Wednesday, 30 April 2008

On Borrowed Time

David Lindenmayer has written a book called On Borrowed Time: Australia's environmental crisis and what we must do about it. It was the subject at our Eco Book Group discussion this week.

Our discussion was lively, wide-ranging, thought-provoking and informative - just like all good book group discussions. On the whole we agreed with Lindenmayer's passionate arguments and agreed that he has presented them in a very 'easy-to-read' format. Australia's environment is unique. We do have huge environmental problems. We are at crisis point.

According to Lindenmayer these are the 10 key environmental problems:
1. The serious financial and logistical underinvestment in Australia's environment
2. The unsustainability of almost all of Australia's natural resource-based industries
3. The ecological over-commitment of Australia's landscapes and seascapes, including our precious water resources
4. The lack of credible yardsticks to measure environmental progress and management effectiveness
5. The need for institutional reform
6. The strong likelihood of repeating past environmental mistakes
7. The limited understanding or appreciation of our environmental problems and the need to focus on key issues
8. The lack of planning for our human population size and level of resource consumption
9. The need to develop new economic models that take into account the effects of population growth and resource consumption on the environment
10. The lack of forward planning to deal with climate change

The sticking point was - what are we as individuals going to do about it? It seemed to us that a lot of the effective decision-making has to be done at Government level. We suggested that every politician and councillor read David Lindenmayer's book.

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