life products that are slightly over their expiry date. We fly our fruit and vegetables in, whereas in China people are walking to their alleyway markets, supporting local farmer's and eating fresher produce. Oh, and they are walking there, not driving.

What measures does Australia really have against pollution? To me, it feels like we are ignoring this issue because it is not severe enough in our country yet. We are satisfied with recycling our milk bottles. Meanwhile, there is an upcoming generation of Chinese people committed to creating innovative ways to reduce pollution.

In short, if Australia had one billion people, we'd be in trouble.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report GhostBuster 2013-11-20 12:53
Sad to say that you are completely lost about population of one billion. With a population of one billion, Australia is still fine! Australia could use the best technologies to produce and benefit.
Your article seems to be self misleading. Pollution is not a modern problem. It exists since human beings live on earth. The truth is what could and should be done to bring pollution under control! US has pollution, too! US does not have a pollution of one billion but 320million!
Reply Report gooddog 2013-11-20 13:52
Australia would be in hell with 1/2 billion people, never mind 1.3 billion. The waste of resources from Australia, Canada and US can feed 1/2 of Africa. These 3 countries are the most wasteful countries in the world. US alone consumes 20% of the global resource with only 5% of the world population. Your nsights and experienced is right on the money. Good job young lady!
Reply Report AroundTheWrldK8 2013-11-20 14:45
GhostBuster: Sad to say that you are completely lost about population of one billion. With a population of one billion, Australia is still fine! Australia could us ...
You make some good points. It's true that if Australia did have a higher population, our government would probably do something serious about it. All I was trying to say was that in Australia there's this air of superiority that we are doing everything right in regards to reducing emissions etc, but in reality, even though China is more polluted than Australia, China is doing more to actively take control of the problem.
Reply Report AroundTheWrldK8 2013-11-20 14:46
gooddog: Australia would be in hell with 1/2 billion people, never mind 1.3 billion. The waste of resources from Australia, Canada and US can feed 1/2 of Afric ...
Thanks! I'm glad you understood the point I was trying to make. The waste in our countries is terrible and indeed could feed half of Africa. Wish some people would wake up and see how good we have it!
Reply Report KIyer 2013-11-20 15:03
Per capita emissions, and waste of Australians are among the highest in the world.
Reply Report AroundTheWrldK8 2013-11-20 15:28
KIyer: Per capita emissions, and waste of Australians are among the highest in the world.
Sad, but true.
Reply Report Ted180 2013-11-20 19:15
With its lack of arable land compared to China, Australia could not support 1 billion people. And China, itself, would greatly benefit from a far lower population. The world population is heading for 8 billion. It should have about 2 billion people (with a high standard of living). Population reduction is the fastest and cheapest way to combat global warming, poverty and war.
Reply Report Ronny 2013-11-20 20:25
Nicely written, It's true that while many outsiders may complain about China, Chinas population in other countries would probably drown them in pollution. Australia and other western nations point at China or other so you will not look at your own countries.
Reply Report foreignchinese 2013-11-20 21:12
Not to worry. Australia can send its family planning team to learn from China who has first hand experience of a huge population.
Reply Report rock_chopper 2013-11-21 05:12
Australia currently feeds a great deal of the world - wheat, rice, sheep, cattle etc. Apart from the fact that central Australia is not habitable for large populations, 1 billion people in Australia would leave much of the rest of the world hungry. Australian cotton and wool also clothes the world.

The point about waste and per capita emissions is misleading. Australia has high per capita emissions because it has a low population in a large area - transmition losses via long power lines and moving goods between population centres makes a higher per capita number than a small country where everyone is bunched together.

Finally, like it or not, Australia provides the world with energy (uranium, gas and coal) - keeping the lights on for many countries without domestic energy sources.

So without Australian goods the rest of the world would be hungry, cold and naked in the dark.
Reply Report AroundTheWrldK8 2013-11-21 07:40
rock_chopper: Australia currently feeds a great deal of the world - wheat, rice, sheep, cattle etc. Apart from the fact that central Australia is not habitable for  ...
Wow! Very interesting comment. As I said at the start, though, it was just my thoughts, not scientific fact.
Reply Report 周忠 2013-11-21 09:37
why the author suppose?  it is saying:" you will cross the bridge when you get to it". china have no 1.3 billion people before.
if the Australia have 1.3 billion peope, you must believe your goverment, they can solve the problem.
Reply Report rock_chopper 2013-11-22 08:41
AroundTheWrldK8: Wow! Very interesting comment. As I said at the start, though, it was just my thoughts, not scientific fact.
No worries.

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