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NCC-Population Dialogue

Why do we need dialogue about population & consumption? – Nov 2015 – Sydney – Nature Conservation Council Seminar

Ecologists studying other species ask four questions:
• How many are there? - numbers
• How are they distributed? - distribution
• What are they doing? - activities
• What are their relationships with others & the 'environment'? – relationships


To be responsible we must ask of ourselves:
• How many is optimum?
• How should and shouldn’t we distribute ourselves?
• What should and shouldn’t we do?
• How should and shouldn’t we relate & interact with others & the environment (considering its ‘carrying capacity’ & ‘resilience’)?

It is not very complicated 

If any species (including our own) has:
• high numbers
• highly aggregated distribution (located away from the resources it needs)
• highly consumptive & non-relational lifestyles

then it will:
• want & consume lots of resources
• have a high impact on the environment & relationships

and so, will eventually be unsustainable

the time taken to experience this will be shorter the lower the environment’s ‘carrying capacity & ‘resilience’

If a species has:
• low numbers
• is distributed close to the resources it needs
• has a conserver lifestyle: activities,

and lives in an environment with high ‘carrying capacity’ & ‘resilience’, which it builds up & maintains (biodiversity & bio-ecological processes: cycles, etc.)

then it should be able to live sustainably

Emeritus Professor Stuart B. Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology,stu mirror 
School of Education (includes previous School of Social Ecology & Lifelong Learning),


Western Sydney University (Kingswood Campus)
Locked Bag 1797, PENRITH, NSW 2751, AUSTRALIA   
Location: Building KI, Room K-2-19A, Kingswood Campus 
P: +61 (0)2 4736-0799 | Ext: 2799 (Kingswood staff only) | Fax: -0400
Email: Web:

Founding Co-Editor: Journal of Organic Systems: 
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