Population and environment in Australia
In Beautiful Lies Tim Flannery launches an attack on the various lies that we tell ourselves about our resources, our past and our future. The lie of terra nullius that made us ignore the Aborigines' knowledge of the environment. The lie of the Snowy Mountains Scheme that did untold damage to our river system for the sake of white immigration. The lie that rushing to preserve wilderness will save endangered species.
Tim Flannery is also skeptical about the myths of multiculturalism, and he argues that we cannot sustain a larger population given our resources. In his conclusion, he asks how we can discharge our responsibility to the refugees who are the victims of American policies we collude with.
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 9, Beautiful Lies:
READ AN EXTRACT
This essay is written as a thundering no to the characteristic Australian assumption that 'She'll be right' ... This is a Quarterly Essay written in the passionate belief that we need a coherent policy on population ... If we do not have one, we will never be in a position to do justice to ... the dispossessed people of the earth; indeed our children's children will ... think we have dishonoured their birthright.
Every once in a while there emerges an academic who is able to take complex ideas beyond university lecture theatres and labs and out to those people who the idea may affect. One such academic is Tim Flannery.
He goes straight for the intellectual jugular... Australia’s minute population of Tim Flannerys should be in its Parliament, and not its museums – as valuable as that role is.
Quarterly Essay News
Sign up to receive the latest news in our newsletter