Sunday, September 13, 2009

Malthus, the Commons and localism

An interesting post from Ran Prieur. A quote…
Whenever someone brings up Malthus, I remember this critique of Malthus by Iain Boal, arguing that population only outruns food supply when there's non-local control of resources.
We've got a great example of that with Melbourne now pillaging the resources of the State ie. the water from the Thomson River and the North-South pipeline in order to keep the political peace in the ever-expanding outer suburbs. There is a certain inevitability about Melbourne acting more and more as a city-state, concerned only with its internal politics and riding roughshod over external interests. The most powerful player seems to me to be the construction industry, although you could argue their influence is national.

Anyway, bad luck if you're sitting on resources which the powerful in the City need to shore up their position. We are fortunate that so far we are just a bit too far away and awkwardly situated in South Gippsland for them to pinch our water. But it does underline the fact that local control of local resources is the key to sustainability. How can a community survive if the water is gone?


Gippsland Accommodation said...

Having been raised in Melbourne and now living in Gippsland with with family in Northern Victoria I think I have all angles of this debate covered.

Gippsland - thank who ever the powers may be that we have been left alone

North East Victoria - An ill considered decision by the state govt to steal water from Northern Vic.

Melbourne - simply put the population is outgrowing the resources available to maintain the city. There must be a time when the population must not be allowed to continually expand.. in the case of state water supplies this time is now.


Lloyd Morcom said...

Yes Jamie, but who is going to stop Melbourne expanding? Not you or I!